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Logan Heights climber wants to take your mental health to new heights

Jordan Romig opened Asylum Outdoor Bouldering to honor his grandfather who suffered from depression.

SAN DIEGO — May 31 wraps up Mental Health Awareness month. In this Zevely Zone, I went bouldering in Logan Heights with a business owner who wants to take your mental health to new heights. 

Jordan Romig has learned firsthand, life is better when he focuses on the climb. "A lot of years of training," said Jordan who is the owner of Asylum Outdoor Bouldering.

To watch the 27-year-old competitive climber defy gravity, you'd never dream that as a child he failed to find the right sport. "I tried everything, I did baseball, soccer, football, basketball," said Jordan. Looking back on his life, Jordan now knows he wasn't struggling with sports as much his own mental health. "A lot of it was social anxiety, I didn't feel confident or comfortable with who I was," said Jordan.

Credit: Asylum Outdoor Bouldering

At the age of 23, Jordan found both himself and love with his boyfriend Juan. After waiting for years to tell his family he was gay, his loved ones were totally supportive. "Yeah literally, no reaction, and I was like okay. I could have told you a long time ago," said Jordan with a smile. 

The new business owner has traveled the world pursuing his passion for climbing and just weeks ago, opened Asylum Outdoor Bouldering. Jordan has traveled to 34 countries and climbed in most of them. "All of them that have had climbing as an option. If it was an option I did it for sure," said Jordan who finds peace while climbing.

Credit: Asylum Outdoor Bouldering

Jordan's grandfather, Art Roderick, battled depression. He died a year ago. Jordan used his inheritance to open the climbing gym in his honor. "So, you are going to go up this ramp and kind of come around the corner," said Jordan while instructing Danicka Brown-Frazier, a first-time climber. I asked Danicka what being on the wall did for her mental space. "I think that like I said it is super calming, you have to plan. I have been meditating recently and it almost puts you in a meditative state where you have to focus know what you are going to do. Jump off start again," said Danicka.

Credit: Asylum Outdoor Bouldering

Jordan's grandfather struggled to find happiness, so Jordan built a business to help others find just that. "I think he would be really excited," said Jordan. "I want to do right by him and create a really good space and bring people together." Jordan feels climbing is great for mental and physical health. "I think just knowing that you are not alone, everyone deals with it," said Jordan.

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Credit: Asylum Outdoor Bouldering

Whatever mountain you're climbing in life, Jordan hopes you come to his gym to seek Asylum.  "I am one with the wall, ha, ha, ha," laughed Danicka. 

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Asylum Outdoor Bouldering is open six days a week to climbers of all ages, and they are dog friendly.  For more information visit climbasylum.com.

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