John Proctor is something like a super hero: accountant by day, climbing coach by night. By day, John Proctor works with SCARPA in Boulder, Colo. as the accounting assistant. But a veteran climber of 10 years, with athletes like Alex Puccio on his coaching resumé, John sat down with us to talk about his past, his coaching experience and what working for SCARPA is really like. Here are the chapters of his life.
He got into climbing during his freshman year of college. John took off to Arkansas, in what he describes as one of the best climbing trips he’s ever had. Although they were all novices, he still laughs when he remembers that “learning what the difference between a back-clip and a Z-clip was by having somebody read out of a how-to-climb book on the first pitch.” Though he qualified that he encourages other people to learn in a much safer environment, the experiences of this trip transformed him into an avid climber.
John started coaching with Team Texas, one of the premier youth development climbing programs in the country based in Dallas, Texas. Describing his typical new client acquisition system, John stated, “Kids just kinda came in the door. You’d snag ‘em while they’re at a birthday party or something, and start from there.” Don’t let the modest beginnings fool you though, Team Texas is a hard-working group and John’s coached several successful students, including Delaney Miller and new SCARPA athlete Alex Puccio.
While John remembers coaching as a lot of fun, he ended up investing so much of his efforts into the kids that he had little time to pursue his own endeavors. So two years ago, he and his wife moved to Colorado to have easier access to climbing locations. He found a job at SCARPA, which he says is “the perfect spot” in Boulder, as the company caters to climbing and skiing enthusiasts. “The office is filled with a group of people that are like minded,” he said, “making for employment that is mentally and spiritually satisfying.” While John doesn’t coach as much anymore, he trades his coworkers climbing clinics for ski lessons because “everyone is a much better skier than I am.”
“You know, all of my expectations of having a desk job, with a computer, have been completely shattered,” John stated about SCARPA. “I went into this expecting that it would probably be a ‘heads down, get your work done’ kind of deal, but I’ve grown to know these people as a family.” Plus, since he’s been with SCARPA, he’s met two really good climbing partners. “It’s a lot of fun to relate to somebody about your passion for a specific sport and to be able to use the gear that we sell. I think it helps a lot that everyone is an enthusiast here and it allows us to keep providing the great service.”
John loves that his job duties get him access to the outdoor sports industry. Having retail experience paired with an economics background gives him a unique skillset that is valuable to an outdoor brand like SCARPA. Plus, John says he’s “received nothing but support” to continue climbing, and he’s grateful to work for a company that values his pursuits outside the office.
Only John’s humble demeanor supersedes his strong work ethic and passion for climbing. You might spot him out and about on the Front Range, climbing a pitch with his wife, giving coaching advice to colleagues, or just enjoying the lifestyle and weather that brought him to Colorado. He knows that no matter what the next chapter of his life is, he’ll be happy.