This woman is climbing an 11,000-ft mountain to challenge stereotypes about athletes with disabilities.
“I get frustrated by how low the bar is set for people with physical disabilities.” Anna Soens explained. “People just don’t expect as much from me now as they did 2-3 years ago. And I find that really frustrating because I know I’m capable of a lot more.”
Soens was an avid rock climber and outdoorswoman. She and her father were planning to climb Mt. Hood together in 2016, but a 2015 fall left her partially paralyzed below the waist and fully paralyzed below her knees.
Despite her setback, she was determined to reach that summit and will attempt to climb Mt. Hood after all. With the help of a small team of friends and trainers, she’s launched the Climb On Project to document her training/preparation for this journey and raise awareness for adaptive sports.
“I’m not sure that I’m necessarily trying to inspire anybody, but it would be nice to just push that boundary and just make it seem…to just normalize it. I would love to see the day where people are doing things like this — not necessarily the same thing — because everybody’s Mt. Hood, Mt. Everest is different — where people with physical disabilities be in a culture where they’re encouraged and expected to reach as high as they can.” Soens explained.