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Turning 30 Starts Now

By Film, Trip Journal5 Comments

I told you. This year’s theme is Shit Or Get Off The Pot. This year is going to be an adventure. Here’s why: We’re proud to announce that we are filming a series for EpicTV called Birthday Challenge. We are seeking out the most masochistic climbers we can think of, and asking them to let us film while they put themselves through the circles of Hell to celebrate their arrival into this world. If we’re being honest, we are equal parts excited and terrified by this opportunity. Until now, most of our films have been “for fun.” I think of them as learning projects, as well as opportunities to tell stories that wouldn’t otherwise be told. But now we have deadlines, targets, contracts. It’s scary, but it’s what we wanted. If we don’t have deadlines, we dilly-dally. And we’re getting too old for that shit. Speaking of getting old, I’m turning 30 this summer. I should be in much better shape. I’ve given myself plenty of excuses (and injuries) during the past two years, but I would hate to tell people about our roadtrip and have to explain why I didn’t climb harder, or higher, or faster. Instead, I want to tell people some cool shit that I did as I grew out of my 20s. This year for my Birthday Challenge, I’m going all out. And I’m going to film it. I know, surprise surprise. Cuz I didn’t film the last one or anything. In all seriousness, last year’s was fun,…

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Top Rope Tough Girl

By Bolt Clipping, Climbing, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip Journal5 Comments

Who can forget this amazing climbing classic?! I have a confession to make. I’ve been toproping. Frequently. I feel as though I’m cheating on bouldering. It’s been my obsession for years- unfortunately, my bouldering confidence wanes at times. One day I feel like I can climb to the top of anything I set my mind to. The next day, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I totally suck. How well you climb is directly linked to your confidence level. There’s no way around it. Just like with any other discipline, knowing that you can do it is a vital to success. I’m very aware that everyone has bad days, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my mental (and physical) struggle is not based on probability: it’s my lack of endurance. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been living on the road, rock climbing, for over 2 years and have gained little endurance. I am certainly much stronger than when we began the road trip, but I still get the feeling that one, or both, of my hands will spontaneously open up if I’m on the wall for over 30 seconds [not an experimentally acquired measurement, but a good estimate]. I also do not have a good gauge as to how long I can hold on once that inevitable pump sets in. I’ve never committed to climbing past it. Yep, I’m a sucker for letting go. This is further detrimental to my climbing since I am predominately a static climber who…

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My Granola Holy Grail

By Food, Staying Healthy, Trip Journal2 Comments

The past 2 weeks have been an emotional sine wave. We were in a city neither of us particularly like, but we were there to do a job that we were incredibly excited about, and feel passionate about. We were in Las Vegas primarily to film Alex Johnson for her 25th birthday challenge- our first challenger for our upcoming EpicTV web-series. The first week in Vegas was refreshingly simple compared to previous Vegas trips, as we were fortunate enough to be staying with Liberty and Max. We could cook at their house, and that made sticking to the food challenge rules easy. The second week was not as easy. We moved around multiple times and didn’t have a “home,” or, more importantly, a stable place to cook (setting up the trailer for cooking is tedious when you know you’ll have to tear it down the next morning). I also worked three night shifts in a row, throwing off the early-to-bed|early-to-rise schedule we had grown to rely on to keep some semblance of order to our lives. #RealFood30 has been a difficult challenge. The batch of granola I made over a month ago in Chattanooga has been a crutch, especially during our time in Vegas. This was even more apparent in Vegas as we both half-jokingly threw in the towel countless times. Even though I do feel better – mostly an overall feeling of lightness – I still crave cheese and baked goods (gluten-free never sounded so good). I still want these foods that I know…

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The Week That Was

By Food, Musings, Trip JournalOne Comment

We’re officially in Las Vegas, Nevada. More importantly, this means we made it one week and 900 miles without succumbing to our food demons! We hit a few bumps in the road en route to the West side, and a week ago we would have relied on food to make us feel better about these mishaps. With our 30-day food challenge, we were forced to take solace in salad. Guess what? We survived. Shocking, right? I often tout that the most important thing that we have learned through our travels over the past 2 years is to be open-minded. I feel a bit silly now as I realize I was never open-minded about food. I believed that I needed starchy carbs like rice, gluten-free bread, or pasta to feel full. Well, here’s another shocker: I was wrong. Except for being extremely gassy, I’m doing fine (Spenser, too). Better than fine- I feel pretty darn great. I know my digestive system is still adjusting to all this fiber I’m ingesting, so I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the passing gas. 😉 Of course, our charge across the country wasn’t all negative happenings… Except for the necessary stops due to the mishaps, we charged across the country only stopping for a few days in New Mexico. We explored the boulders outside of Roy, NM with Eric Bissell and friends last weekend. Eric also showed us around the exquisite granite in La Madera, about an hour north of Santa Fe. Spenser…

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The 30-day Real Food Challenge AKA #RealFood30

By Food, Musings, Staying Healthy, Trip Journal5 Comments

First of all, apologies for not getting this post up sooner. We started our 30-day challenge on March 14, but we’ve been in the no-cell-reception, no-wifi-zone bouldering area outside of Roy, New Mexico (which was AMAZING–more on this sweet spot in a later post). I, of course, should have planned ahead and gotten this post up before we were in the middle-of-nowhere, but…well…still working on that whole planning-ahead thing. Promise. Last week I wrote about why we want to do the challenge, now here are our rules, so y’all can keep us honest. Visit USAToday to learn more about the most healthiest dietary supplements and other treatments for conditions like ringing in ears for example. The Absolutes: –       No gluten: no wheat, barley, or rye. –       No dairy: no cheese, no butter, no whey, no milk chocolate! –       No bread products, not even GF ones: no chips, no crackers, no tortillas, no baked goods. This is mostly because both Spenser and I love bread products and rely too heavily on them. When I buy a loaf of gluten-free bread, I end up eating it in 1-2 days flat. That’s pretty ridiculous. –       No soy: which includes soy byproducts such as soy lecithin, which means chocolate is going to be hard to find, but not impossible! Wondering what the heck soy lecithin is? Read more about the emulsifier that is found everywhere nowadays. –       No energy drinks: no 5-hour energy, no Red Bull, and so on. Yes to coffee & tea. –      …

