Battle of the Blocks Captain Spotlight: Rebecca Levenberg

Rebecca is a Battle of the Blocks Captain for the Center City Chinchillas! Rebecca discovered climbing in 2011, after a traumatic accident changed her body and life. Now an above-knee amputee -- and bionic woman -- she climbs at Go Vertical, has medaled in two Adaptive National Championships, and competed on Team USA in the 2018 Paraclimbing World Championships in Austria! When she’s not climbing, Rebecca works as a peer mentor coordinator at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital and volunteers with hospital patients and adaptive climbers.

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When and how did you first get into climbing?
When I was learning to walk on a prosthetic leg, I attended an indoor rock climbing clinic for amputees. I loved it, but because of health setbacks, I couldn’t climb again right away. Two years later, I met Paraclimbing World Champion Ronnie Dickson, who encouraged me to sign up for an adaptive climbing clinic in the Gunks. That clinic was exhilarating and empowering! It gave me the courage to walk into my local gym, get trained to belay, and learn to climb among able-bodied athletes. I was hooked!

What do you like about your neighborhood and what makes it unique?
Walking on cobblestone streets is challenging with a prosthetic leg, but I love Old City’s coffee shops, art galleries, and historic neighborhood vibe. Everyone is super friendly and the whole city is within walking distance. The mix of colonial brick, industrial factories, and new construction is like a timeline of our country’s history. Plus, you can’t beat having Betsy Ross as a neighbor!

What do you love about climbing and how do you think this comp is going to bring your team together?
What I love about climbing is that it’s adaptive by nature. Climbers with diverse body types, experiences, and abilities can partner up, support each other, and offer beta along the way. Climbing takes a combination of strength and strategy, cooperation and communication, determination and laughs, and we all bring something different to the wall. This comp is a chance to meet new climbers, come together as a community, learn from each other, and have a lot of fun! Go Chinchillas!

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