It was winter last year when Emma first watched a YouTube video of female climber Margo Hayes. It was shortly before Margo became more of a household name in the climbing world for being the first women to climb a 5.15a at La Rambla in Siurana, Spain. My daughter was astounded to find out that Margo got her climbing starts at the very gym where Emma climbs- ABC Kids Climbing in Boulder. On a whim, I sent Margo an email through the contact me page on her website. Not really knowing if I would hear back, I asked her if she would send Emma a signed photo to put up in her room. It was during the height of all the media coverage and excitement about what Margo had accomplished. I didn’t tell Emma because I didn’t want to disappoint her if we heard nothing back.
A few days later, I received a message reply from Margo saying that she would love to send Emma a signed photo. She asked for my daughter’s name and mailing address. I can’t remember off the top of my head how long it took to get the photo in the mail, but I do remember checking the mailbox like Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he keeps checking the mail for his Little Orphan Annie secret decoder pin. We had just returned from a trip up to the mountains when I presented Emma with the envelope with the photo inside.
That signed photo is framed and sits on Emma’s bedside table. We sent Margo a thank you video to make sure she knew how much we appreciated her sending the photo to Emma. I’ve heard Emma say to herself at the climbing gym, “I can do it just like Margo!” I told her that Margo lost a nail doing the big climb. “I want to lose a nail climbing someday too, Mom!” We refer to the photo of Margo whenever Emma needs a confidence boost.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from the PR team about an event at the opening of the new The North Face store off Pearl St. in Boulder. It stated that Margo was slated to speak, along with other sponsored climbers, about their scar stories. I signed Emma and me up to attend despite it starting at Emma’s bedtime. I sent a quick email to my PR contact to see if we could somehow arrange a quick meeting between the two of them. Margo was set to get to the event late because of a prior commitment, but my PR contact let her know that Emma was going to be there.
The event was busy and well attended. Emma was quite overwhelmed. Heck, I was overwhelmed by the number of people. I packed some coloring supplies to keep Emma happy while I tried to keep an eye out for Margo. We parked ourselves centrally in hopes I could catch her. Low and behold Margo came right into my view. I picked Emma up, so she was more in view. Margo’s face turned into a smile as we approached. “I remember you,” she said. “You sent me that video!” Emma’s eyes lit up. She couldn’t believe that Margo remembered her. Margo was so sweet and so humble talking with Emma. She kept the focus on Emma. She was even nice enough to share some gum with Emma and do a photo retake when I discovered Emma wasn’t looking at the camera when I took the first ones.
At this age, at least, Emma isn’t so much of team sports player. She prefers more solo activities like riding her bike, hiking, and climbing. It’s good to know that there are strong female role models out there for her that she can relate to. I want to say an enormous thank you to the team at The North Face and especially to Margo. You made my little girls dream come true!
Emma’s tips for meeting your hero (additional tips in bold from me)
Be patient! YES… you may have to wait in line, wait for the person ahead of you to finish telling their hero their life story, wait and wait… your patience will come with great reward!
Be yourself! I can’t argue with this one!
Make sure your parents have their phone for pictures! Have it handy and make sure you have room in storage!
Have something for them to sign! Pen included and have it ready to go because the meeting may be brief.
Tell them something you like about them/why they are your hero! Everyone enjoys a compliment.
Say thank you! Good manners go a long way!
We are giving away a kid’s tech shirt from The North Face to one of our blog readers. Make sure you are a weekly email subscriber and see the entry form below to enter. Earn additional entries by joining The North Face on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We would love for you to comment below on who is your child’s hero, and join us on Twitter and Facebook too! Entry for this contest ends on 2/15/18 at 11:59 PM MST and open to U.S. residents only. No purchase necessary. We will alert the winner by email. *