Climbing instructor, Leo: Harbour diving and swimming is the best thing ever
For most of us, a knee injury caused by cycling would mean serious sofa time. Not so for Leo Marcello Polack. Instead he decided to move upwards and onwards by trying climbing.
What initially started as bouldering with friends ended up being a passion for rope climbing - something that has lead to him following a career as an instructor and outdoor training coach.
As the face (and body) behind our POND4 Hybrid Shorts, we thought we should ask him what’s the big deal about getting to the top of a cliff face the hard way…
What is it about climbing that you have got so addicted to?
I get into a really deep state of concentration where I have to be totally focussed in my whole body with my mind. I have to push myself to the limit whilst staying calm as there is a lot of fear. Even though you are held to the wall with ropes and are not going to hurt yourself, you can take some long falls so it feels insecure. This struggle between staying calm and focussed and fighting fear is a very rare state of mind and I love it.
What do you prefer? Inside climbing on an artificial wall or being in the great outdoors?
I always loved rope climbing on a wall but when I first went to Bornholm and tried real rock climbing, I was amazed. I love mountains and cliffs and so to interact with those steep cliffs directly and to get to the top and see the views is a really amazing sensation. Of course, Denmark is not the best place to be when it comes to mountains so whenever I can, I take a few days off and go to Sweden or France or Spain or Italy and get a little adventure out of that. I guess if you had all that in your back yard, you maybe wouldn’t appreciate it so much.
When you are not reaching every greater heights, do you enjoy swimming?
Hahaha! Maybe not surprisingly, I really love cliff diving! I really prefer going to a quarry where there is deep water and you can jump from different heights. I just went to a really beautiful place close to Copenhagen in Sweden called Grötvik that was the perfect combination of climbing and then diving from a 14 m cliff.
I guess I am a bit of an adrenaline enthusiast! I prefer fresh water so usually go to lakes and ponds but we are so lucky in Copenhagen that we can swim in the sea in the centre of the city. Harbour diving here in summer is just the best thing ever!
We know you love our POND4 Hybrid Shorts but what do you look for in technical clothes generally?
There has to be freedom of movement: the feeling that the clothes work with your body and allow you to move but also offer some protection against the elements. And of course they have to look good too! The new POND4 shorts are great because they are small and you can carry them everywhere in your bag. I can go running and then if I suddenly fancy jumping in the water, I’m ready!
This blot post was written by contributing writer and fashion editor Graham Addinall.