Episode 0 Transcription

I’m just so, so super excited to be doing what I’m calling the zero episode of the Climbing Lifer podcast. This isn’t officially an episode, there’s no interview, but I thought I would share with those of you who have liked the Climbing Lifer Facebook page and those of you who care to understand a little bit more about this and want to become part of the Climbing Lifer community, where all this came from. You may not know who I am or why I’m doing this so I thought I would start off this Episode 0 with some background as shat this is this all about?

I’m Don McGrath and I’ve created the Climbing Lifer podcast and the Climbing Lifer Facebook page, soon to be the Climbing Lifer website where I’ll feature all kinds of information. What I’ll be doing, a couple of times a month, I’m going to be doing interviews with people who have managed to remain climbing and find it’s just a core of what they are, a core part of their life. And they’ve done that for a long time, they are climbing lifers and the goal is for them to share with those of us who want to remain climbing for a really long time how they do it. What are some of the tips? What are the tricks?

You might ask, where did this come from? What was the genesis of this idea about Climbing Lifer? Well, you know, I think it all began back around 2009, 2010 when I embarked on writing my first book. How I decided to write a book, given my corporate engineering background, that’s a whole other podcast in and of itself and maybe sometime I’ll share that. But let’s just summarize to say that the first book that I wrote, the title was 50 Athletes Over 50 and I interviewed 50 athletes over the age of 50, everything from runners to cyclists to yes, climbers and surfers and mountain unicyclists and all kinds of athletes. I was in my mid-40s when I wrote this book and did the research for this book and I interviewed them to understand how I could remain active and athletic for as long as possible. That’s been a passion of mine, I’d been an athlete my entire life.

In this project, I not only created this book, which has done quite well, but this also helped me. It’s also personally helped me to stay in the game. Now I’m 56, I’m 10 years and you know, here it is 10 years later and I’m still climbing. I’m still in the game, still loving climbing and I just can’t imagine my life without it. These 50 athletes that I interviewed really have helped me personally to stay in the game for as long as long as possible. So this, when I think about Climbing Lifer, this was probably the real genesis of it was me writing 50 Athletes Over 50.

Once you write one book, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to write another book. I became addicted to climbing and I wrote several other books and one that has done the best and has actually been one of the most, on the top 25 most significant books in climbing literature, is Vertical Mind. I co-wrote it with Jeff Ellison, who’s a psychology professor from Adams State University. How we met and how he came to write vertical mind is another whole podcast in and of itself. But let’s just say that we both had an interest in understanding about the mental aspects of climbing.

Jeff combining his kind of clinical, his scientific thoughts and theories, he studies shame theory and things that are very relevant to fear of failure that is important in performances in climbing. So we got together and we wrote Vertical Mind and I couldn’t be prouder. This is published by Sharp End Publishing who has stepped up to be the sponsor of the Climbing Lifer podcast. Fred and Heidi Knapp, they have been so influential and so important in helping us to get Vertical Mind into RAI, out there in a big way and really helping a lot of people.

From Vertical Mind, I’ve been doing a lot of speaking and doing workshops and helping people with the mental aspects of their climbing. You know, I’ve been doing that and you’re just kind of going along and there was a pivotal thing that happened this year. My wife and I, my wife [inaudible 00:04:44] I took extended trip, about a two-month trip … we live in Colorado now … we took a two month trip back to the East Coast, went climbing in our old stomping grounds in the Adirondack mountains and in the Gunks. I got to reconnect with a couple of old climbing buddies. My friend Rui, who lives out here in Colorado, he flew out there to the Gunks and we climbed for a few days together. We were talking about how, you know, we’re still in the game. We’re still excited, he and I are talking about doing something on a diamond on Longs Peak. Another good buddy of mine, Walt Heenan, who I used to go to Yosemite with every year, we reconnected. He’s getting back and gotten in really good shape, best shape I’ve ever seen him in. We’ve decided to go climb the rostrum again in Yosemite. We did that way back in the 90s and so this got has excited again.

