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For the Love of Climbing
This is not a climbing podcast. Well, sorta. This is a podcast about choosing vulnerability and talking about our pain—and how we are all really just shining examples of this messy human existence.
Oct 1, 2020
21: Come As You Are
Body positivity isn’t about “fat” versus “skinny”, despite barrages of criticism from armchair philosophers who believe that this movement has further fueled an “obesity epidemic”. The body positivity movement IS about feeling comfortable in the skin you’re in now, at this very moment. Women are tenaciously shattering old and tired stereotypes by opening up about their relationships with food, showing off stretch marks, and embracing cellulite. And it’s not just a women’s issue, but where do men stand in this movement? Lack of conversation about male body-inclusivity stems from a stigma where men learn from childhood that emotion and vulnerability equate to weakness. But the more we invite men to the table to have conversations about self-love and male body concept, the more the foundation of toxic masculinity will crumble and allow men to acknowledge their self-worth. This movement is for every body—and you can come as you are.
Sep 1, 2020
Do you know the difference between shame and guilt? Because this episode is about that—and the link between addiction and shame. Addiction is a need-hate relationship. It can be a terrible secret, it can frame the very shape of your life. It’s the white noise behind many lives, and everyone’s experience with it is unique. For those who suffer from addiction, there’s a steep price to pay. Sarah learned what that price was. And yes, I’m going to quote Brené Brown again: “Shame can’t be felt by those without a capacity for empathy. Those who feel shame have the power to control it.” Empathy is the antidote to shame.
Aug 1, 2020
19: Light at the End of the Tunnel
Racism in science is real. Racism in academia is real. Racism in rock climbing is, yes, really real. Throughout America’s history, hallmarks of our democracy have been largely reserved for cis white people through intentional exclusion of BIPOC people. Connie and Kai Lightner call attention to the role of race and how racism in the outdoor industry, public and private institutions still disproportionately segregates and oppresses Black people in 2020. In the midst of a revolution and pandemic, things have felt pretty bleak to a lot of people. Go get some vitamin D and your headphones, and listen to episode 19 with the Lightners who remind us of the importance of elevating diversity in our outdoors and the possibility of radical hope. The quote goes something like: “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the way out is through.”
Jul 1, 2020
18: Life Through a Sieve
Going through a traumatic experience is kind of like putting your life through a sieve. Certain things and people will inevitably fall away, but what’s leftover is what’s important and what stays. In 2009, Kareemah was diagnosed with cancer and underwent an amputation on her left leg below the knee. Three years later, she founded Adaptive Climbing Group. This episode is about strength in visibility and what happens when the narrative shifts from; “you don’t belong here” to “you belong here, you exist, and you matter”.
Jun 1, 2020
17: What We Know
If you’ve been paying attention to the news, there has been a lot of heavy discussion around the exorbitant amount of atrocities committed against people of color. This is what we know: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd are victims of three separate crimes against black people and that they’re not the only ones. These cases have raised a lot of questions about racial profiling. Millions of people are affected by racial bias every day—but especially people from the black community. And it’s causing black people to ask allies to do better. Where do we begin to unpack this? It’s really complicated and heavy and so deep-seated within our society, and even ourselves. Brandon Belcher and I sat down last November and this conversation that you’re about to lean into needs and deserves to be heard. Not just by the climbing community, but by the world at large. We still have a lot of work to do, and that work begins by listening to one another—especially to those who have the least power in society. Healing begins by listening to those voices and their stories. Also, Mikey Schaefer makes a quick cameo—how random is that! This episode is in dedication to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and every single black life that deserves to be celebrated, today and all days. #blacklivesmatter
May 1, 2020
16: A Hunger For Joy
You know when you end your season early and don’t tell anybody at all? Yeah, hi. Sorry, guys! Life got a little crazy there for a second! But not because of COVID. Well, sorta because of COVID. Ok, mostly because of COVID. On May 12, 1986, students and teachers from the Oregon Episcopal School Basecamp Program set off to climb Mt. Hood. Three days later, nine of the climbers would die in what’s known as the second deadliest alpine accident in North American history. At age sixteen, Lorca Smetana survived the 1986 Mount Hood Tragedy and has transformed a series of painful experiences into a life of resilience and leadership. Is this the Brené Brown episode of climbing podcasts? Maybe. Welcome back to season three.
