BUFFALO, NY. (WKBW) — Clarence's Colden Floss isn’t your typical 12 year old.
“It’s pretty cool to be a nationally or world ranked rock-climber.”
While most kids his age are on a football or soccer field this time of the year. Colden is scaling rock walls as one of the top-ranked youth climbers on the entire East Coast. And from a very young age. Colden knew that life lived 30 plus feet above the ground is where he felt the most comfortable.
"When I was seven or eight that’s when I started to train a little bit. Then at the age of nine I started doing competitions," Floss told 7 Sports. "And it’s been all uphill from there.”
Floss has soared in the ranks as the preseason number one ranked climber in both rope climbing and bouldering for his division. This past summer he earned a trip to Nationals. Whereas one of the youngest competitors in the field, he placed 17th as a first-year competitor.
Upon returning to Buffalo and bound to get back to the gym and start training, Colden was sidelined briefly with a gallbladder surgery. But after a successful recovery he’s back and more determined than ever to finish what he started.
“This year I was just there to have fun and enjoy the experience. But next year I’m coming back to go for the kill.”
Before Colden Ascends to the top of a rock wall. His mental preparation, which involves a sequence of hand motions called a Beta Dance that helps him visualize his different grips and maneuvers he’ll use on his climb. It's that commitment to his craft that shows how serious he is about becoming the best in the world at this sport.
“Really when I’m fighting at the top of a climb, what I’m thinking about the most is all the other kids like me who are training the same way as me. And how I want to be at the top of that list," Floss said.