I had the chance, because he’s a friend of Rui’s, to climb with Ajax Green, who’s the first guest on the Climbing Lifer podcast. These things kind of conspired to start me thinking about, wow, you know, we are still in the game and we’re seeing that as such a critical part of our life and we can’t imagine our lives without it. So when I got home I was thinking, gosh, you know, I would love to. I would love to start collecting information and sharing how those who successfully do that, how do they do it? Not just for me but for others.

So I floated an idea. I didn’t call it Climbing Lifer at the time. I floated it out to my email list. I’ve got about an email list of about 1500 climbers who have subscribed to various things through Vertical Mind and my workshops. I asked, would this be useful to have a podcast for climbers who have made more than 40 trips around the sun and who want to continue to climb for as long as possible? You know, because one thing is for sure. The more trips around the sun we make, we encounter different challenges, right? They could be challenges about a busy career, a busy life, balancing a lot of things and family and responsibilities and career and climbing and fitness and you know, keeping off the weight. There could be challenges around staying injury free or recovering from injuries. It could be challenges around getting tired or bored of things, right? And yet we all really do appreciate what climbing means to us.

I floated this idea out there and I got an unbelievable response. I mean, the typical emails, I get a few responses. I got a lot of returning emails to me saying, “I would definitely be interested in this.” So the energy around a podcast for climbers who have made 40 trips around the sun or more — not to discriminate, but this is, this is kind of who this is for — and want to keep doing it as long as possible. They want to learn from people who have successfully done that, learn how to stay injury free, how to train, cool places to go, cool people to meet, forming community, hearing cool stories. The energy around it just has really been unbelievable.

So I began putting together this concept. I floated it out to a few people, would they be interested? I had responses from Ajax, I had responses from Matt Salmon, Susan Shower. So these are all going to be guests on the Climbing Lifer podcast in the upcoming months.

I’m just so, I’m so excited to to do this. I have a blast interviewing. I learned a lot when I did 50 Athletes Over 50. So it’s my goal to … this isn’t about Don McGrath, right? This podcast is not about me. This podcast is about the information that the guests who are on the Climbing Lifer podcast can share with all of you who want to know, right? Those of you who are tuned in, who … successfully become a Climbing Lifer and part of the Climbing Lifer community, this is for you. This is for you. I just see myself as the facilitator. I’m doing the work to put the podcast together. I’m doing the work to organize it because I just want to serve you. That’s it. That’s what it comes down to.

And again, I’m very blessed that Sharp End Publishing has stepped up to be a sponsor and I’m just so thankful for Fred and Heidi Knapp for what they’ve done for Vertical Mind and for Jeff and for myself. And really, all these things are culminating in and putting together what I believe is going to be a very, very cool, very informative podcast that I hope touches many, many, many people.

I just wanted to share the genesis of the Climbing Lifer podcast, where it all came from, why I care, what I’m hoping to accomplish, and I’m really hoping to accomplish just having fun. Believe me, there’s going to be plenty of fun. There’s going to be stories, there’s going to be laughing. You’ll get to hear some really funny stories, I’m sure. Climbers always have great epic stories. You’ll be able to have some fun and you’ll learn from some great people. You’ll learn about some people you never knew about. Yes, there will be some well known climbers. There will be some people who you’ve probably heard of before, but that’s not exclusively who I’m going to have as guests. I’m going to have people you’ve maybe never heard of before, but who I think have some important lessons to share. These could be people because of their unique background and they’ve solved a particular problem that I think needs to get out there. Because I really believe that we all have a story, we all have a message, and it’s my goal for these messages to get out to the world. That’s what I do. I’ve done it with all my books, I do it in my speaking. Right now, I teach a lot of people how to get out and how to, how to speak and how to write books.

So it’s become my life’s passion, my life’s work to be the person who does my best to get information out to those who need it. So that’s really my hope and my dream for the Climbing Lifer podcast, to get this information out there` so you can be part of the Climbing Lifer family, part of the Climbing Lifer community. We will have fun, you will learn some things. So I ask you to tune in. I ask you to tune in.