Feb 1, 2020
Mini-Episode 8: How The F*ck Are You? (No, really.)
We’ll be back on April 1st with two new full episodes. Until then, enjoy two mini-episodes today and on March 1st while I try to do things like not burn a film festival into the ground (just kidding...I think!) and if you’re in Denver, Colorado March 5th through 8th, come out to the No Man's Land Film Festival Annual Flagship event for four days of films, workshops and guest speakers. This mini-episode is comprised of episode ten with Corey Mowery, which if you haven’t listened to yet, we highly recommend. Also, who is this “we” I keep referring to?
Jan 1, 2020
15: A Winter in Pakistan
When you go on a climbing trip, everybody thinks it’s a vacation. And you can’t get PTSD from a vacation, right? Except that a winter in the Himalaya nearly destroyed Ian. He survived unroped crevasse falls, an avalanche, bivouacs in negative forty-degree weather, high altitude cerebral edema, Hepatitis A, an earthquake, oh—and also, nearly being eaten alive by fleas. When he returned to the states, he couldn’t cope with society and suffered from severe depression and PTSD.
Dec 1, 2019
14: Donuts for Savvy (Part 2)
To know Savannah was to love her. Nina and Court loved Savannah to the ends of the earth, and her unexpected death forever changed the climbing community. In their love and grief, Savannah’s parents turned everything that she was into purpose. Savannah left the world with a legacy of love, joy, and gratitude. Introduction by the lovely Chelsea Rude.
Nov 1, 2019
13: Donuts for Savvy (Part 1)
Grief is the one human experience that we all have in common, but there are no words for losing a child. Savannah Buik was 22 years old when she died in a climbing accident at Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin. Nina and Court saw both sides of the pendulum: how the stronger and deeper we love, the harder it is to overcome the pain on the other side. This is part one of a two-part story. Savannah was a passionate advocate for eating disorder recovery and pushed for more open dialogue about mental health topics and worked to help end the stigma that surrounds EDs by speaking out against them. Savannah credited climbing for helping her overcome her eating disorder, and she dedicated herself to healing others. #donutsforsavvy
Oct 1, 2019
12: Life, Interrupted
Life is full of interruptions we’re rarely ready for, so the more doctors tried to convince Hans how serious his condition was, the more he denied it. Because, one minute you’re doing things like remodeling your apartment and riding your bike a hundred miles, and the next—the possibility of redoing your apartment and riding a bicycle is suddenly gone. We most commonly associate grief with death, but what about the softer versions of grief? Like, grieving the loss of a relationship or an old life, or maybe a kidney?
Sep 1, 2019
11: A Woman Knows Her Place
Women are a lot of things. We’re complex, we’re coffee-fueled, we smell good—sometimes we smell bad. Sometimes we’re hangry. But one thing is certain—we’re hustlers, we are strong, and we are gritty. Welcome back to the second season of For the Love of Climbing.
Aug 18, 2019
Mini-Episode 7: The Moral of the Story
It's Still (Mostly) Not a Climbing Podcast. We took the summer off to stand fully in our truth, which means sometimes we have to sit in those uncomfortable feelings, too. But we’re back this September with ten new episodes that unpack a lot of this. We spent the last eight months on the road talking to climbers (like you) about what resilience looks like when shit hits the fan—and everything that happens after.
May 15, 2019
10: I'll Spare You the Platitudes
Corey's dad introduced him to climbing and the outdoors. In 2010, Corey’s dad died by suicide. We don’t actually have a complete count of suicide attempt data because the stigma surrounding it leads to a lot of underreporting. But having an open dialogue and sharing stories like Corey’s is helping to break down the barrier of this stigma, and lead to more conversations and understanding of depression and mental illness. This is Corey's story, and this episode is in loving memory of Don Mowery Jr.
Apr 15, 2019
9: Shit in the Woods
This episode is about eating disorders, body positivity, and just owning your shit, specifically through the lens of climbing and one woman’s experience.
Mar 15, 2019
8: The Heart of the Matter
Matt is the editor-in-chief of Climbing Magazine, a published author, a husband, a father, and a pretty well-seasoned climber. And even though most of his life has not been easy, Matt has found his answers—beyond benzodiazepine addiction, beyond mental distress, beyond chasing dragons of treating it—to get down to the heart of the matter.
