Hazel speaks with Iranian climber Nasim Eshqi. If you’re a climber in the West you may have imagined that your experiences and opportunities might be different if you’d grown up, and become a climber, in Iran. Especially if you’re a woman. Or you may not have thought about it at all. Whatever your preconceptions about Iran, Iranian culture, gender politics under a theocratic government, being an independent woman in a male dominated country, you’re likely to learn a lot from Nasim.
Oh and Nasim is no ordinary climber. She’s opened close to 80 routes (sport and trad) in 6 different countries, (despite the fact it’s very difficult to travel as an Iranian). She was Iranian kickboxing champion 10 times in a row before she started climbing She’s bolted and sent up to 8b. She works with women and youth groups in Iran with the aim of sharing her knowledge. She was awarded the King Albert memorial award for sustainable and exceptional services in connection to the mountains. Just all-round one of the most impressive people I’ve had the pleasure to speak with and therefore this definitely has to be one of my favourite podcasts.
In this episode Mina talks to Prerna Dangi, a Dehli based climber. Prerna mixes her climbing time between bouldering, trad climbing, ice climbing and alpinism - she has a taste for everything about the mountains. We talk about her experiences getting into climbing, how it is to be a female climber in India, doing a world cup event, body image in her cultural sphere, role models and the importance of representation that is specific to social/cultural/economic spaces. We also talk about a social enterprise (EcoFemme) she is involved in as well as discussing the recent changes in the town and bouldering area of Hampi.
Short video about EcoFemme with Prerna
Outdoor Journal Article: Battling Social Stereotypes
Outdoor Article: India's Climbing Scene, why aren't more women climbing?
In this episode virologist Levi Yant walks us through the science of Covid - 19. We discuss what a virus is, what makes Covid 19 different, why we're in a global pandemic and what we can do about it. If you're feeling confused by all the information out there and you're unsure of what is right and wrong in this mad new world we live in, take a listen. Our behaviour has never been so important.
Levi Yant has a postgraduate degree in Virology in HIV vaccine development. After forming a research group in evolutionary biology at Harvard, he moved to the University of Nottingham and is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
This conversation is all about flow state. Also known as 'being in the zone'. This psychological state could be responsible for our best climbing performances but also our most enjoyable moments. Mild flow can feel like a heightened focus or presence and deep flow states are more immersive and unique in character. Cameron has a phD in flow and has coached world champion athletes, CEOs and climbers like myself with the aim of finding more flow in whatever their discipline.
Read about him here
In this episode Mina talks to Madeleine Crane who is a Sports Psychologist and Systemic Coach based near Magic Wood in Switzerland. As a strong climber herself, Madeleine takes a special interest in working with rock climbers from all disciplines. In this podcast we talk about her background, confidence in performance, comparison in sport, body image, vulnerability, the role of a coach and emotional regulation.
Some of the tools we discuss in this conversation can be found here.
This episode is the first of a few that we plan to do together. Each one will have a focus and in this episode Hazel talks to Mina about health and performance, where they intersect and how in her experience they have also diverged. We talk about Mina's climbing history, her journey with Rainshadow (9a), the lead up to her RED-S diagnosis as well as what RED-S is and what the causes are. We talk about how it gets diagnosed, red flags to look out for, why climbers might be particularly susceptible and why aren't we talking about it more. We cover the feeling that menstruation is a taboo subject and how it's a crucial parameter of health that gets masked by contraceptives. We also discuss symptoms of RED-S in men, climbing's obsession with weight and how we ought to manipulate the other side of the equation (strength) finishing with a piece on how RED-S intersects with body image problems in climbing.
*Correction Hazel makes a mistake in the intro - Mina has climbed 4 8cs not 2 - what a beast she is!
Mina's article about RED-S
IOC Consensus Statement on RED-S
Health and Performance website with information about RED-S aimed at athletes, coaches and health professionals
In this episode, Mina talks to Gilly McArthur, a life long climber, who has in recent years found a love for cold-water swimming. Gilly swam every day in January in the lakes and tarns of the UK to raise money for Mind Charity. In this episode we talk about the physiological and psychological experiences and benefits of cold-water swimming, parallels to climbing, mental health and mindfulness, performance vs. non-striving, body image and much more.
RED January giving page
Floe State film
In this episode Hazel talks to Nikki Smith about:
- climbing on rock and ice near to home and further away
- first ascents
- her experiences coming out, transitioning and becoming herself
- social media and the problem of privacy
- doing better as a community
Niki is an ambassador for Mountain Hardware, REI, Scarpa, Grivel, Beal and Bronwen Jewelry
If you are a trans person and you're struggling, here are some resources that may help:
USA and Canada
In this episode Mina talks to US-based climber Nina Williams. Nina is well known for her ascents of highball boulder problems such as Evolution Direct (V11), Ambrosia (V11) and the absolutely massive Too Big to Flail (V10) as well as many other hard boulders up to V13. They discuss a bunch of interesting things including Nina's brave Rock and Ice Article published a few years ago where she talked about her experience of cheating as a young climber, her process with highballs, her attitudes around danger and risk, thoughts on the notion of the first female ascent and how she has found her recent transition back to studying and the necessary adjustment to her climbing and identity.
In this episode Hazel talks to professional climber Beth Rodden about: - looking back; what she'd do differently - body image and eating disorders - achievement versus learning - happiness versus success - compatibility of good health and high performance - social media, including ethics of sharing stuff about her boy - motherhood - her book that she's writing at the moment - the responsibility she feels to be honest and vulnerable in her writing and speaking
What's this podcast shizzle about? Who are we? Why are we doing it? What kind conversations will be on it? How are we doing it? When will episodes come out?
A somewhat haphazard into to our podcast plans. Stay tuned for the first proper episode soon (ish).