Valley teen who's an international rock-climbing champion tells her story

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (FOX 10) - Tesla Mitchell has been cresting the top since she was 6.

"Who can figure out this tricky sequence that the setters have put up for you and that's all mental," she said.

The 15-year-old marches to the beat of her own drum. She's a rock-climbing champion who puts in countless hours of training for what she calls "The Chess of Sports."

"I try and block out a lot of things when i'm climbing, just focus on the moves, especially in competitions," she said. "You can hear the crowds cheering, but once you step onto the wall, it's just everything goes away. You hear nothing and you're just climbing."

Tesla has competed every year for the past seven years, earning her spot as eighth in the nation. When she's not training for the next national-level competition, she's busy coaching.

"I think it's important to set a good role model for younger kids, especially when it comes to the sport that you're doing," she said. "Just sharing love of the sport and just sharing the wonder that it brought to me to younger kids."

Rock climbing will debut in the 2020 Olympics and she says although winning a world title is a goal of hers, she also just enjoys doing something she loves, surrounded by the people she loves most.

"I'm just doing what I love everyday and competitions are just seeing all my friends and having a good time... less of winning and it's more of just doing what I love," she said.