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Speed Climbing Champion Trains In Grapevine

By Doug Dunbar, CBS 11 News
A woman demonstrates indoor rock climbing on a wall in Kirkland, Washington on October 28, 2009. (credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

A woman demonstrates indoor rock climbing on a wall in Kirkland, Washington on October 28, 2009. (credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Doug Dunbar
Doug is co-anchor of CBS 11 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. He is a mult...
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GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – A local athlete was recently crowned the world champion in her sport, and it is one that almost anyone can do. Indoor rock climbing provides a much more intense workout than most would expect, and 15-year-old Dana Riddle can do it better than anyone else.

Since she was 8 years old, Riddle has been training, five days a week, at Summit Rock Gym in Grapevine. But like most kids, she first learned to climb when she was very young. “I was always climbing in the pantry trying to get my cookies,” she said. “So, when this thing opened, it was like five minutes from my house. So, we decided to give it a try. And I loved it!”

Of course, Riddle has received a lot of support from her parents. “It’s been a great sport for her,” said Larry Riddle, Dana’s father. “It’s given her a lot of confidence, and we couldn’t be happier with that.”

Riddle’s passion for climbing led her to competitions. And, in the summer of the 2010, those competitions led her to Edinborough, Scotland, where she won the title of World Champion in Speed Climbing.

“They were so excited,” the Colleyville teenager said about her friends. “They made an announcement at my school. People started coming up to me and congratulating me. It was really cool.”

“There’s been only four world champions in the U.S. in climbing history,” said Kyle Clinkscales, the coach who works with Riddle. “She’s the fourth.”

Whether you are climbing the wall for speed or taking it really slow, there is one big benefit that comes with the indoor sport. It affects just about every part of the body. “You definitely get some cardio going,” Riddle said. “You notice that, if you haven’t climbed for a while and you get back on the wall, the next day, you’re super sore – your legs, shoulders, back and forearms.”

Indoor rock climbing will always be a part of Riddle’s life. And it can easily be a part of anyone’s life as well, either for a run at the world championship or just to the top of your gym’s wall. Either way, almost anyone can be a winner.