Member spotlight at Summit Denton: Meet Haris & Rachel

Editor's note: We're really excited about the community we have built here at Summit. We have such a cool group of members and thought y'all deserved some recognition. So we wanted to start featuring more member spotlights on our blog and social media! Keep an eye out for regular posts to our Facebook and Instagram giving some of our members little shout-outs, as well as blog posts!

A guest post by Hamilton White:

It seems that no matter what crag I find myself at (plastic or the real stuff), there is always another climber who piques my interest — and not even on the merit of how hard they climb, but who they are. Some are athletes looking for the hardest sends, some parents, a lot of students, and I’ve even met a few doctors and emergency medical responders. As shy as I may be, it is an undeniable fascination of mine to meet new people in the climbing world.

So, I felt very lucky this week to catch up with an old friend, months after his graduation from the University of North Texas as he pursues a career in physical therapy, and like many of us, just wants to figure it all out. I was also privileged to meet a mom, who, between owning a business with her husband, and her two children, makes the time to climb and inspire her daughters with her mommy-muscles.

Haris Feratovic

This is Haris Feratovic. I personally know Haris from my time at the University of North Texas, and he was one of the first people that came to mind when I started to consider who, to me, exemplifies what it means to be a part of the climbing community. For the most part, I think of Haris as a quiet, driven guy, but if you’ve seen him at the gym you probably know that he has a great sense of humor and a strong love for dynos.

How did you get started climbing?

I found climbing on accident, just something to try out. But I fell in love with it.

What grades do you climb now?

 I'm currently climbing purple routes (I forget the actual grade).

What do you do for work?

I’m currently a physical therapy tech and a waiter.

What continues to draw you to spend more time at Summit?

Summit is always a place I can rely on to clear my head. It never fails. Anytime that I've wanted to just throw myself at something, the people and the gym itself always help me.

Rachel Marshall

This is Rachel Marshall. She's a climber that I first heard about from the Summit Denton staff members when I asked who would a good example of the climbing community there. I don’t personally know Rachel very well. Yet. But it speaks highly of anyone when any number of people sing your praises without you there. I’ll let Rachel make her own sales pitch, as she does so well below.

How did you get started climbing?

 I first started climbing about 7 years ago with some friends in college but lost touch with it after graduation. Last year for my birthday, a couple friends brought me to Summit and almost couldn't get me to leave! Seriously, I nearly missed my birthday dinner. I knew climbing had to be part of my life again.

What grades do you climb now?

I just started sending V7s and V8s and I'm really pumped about it. I accidentally cheered out loud for myself when I matched the last hold on my first purple.

What continues to draw you to spend time at Summit?  

I'm a huge fan of the climbing community here in Denton and Summit seems to have a knack for hiring stellar humans. Really the combo of my favorite thing to do and my favorite people to be around is what makes Summit my happy place. In so many ways, climbing is my self-care. I'm a mom and a business owner and it's really refreshing to have something that I do for myself simply because I love to do it.

What do you do for work?

My husband and I own a bicycle shop here in town and we have three kids. I spend most of my days on adventures with our two and three-year-olds but you can still catch me at Bullseye making orders and building bikes.

How does climbing fit your lifestyle?

Oh man. Climbing is slowly saturating my life. I've always been a runner and I used to use mantras or music to mentally stay on top of my training. Now when they set a new wall at the gym I memorize all the routes in the grades I want to climb and I work out the beta while I'm on long runs. Sometimes it gets me so pumped up that I'll throw my pace off and I definitely get weird looks if I forget and start ghosting my hands while I run. If that wasn't weird enough, I can't even come up with a parenting analogy that doesn't involve climbing anymore. And as a bonus my daughters talk about how they'll have big muscles like mom when they grow up. Really though, having small kids makes getting to the gym challenging. I'm lucky to have a partner who values me getting to pursue what I'm passionate about. I'm really active, really social and I'm only competitive with myself so climbing has been a perfect fit. If you see me at Summit come say hi!

There it is! Keep an eye out for more member spotlights in the future.