On episode 256, climber, entrepreneur, and Florida man, Matt Segal, joins the Enormocast. Matt was born and raised in Florida, and this podcaster contends that he is the baddest climber to come out of that flat and swampy State (Matt demurs this accolade, BTW). Though he started as a proto gym-kid, and had a short but very successful indoor comp career, Matt pivoted in his early 20s to hardcore trad-climbing. For 15 solid years, he pretty much only trad-climbed and took down some gnarly R and X routes ground up. Along that dedicated path, Matt was not afraid to get uppity about how rad his cohort’s ethics were compared to whatever bullshit climbing you were doing. But in the end, a hard fought maturity prevailed, and now Matt looks at climbing with a much more encompassing view, though big adventures and fun with friends are still his compass. At 38 and with gas still in the tank, Matt is as happy with this moment as he’s ever been.
On Episode 239 of the Enormocast, I have the privilege to sit down with Gold Medalist, Janja Garnbret. A Slovenian climbing hero, Janja, of course, took Gold at the inaugural climbing Olympics, but before that she was already the winningest climbing athlete of all time. As she beams into the interview from Oliana, Catalunya, a relaxed Garnbret talks about the pressures and joys of performing at the Olympics. Her secret seems to have been letting go of perfection. Now, as Janja faces her post Olympic period (until the next one), she is looking to continue to dominate the indoor field and set new standards for women’s outdoor climbing as well. But mostly, she wants to inspire girls and women to be their best and do what they love.
On Episode 217 of the Enormocast, I connect after some internet trouble with the indomitable Michaela Kiersch. Michaela grew up a Chicago girl – loving baseball and the White Sox- but when she found the climbing gym, her baseball goals were supplanted. The climbing community embraced Michaela at just the right time as her mother’s long battle with cancer ended in her death when Michaela was just a girl. Michaela cites the embrace of her climbing community in Chicago as a major help in her grief. Michaela’s mother lived long enough to instill Michaela with ambition and drive that brought her to the top of competition and sport climbing with national championships and multiple 5.14c ascents. Those same traits are seeing her through a PhD program in occupational therapy. Truly someone who sees more to life than climbing, Michaela may just have the energy to have it all.