We had the good fortune of connecting with Albert Ok and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Albert, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk has always been something that I think about often. The more I expose myself to risk the more I gain experience and comfort with taking risks and the fear of risk is lessened. I view risk as something that can be trained, the more you expose yourself to the stimulus the easier it becomes to accept risk and follow through with it. From an outside perspective it might seem that I take a lot of risk by dropping everything and chasing after goals and dreams, but from exposing myself to so much risk as often as possible; I don’t feel like I take much risk anymore and it’s a comfortable almost calculated decision. Now I’m in a position where I’ve dropped everything in my life to pursue being on the USA National team for speed climbing, and initially many people thought it as a risk. Those close to me have now understood that I am confident when I take risks and support me wholly.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been making videos for years, but only within the last two years have I really pushed my Youtube content from a journalism perspective. I’ve been able to reach millions of viewers and tell stories I’m passionate in the sport of rock climbing. It’s difficult trying to juggle a full time 9-5, content creation, and my own athletic career. The ability to share stories and knowledge through my platform is by far the most rewarding element of content creation and makes the hard days easier to get through. I’ve never had the luxury to have good equipment or formal education in what I do, but I learned that if you’re passionate enough about anything and try your best to listen and tell stories that matter to you – people will support you. I started my content creation with a broken $80 laptop, a microphone that I got for free, and my phone – since then I have upgraded greatly, but I made it work with what I had at the time. I never cared too much about numbers, but I knew I could be proud of myself when my content was cited by NPR and other national publications. I was honored to be recognized in such a way, and proud that I was able to be respected on such a level knowing what I’ve came from to get there. For these past two years I’ve been telling the stories of other professional rock climbing athletes, and now I’m ready to take the leap and push my own athletic career to hopefully write my own chapter.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Almost every time a friend has visited me in Houston I have taken to key places to let them get a feel and understand that Houston is home to me for a reason. It’s the simple, yet effective places that really shape the town. First and foremost I’d take my friend to Momentum Silver street and have an incredible climbing session with them. Afterwards I like to show them H-E-B on Washington and elude that there’s an even better version yet to come. Classically to have a conversation Agora is a must go to feel the heartbeat of Houston. Throughout the week important landmarks such as Menil, Eleanor Tinsley Park, Harry Hines Water Wall, Miller Outdoor Theater, Tranquility Park, and MFAH are must visits. The food is really where I get excited. Central Market is by far the best grocery store that I have ever been to in America and maybe even the world, sharing that gem is an experience that is always priority for me. Notably Phoenicia and Bellaire’s Asian markets are the multicultural variants of Central Market that are near and dear to me to share with others. Mercantile, Magnol, Madmoiselle Louise, Voodoo, Project Pollo, and any Banh Mi shop are always my go to’s when it comes to food. I think however the best part of Houston is finding unique ingredients and parts of a meal and bringing it back home to make something unique is the essence of Houston.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Friends have been my family ever since I could remember. My friends have been my family and support system when I needed it the most. They’ve been with me during the best and worst times of my life and have always been there to help me keep going.
The Short Beta, Pablo Aguilar, Madeline Strother, Momentum Texas