Why Ashima Shiraishi Thinks Knowledge Is Power

Ashima Shiraishi is a 18-year-old rock climbing phenom from New York City. When she was just 15, she solidified her place in rock climbing history after becoming the second person to ever send the world's hardest route in Japan's Mout Hiei. Now, she's gearing up for the Tokyo Olympics, where she'll be one of the first rock climbers to ever compete in the Games. Here's how she feels powerful...

I feel most powerful when...

I'm calm and collected.

Power means to me...

That you have control of yourself and your surroundings, and you're just aware of what's going on around you. It’s also knowing more. Knowledge is power.

What do you do when you feel powerless...

When I feel powerless, I remember to take deep breaths — so, inhale and exhale — and sometimes I just close my eyes for 10 seconds and let my senses just rest. That usually allows me to take control, and have better self awareness. I can move on after that.

What's your power anthem...

"All of the Lights" by Kanye West.

Who's your power icon?

John Lennon. I really look up to what he stood for, and I think it's cool how he — and the Beatles in general — used their ability to create art and music to spread super powerful and revolutionary messages that changed the world. That's what I someday aspire to do.

What do you wear when you want to feel powerful?

Good sneakers that make the whole outfit.
Responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.
For more female-athlete content, check out On Her Turf.

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