The way I’m going to do this is I’m going to be live streaming all the interviews, as many as technically possible. If there happens to be a great guest that I can’t do this with, I’ll find some other way but the idea is to livestream all of these interviews. Next Sunday, the 15th of December of this year, 2019, I will be interviewing Ajax Green live like this, in a platform like this. We’re going to live stream it so you can watch it, you can tune in, you can see it live, we can share it and get Ajax’s story out there and it’ll be in the rich video format so you’ll get to see as well as hear the expressions that Ajax has and get to know him at an even deeper level than you could just by listening.

I will then take those recordings and I’m going to put them into a podcast, an audio podcast. So that’s going to be hosted on Podbean, I’ve already got that all set up, so you can go back and you can listen to those episodes. I’ll probably be doing an episode a week, a 30-minute long, so I’ll probably be breaking these these longer interviews up into 30-minute segments so they were more digestible and most people won’t listen to much more than that.

So I’ll be breaking those up. So you should expect about an episode a week of fun filled action. Get to hear about people who are successfully navigating the climber lifer lifestyle and having fun at it and sharing some really cool things that they’ve learned in the process. So that’s what you can expect. I’m also putting together a Climber Lifer website that’s going to have some other cool stuff that you can go partake of, some stuff you can download. I haven’t quite decided what that’s going to be, I’m building a website right now. I’m just trying to put this in place so the information can get out there in the best way possible so you can consume it, so you can learn, so you can be successful as a climber lifer yourself.

All right, well I hope you found this of interest. This is going to be useful for me. It’s kind of a dry run for me to use this platform, do the live streaming out to the Facebook page, which I’m hoping has worked out. I’ll find out.

So if you liked this, if something about the background of Climbing Lifer touched you, if you’re really excited about the upcoming episode with Ajax and Matt and Susan and others and I’ve had some people reaching out to me that are going to be fantastic, fantastic guests and I can’t wait to have them on. So if you’re as excited about this as me, leave a comment, share this with other climbers who are trying to successfully navigate their own climber lifer journey. Get this out there. I want this to touch as many people as I possibly can.

In this Episode 0 today, I’m calling it Episode 0 because it’s not a real interview, it’s just me talking about the genesis of Climbing Lifer podcast where it came from, why, what we’re trying to accomplish. Really in the end, it’s about helping you to navigate your own climbing lifer lifestyle and stay climbing as long as you possibly can. Get as much out of climbing as you possibly can and continue to enjoy all the rewards it gives us. I couldn’t imagine life without climbing and I imagine if you’re watching this right now, you probably feel the same way. Judging by the response I got from my email list, a lot of other people feel this way. So I’m so honored to be of service by putting together this podcast. My promise to you is that I will do my best to make it fun and entertaining and informative and accessible in every kind of format that you can use.

So if you know someone who’s a climbing lifer, someone who has a unique perspective on how they stayed at climbing through challenges or if they’d been really cool places and want to share those experiences and stories with the other climbing lifers and tell them about cool places they’d been, cool places they’ve eaten, cool experience that they love to share and have others have, leave a comment. Personal message me, I would love to know. I’m going to be constantly looking for cool guests just to to make this extremely fun and entertaining for everyone.

All right, so that’s pretty much, that’s episode zero and I can’t wait for Episode 1. I want to hear from you so leave a comment, get out and share this. Episode 1 with Ajax Green, it’s going to be fantastic. About one week from today, so a little bit over one week today, December 15th, it’s a Sunday, at 10:00 A.M. mountaineers, when we’re going to go live on the live stream.

Don’t worry if you miss it, it’s going to remain on the page for a while like Facebook does. Then also, within a few weeks after that, you could expect to begin seeing the audio podcast produced and on the hosting. So stay tuned and I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about this and the upcoming episodes. I am just so, so super excited.

All right, this is Don McGrath. Peace out for Episode 0 of Climbing Lifer podcast.


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