We wanted to get to know climber Lindsey Tjian a little better, so we served her up some rapid-fire questions about food, her amazing dog Flynn, and her guilty pleasure TV show of choice. Read on to see why this Bay Area dog mom is one of our new favorite people.
Your main sport is climbing, but you haven't always been a climber — how'd you end up here?
Before high school and in high school I played indoor volleyball; a club team and school team. I also played lacrosse for a couple years, hahaha! Then later during college days I got into Triathlons for 4 years. Mostly Olympic distance, and a few Sprint distance races. I was just starting to really get somewhere with bouldering while also training full time for races in the last couple of years of racing. But I sprained my ankle while warming up for a race at Treasure Island and that's when I fell off the triathlon wagon and onto the full-time obsessed climber wagon.
What's your diet like? Anything you avoid or can't live without?
I've avoided gluten at all costs for the last 5 years. I love it but about 5 years ago my body decided it can't deal. I try my best to stick to the idea of an 80/20 plan: 80% of the time I try to eat wholesome balanced healthy meals, 20% of the time I indulge and eat whatever!
Photo Credit Steve Babuljak
Favorite place to grab a bite in the East Bay?
Comal, or The Ramen Shop (technically Rockridge/Oakland)
What's your favorite way to cross train?
Cross training for climbing for me is yoga, pilates on a reformer, hiking or short trail runs and weight lifting to hit the antagonist muscles.
What's your "guilty pleasure" TV show?
Keeping up with the Kardashians, or re-runs of Party of Five on Netflix
How does your interest in fashion tie into your athletic clothing choices?
Interesting question! Well, I have always had a knack for fashion and style, I'm a very visual person. But also comfort is a priority, especially when climbing. My go-to most comfortable climbing attire is stretchy jeans and a tank top, but I like certain color palettes that flow visually together. Sometimes I build everything off my socks, hahaha. I've always been a hat and accessories person, and I love anything flashy that I can wear that won't conflict with my climbing movement or equipment. Basically, I wear anything that I would when not climbing as long as I can move and feel appropriate for the weather. For example, my vintage Chanel black sweatshirt is my fave!
Photo courtesy of Lindsey Tjian
Your dog Fynn is very well-trained and comes with you everywhere you travel! What's Flynn's story?
Fynn came to me 6 years ago. My previous boyfriend had a red heeler named Woody, that's how I became obsessed with the breed. During a break up I was feeling lonely, so I found Fynn on a local non-profit rescue site. His name was Romeo then and he had been rescued from the streets of Merced along with a girlfriend pitfall/cattle dog mix named Juliet. I went to meet both of them in person at the shelter one day while babysitting my niece. Romeo aka Fynn was hiding under a table shaking, while his gf Juliet was rambunctiously jumping all over me. I was overwhelmed with the situation so I left thinking it wasn't right. A few days later I was laying in bed just waking up and decided to look online at the shelter again and on the homepage, it alerted me that Romeo was going to be at the mobile site on a certain date and time. I looked at my watch and that was now! I popped out of bed in my pajamas and went to the mobile spot (which was in my hood), there he was! Still kinda hiding under a table. hahaha. I decided I would chill and try to get to know him and get a read on his character. I hung out with him for three hours and finally just made an executive decision. Took him to buy a bed and some food, went home, showed him his new house and fed him, and within 24hours we were cuddling in bed together. That's the day I got Fynn, (changed his name cuz Romeo just wasn't working)!
Fynn is well-trained because the breed is just so damn smart, but also I put a lot of effort into being consistent with him that first year. If your dog doesn't get discipline from their owner they don't respect you. That's how I feel about it, plus this was my first dog of my own I wanted to be in total control, unlike some of my family dogs growing up. We did some basic training classes and then I just trained him on my own. But walking with no leash and being house trained were just instilled in him.
If you could choose a totally different career path, what would it be?
Fashion, designed and made locally and responsibly. Or to rewind time and follow through with photography in the field instead of wasting time with it in school. Maybe I really would have made it as an adventure photographer before it got so cut throat.
Photo credit Steve Babuljak
You're from the Bay Area. Do you imagine staying here, or living somewhere else eventually?
The Bay has and always will be home. I grew up here and I still love it. Sure I get sick of it at times but it has so much diversity to offer it's hard to even get bored. Also, I travel for work and climbing so much that I truly look forward to home time, to recharge, rest, see people that don't have to do with work or climbing. I do dream of living other places but never 100% permanently, I will always return to the Bay Area for stints of time.
Photo credit Tim Kemple
What is one of the hardest lessons life has taught you? How has it made you a better person?
Hearing the truth about yourself (good or bad) from your closest friends and family. Because to me, honest, authentic, real people hold the most value. So I try to work on ME and try to keep a healthy balance between confidence and humility.
We love following you on instagram, but who are your favorite athletes to follow?
You can follow Lindsey on Instagram @ltjian and see more of why we think Lindsey crushes rocks, life and embodies the values we love and celebrate at Sufferfest Beer Company.