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Photo credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/shutterstock.com

Inspiration Found

By Climbing, Food, Musings, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip Journal3 Comments

After a week of California vacation binge-mode, we are back in Chattanooga and feeling motivated again.  Sometimes a forced break really helps put things into perspective. Spenser talked a bit about our climbing haps in his last post, and this post is going to about another things we can’t live without: food. [No matter how much traction the Breatharian movement gets! Okay, but seriously, I know food can be an addiction, but this as a long-term sustenance plan is nuts.] While in San Diego, we figured we’d take advantage of our locality and head up to Encinitas to visit a company we were first introduced to at the OR show in January, GoodOnYa. Spenser knows that I am always on the lookout for good gluten-free products, and during the OR show, he happened upon the GoodOnYa booth. We were able to snag a box of bars during the show and devoured them over the next week. They were delicious and, for once, we were pleasantly surprised by each and every ingredient. My stomach is incredibly irritable, even beyond my Celiac Disease. I also don’t do well with soy (read: mad indigestion), so it’s an annoyance to find a gluten-free snack bar that fits the bill. Since we loved the bars and, even more importantly, the company ethics, we decided to pay the GoodOnYa office a visit and see if we could figure out a way to we could work together. They have a small office on the 101, and an…

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How Do You Access Adventure?

By Musings, Trip Journal14 Comments

People often tell us that we are on an adventure. This always gets me scratching my chin. I mean, really, we just climb little rocks. We’re not big-walling, we seldom sleep in a tent. We’re not polar explorers. As far as climbing goes, we’re usually on a well-beaten path. We actually live quite comfortably, and though we are thrifty, we don’t really have financial stress. Yet, it was adventure, in some sense, that we sought when we left the default world nearly two years ago. What does that mean? an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity. daring and exciting activity calling for enterprise and enthusiasm. Rock climbing certainly conjures up images of adventure. Stallone. K2. Vertical Limit. That Mission Impossible opening scene. The climber archetype, as per pop culture, is fearless to the extreme, well-versed in all kinds of gear, and with the exception of Stallone, highly intelligent. The modern climber is in some ways more heroic than adventurous, rock solid in the face of uncertainty. I’ve been pulling on holds both plastic and geologic for ten years now. Climbing is my comfort zone. Rarely do I feel heroic or adventurous. Being an introvert, social gatherings take much more mental energy for me than a day spent on a personal struggle against a route. I’m much more scared by the thought of going to a crowded bar. Sometimes, stepping into a large group of people is scarier to me than stepping off the ground on a committing highball. Similarly,…

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Go Your Own Way

By Musings, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip JournalOne Comment

Do you ever feel as though you’re living someone else’s life? You’re going through the motions, but you’re more “floating” rather than “living.” Until this realization hits you. It always hits hard. Last time this happened to me was when I was decorating a cake at a gluten-free bakery in Oakland. It was supposed to be a temporary job, but now, a year had passed and I was touted as the ‘best person who could write on cakes’ in this bakery…with a Bachelor’s in Public Health. I really enjoyed working at the bakery but this wasn’t my passion. And this definitely wasn’t where I saw myself post-college. I felt like I was living the wrong life. Temporary had become permanent. I was in a rut. I gave my 2 weeks notice that day. I bring this story up because a similar feeling came over me as I drove the truck and trailer by myself up the windy road to Rocktown a few weeks ago. That day, I had hitched up the trailer all by myself. I had manuvered the entire rig down a crowded street in Chattanooga, luckily they have been installing speed humps so it was not that bad. I filled up the gas tank all by myself and then directed myself to Rocktown. After spending about half an hour parking the trailer in the “perfect” spot in the big open camping field, I felt exhilarated. All these tasks may not sound too exciting or difficult, but adrenaline has…

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The OR Show- Outdoor Commercialism at its Finest

By Musings, Trip Journal2 Comments

On Friday, Vikki and I spent 8 hours on our feet wandering the Salt Palace, meandering in and out of exhibitions of the latest outdoor fashions and products. It was a wonderland of trendy consumerism with a soundtrack of inflated excitement. For us, it was productive, and we can’t wait to see how our promising leads pan out. At the least, a few video projects are already in the pipeline and a few companies seem excited to give us stuff in exchange for us telling you all that their stuff is good and worth buying. (You’ll have to pardon my sarcasm…there was a lot of over-selling and over-branding going on.) In the meantime, here are some observations I gathered. This being our first OR show (but not my first trade show), I know that some of these items will be banal and some will be interesting. Or some combination thereof. Anyway, here goes. 1. Every Company Makes Innovative Clothing Shoe companies, kayak companies, backpack makers and clothing companies all make innovative technical dri-syn-wick-flow-gortech apparel. Graphic designers must make a killing on all the diagrams that show how heat magically is retained while moisture, stench, and bad juju are allowed to pass through the polyphasic tri-layer material. (Don’t get me wrong, some of this stuff is actually amazing. Just not all of it.) 2. It’s All About Appearance Speedo was there. This was the Winter show. Their setup involved a Jacuzzi with 2 girls in 2-piece suits. Nuff said? 3. Honesty…

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