It’s pretty amazing that after more than 3 years of Girl Crushes we have yet to feature Alex Puccio. It’s probably because we thought “Duh, of course we always crush on her, like all year round, not just for a month”. So today, on the heels of Independence Day, we’re giving props to the one of the best American climbers of all time. For the newbies out there Alex is a 9-time national bouldering champion, 13-time World Cup medalist, and has claimed countless boulders outdoors including V14s, Jade and The Wheel of Chaos. This time, we’re inspired by her consistent optimism and drive to perform, despite a few serious injuries along the way, which nearly every climber can relate to.
Over the past two years Alex has been tested physically and mentally with several serious injuries, but time and again she comes out on top smiling. In 2014 and ’15, Alex trained relentlessly, with high hopes of winning the overall title of the 2015 World Cup Bouldering series. In the second competition of the series she suffered a devastating knee injury, tearing her ACL, MCL and meniscus, landing her with major surgery and a months of recovery. Through it all she continued training, kept her sights on healing, and started getting back outside to boulder a few V10s (nbd) just 7 weeks into her recovery process.
After a relatively quick recovery Alex was primed and ready for her return to the World Cup circuit in 2016. While she wasn’t well enough to try for the overall title this year, she did return to compete in the 6th competition of the season in Vail, CO in June 2016. Despite making it to the final round of the comp, she walked away with a herniated disc between the C5 and C6 vertebrae. On her Instagram account she shared, “The surgeon took a look at it and right after said it needs surgery right away! The disc is damaging the spinal cord. He will have to remove my disc and fuse my C5 and C6 together.” She went on to have the surgery and is currently recovering… and of course is already back to training!
Thanks to Alex for continuing to inspire us to keep our heads up and keep on training! We can’t wait to see what she does in the future, on boulders, in comps, or maybe even on a rope. Wouldn’t that be an exciting turn of events!
All photos from Alex’s Instagram