Feb 15, 2019
7: Why Not Now
Fact: fear stops so much of what we do. But after one life-altering day in the Gunks, Caitlin stopped putting things on hold and made some big changes because she saw what happens when you lose the chance—when you always think, “I’ll do it later.” and then later doesn’t exist.
Jan 15, 2019
Angela has loved to the end of the earth, which is exactly how far she would travel in order to say goodbye to Scott. After two flights that covered every aspect of the Ogre II, search and rescue could find no trace of Scott and Kyle. Adventurous souls leave broken hearts behind, but what about the aftermath? This episode is in loving memory of Scott Adamson and Kyle Dempster, who left the world with the question: What will you do with the days that you have? #NWS
Dec 15, 2018
5: Hold Fast
There’s a remarkable beauty of relative perspective. I mean, it’s kind of amazing just to think that we all have this unique opportunity to alter reality. And some things in life are just good and some are bad—really bad. Or are they? The concept that it all comes down to our perception is sort of an interesting one—a gift—to create good of bad. Alex had the individual realization that let him see life this way. But it still doesn’t keep things from happening, and it wasn’t going to stop the shit storm that was about to happen—that Alex was about to walk into. Two weeks before leaving for Patagonia for a climbing trip, Alex’s life was turned upside down. Introduction from the one and only Conrad Anker (he’s an alpinist: pronounced “al-pee-nist”).
Nov 15, 2018
4: All This Death
This episode is about best friends and healing, and it’s a reminder that grief happens, but so does joy.
Oct 15, 2018
3: She, Her, Hers
When we're born, a doctor proclaims that we are male or female, based on what our bodies look like. But some people's gender identity is just different from what was initially expected at birth.
Sep 15, 2018
2: A Unique Relationship
Bryce’s brother Tyler died in a climbing accident but because of his death, Bryce became more intrigued with the sport that took his brother’s life. He says he has a unique relationship with climbing, and he doesn’t believe that the grieving process is this big scary monster we all think it is.
Aug 15, 2018
You haven't heard this story yet. But, maybe you have. Maybe it's a sister, a girlfriend, a best friend. Maybe it's you. Survivor stories like these are creating a global framework for how to end sexual violence–by talking about it. If there is any hope for having meaningful, nuanced discussions about this, transparency is our greatest ally. This is one survivor's story, out of millions. This is episode one of For the Love of Climbing.
Jul 27, 2018
Mini-Episode 6: I Didn't Know at the Time
Did you ever do something you loved, but for all of the wrong reasons? Ego is a hard thing to overcome. You want your ego to be as big as possible when you’re about to make that crux move–but it’s just as important to learn when to set it aside when you come back down.
Jul 19, 2018
Mini-Episode 5: Packing Up to Leave
Every job has its pros and cons. Some can be pretty chaotic and most, if not all, don’t always pay employees what they’re worth. But what if one of the downsides of your job was death? Pretty sure they don’t make bonuses that cover that.
Jul 12, 2018
Mini-Episode 4: Dying Slowly
When you’re alive and vibrant and healthy enough to choose to go climbing, but your dying mother doesn’t have that choice. What do you call that kind of juxtaposition?
Jun 30, 2018
Mini-Episode 3: I Got One of Those Brains
Scarecrow always wanted a brain, but sometimes those things don’t really work as well without the other two.
Jun 20, 2018
Mini-Episode 2: All You Can Do
What do you look for in a climbing partner? Stoke, strength, or most importantly, suffering with you and feeding you cookies on top of pitch twelve? Hopefully the latter.
Jun 16, 2018
Mini-Episode 1: Bleed Into My Life
Have you ever talked to a stranger about some of your deepest fears? Vulnerability is a fragile term. Sometimes people mistake it for weakness but it takes more strength to show people a part of who you are, rather than hide it. Being vulnerable is being strong.
Jun 8, 2018
0: This is Not a Climbing Podcast
This is not a climbing podcast. It's a podcast about choosing vulnerability and talking about real moments (even the painful ones) and how we are all really just shining examples of this messy human existence. Lots of things can happen in a lifetime, and this podcast is about those ugly, awful things that we all have to go through in life.