Troy kids climbing to new heights


By Ron Brohm

For the Miami Valley Today

TROY — There is a tight-knit family in Troy, the Treadways, who have a unique family passion. David Treadway, who is also an insurance agent, happens to love helping his kids learn how to rock climb.

He and his wife started to raise a family here in Troy, and it soon became very clear “climbing stuff” must actually run in the family. The Treadway children, Sophia, Will and Sam, have been climbing anything they could find since a very young age. Sophia, now age 12, was climbing the backyard trees with her dad and brothers Will and Sam using standard climbing equipment and knots that dad learned to tie.

Will fell in love with climbing and not only scaled the backyard tree year-round, but also convinced his dad to climb and rappel off a mountain in Virginia for the very first time in January 2018 when it was zero degrees and he was just six years old. A heart-warming story about the accomplishment was published in the Roanoke Times Newspaper at the time.

Sam, the family’s youngest child, who is now six years old, is following suit, having inherited Will’s first harness. He now follows Will up the tree only to transition across a sturdy branch so that they can rappel back down. Just your everyday backyard climbing up a tree type of fun, right?

All this climbing has been very fun for the kids, but also for David and his wife over the years. Little did they know or expect that this family hobby would later yield many other benefits. When Sophia and Will became old enough to start playing on local sports teams, things just really started rocking, so to speak.

Sophia performs in front of audiences of “tens of thousands” on the popular Troy Pop Rocks jump rope team. They are anticipating a great 2021/2022 season with a full schedule of basketball games including Duke University, Purdue University, University of Dayton, and Toledo among many local high schools (see for a full schedule coming soon). The arm and hand strength developed through climbing certainly had to be very helpful to Sophia, now in her fifth season on the Pop Rocks team. “How else could you practice jumping rope for nine hours a week,” says David.

Will has been playing baseball since first grade and pitching since he was seven. He was throwing over 60 mph at age nine and now plays for the Gem City Throwbacks as one of their starting pitchers. Will’s fast fastball has landed him on the mound around Ohio and in Georgia and Indianapolis, helping him to earn all Ohio State honors as well as an All Star honors at Grand Park in Indianapolis. Many coaches have commented on Will’s strength, which again, David believes has to do with Will’s love of climbing and the natural strength it builds, both physically and mentally.

Will has climbed door jams, the backyard tree, mountains in Virginia, Mad River Gorge in Springfield, Urban Krag in downtown Dayton, and now he has his eyes set on Red River Gorge in Kentucky. The kids are also active with other outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, camping, swimming, and diving.

David believes the high level athleticism that is obvious in these kids is likely to have come about on the boulders, cliffs, and gyms here in southwest Ohio. This part of Ohio is incredibly flat; however, with a little creativity or a short drive, there are great climbing options to learn many of the skills that can be used on much larger cliffs.

As Sophia and Will have already discovered, the skills and lessons they have learned from climbing vertically up trees, boulders and cliffs, may just very well be as useful on “level” ground such as a pitchers mound, Pop Rocks Court, or any other sports venue or stage. And soon, younger Sam will surely experience the same benefits with local sports teams for which he chooses to participate in the future.

“Climbing rocks” has enabled this family to soar to greater heights.

No posts to display