Jeff Dinkin

Do you go by a nickname?  Stair Climb Lunatic

Birthdate: 2 October 1965

What is your occupation?  Trading

What/when was your first climb?  September 2007 - US BANK, LA

How many climbs have you completed?  50 plus.

Why/how did you start? I found out about this sport I had never heard of from a cycling buddy.  He had just so happened to post a video on YouTube of his 2006 US Bank climb and I inquired.   Once I got into the sport, I realized there were tons of these climbs around the country and it was kind of a big thing.  Now I'm fully entrenched in this "craze" of climbing the stairwells of tall buildings.

Do you have a favorite climb? Why? The Las Vegas Stratosphere - because it's such a unique structure with very long flights and a very open feel to it.

Least favorite climb? Why? The Seattle Big Climb - too many people and I climbed horribly in that building all 3 attempts.

Why do you climb?  Firstly, I climb to push myself to be faster and better than I was the year before.  I'm curious to see how much longer I can do that.  Secondly, I climb because I love the people I meet in this sport.  It's a profoundly kind group of like-minded people - who all seem to enjoy, and even attribute some of their own personal success to - their ability to conquer tall buildings.  It's very empowering, as those who do it understand.  Thirdly, I climb for the competitive aspect.

Are there other sports you’re passionate about?  I really love Trail Racing.  I used to race bicycles, but have replaced that with racing stairs, which is safer, and has much nicer competitors.

Did you have injuries or issues you needed to overcome to climb?  For most of 2010, and part of 2011, I had a rather serious back injury that impeded my ability to be very active in any capacity.  I spent a lot of time in bed.  I bounced back from that difficult time in mid to late 2011 - and started doing better than ever before in my races in 2012, with even further improvement in 2013 and 2014. I believe I'm still progressing and improving.

How do you train?  My training is a mix of cycling, trail running, and stair practice.  Being in the Los Angeles area, outdoor training is possible year round.   There are so many fantastic areas to do all 3 of the sports I enjoy.  I'm constantly learning of new places, which also contributes to my enjoyment of training.  I average about 8 to 10 hours of training time per week.  A commitment, but also not an outrageous amount of time.  It's doable when you want it.

Do you have a special relationship with any of your step-siblings?  I have a special relationship with most of my climbing friends.  Yes, we actually refer to them as our "Step-family" (A pun on steps, or stairs).  We are very close and enjoy each other very much.  We often train together, have meals together and encourage each other.  It's an amazingly tight community of great people that I feel fortunate to be a part of.

Who inspires you?  I'm inspired by a lot of people, not necessarily anyone famous, or even someone who has done something seemingly impossible.  I'm more inspired by people who step outside of their comfort zone and find a way to overcome their own personal challenges, whatever they may be.  There are literally too many to name.

I will also say that I'm inspired by each and every person who accepts the challenge and climbs a building  getting themself to the top. It's a very empowering feeling, and you can see the sense of accomplishment when they do it.  Doing this sport for a long time, it never gets easier, but it's always rewarding, and seeing others share in that feeling - is inspiring in itself….

Do you have a good luck charm or any superstitions or pre-race rituals?   No superstitions, but I do jump up & down while awaiting my race start, both to warm up, and help calm nerves.

What's on your iPod during workouts/competitions?  I never use music to train or race. I don't knock people who do, but it doesn't work for me.

Do you have a website or blog for those interested in learning more about you?  No, but I'm on Facebook.

If we had numbers on our jerseys, what would your number be?  I love the #4

What would you like to tell others about yourself and your experience with stair climbing that might inspire them in their lives?  Strive to be your best self and always try to be having fun and finding joy.  Be passionate about what you love and enjoy, and put your heart into it.  Even when things aren't fun or easy, cultivating a "mindset of fun and joy" makes the difficult times go by easier, and quicker.