When and how did you get into climbing and what kept you interested / fascinated in the sport?
What I really love about climbing are all the possibilities that sport can offer you. I could not imagine doing only one discipline of climbing. I love bouldering, I love lead climbing , I love competition (former national coach and member of the Belgian climbing team), and most of all, I love trad and BigWall climbing. This adventure side of climbing really fascinates me!
Who was your childhood hero and do you consider yourself a role model now? Does it influence you at all that other people look up to you?
All my life I’ve been inspired by many climbing heroes: Lynn Hill, Tommy Caldwell, Nico Favresse, Sean Villanueva, my father,...
I don’t really see myself as a role model, but I know that people look up to me, so I really act and share things according to my values as a human and climber.
What were the most important milestones in your life so far, both in climbing and in everyday life? Did you immediately recognize them as such or only later on?
One of them is probably when I freeclimbed the Nose in 2019. At the moment I stood up on the top of El Capitan after 8 days of trying hard, a dream came true and I knew I had just accomplished something quite big. I think It probably changed my life.
What were your greatest failures / setbacks / injuries? How did you cope with them and how did you come back from them?
In 2017, I badly broke my ankle falling from a boulder in Albaracin Spain. It took me more than two years to recover properly, and I still have regular pain when I am climbing, walking or running too much.
I actually used this misadventure as a weapon: during convalescence I trained really hard my upper body and my finger strength. I would go to the gym with my crutches and hand on the board for hours. My biggest weakness has always been power and strengthbut this injury helped me to overcome this weakness.
What is your favorite climbing related story / experience?
My adventure crossing the Atlantic sailing from Europe to America in order to attempt the famous Dawnwall is probably my biggest experience so far. I learnt so much about myself… Social relationships, dealing with others, learning patience, dealing with failure, … I came back from this trip way stronger, and most of all, wiser ;-)