Episode 77- Bryce Canyon 100: A Fire of Change

Comment

Episode 77- Bryce Canyon 100: A Fire of Change

No words can describe it. I just finished my first 100 mile race and it was the hardest thing that I have ever done. On Friday June 16th, 2017 I headed out on the Bryce Canyon 100 to eventually finish on Saturday in 35 hours and 40 minutes, beating the cutoff by 17 minutes. It was a hard fought battle that will shape me for the rest of my life. I had to endure high heat (into the high 90's), cold, technical terrain, altitude, major thirst (my mouth felt like I had sand in it), muscle pain, mental fatigue, lack of sleep, stomach issues, and hallucinations. Today I want you all to listen in as I tell my epic story of what this race and its challenges meant to me, the story of the adventure. Out of the frying pan and into the fire as they say, well this was out of the frying pan and into the furnace.

Remember to share the podcast with friends and family and subscribe!

touchingthetrail.com/donate

targetreleaserecovery.com

Comment

Episode 76- Jen Benna: The Mind is Powerful

Comment

Episode 76- Jen Benna: The Mind is Powerful

"It was a culmination of the physical injury, but the mental place that I went to was sort of terrible. I said, 'Oh my gosh what am I doing,' and 'I really need to take a step back here.' The body totally reacted to that and I just didn't really respect it."

-Jen Benna

The mind is powerful, it can build and destroy. You could be running a hundred miles or working a stressful job, either way the mind is what makes or breaks the goal. Many times throughout our lives the mind has broken the goal, but the key is to focus on the times where the mind made the goal happen. Jen Benna understands this which, I believe, is partly why she has not only been such a successful athlete, but such a successful person. Jen lives her life to the fullest and understands that to find happiness you do not need to search for Shangri-La, but search right inside yourself. Happiness comes from living your truest life. This week Jen and I discuss what it means to live your truest life, what her story is, how she overcomes challenges, the misconceptions of our society, and the power of the mind. Please enjoy, I know I did!

jenbenna.com

targetreleaserecovery.com

Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 75- Chris McNamara: Striving Upwards

Comment

Episode 75- Chris McNamara: Striving Upwards

"A big wall climb is much more of a mental game...the whole time your kind of scared and thinking was this even a good idea, should I go down, should I go up, we're going so much slower than we thought, or did we even bring enough food and water. It's not always fun, but then when you actually do get through it it creates this experience that will last with you a really long time."

-Chris McNamara

I, Jarod Contreras, am not a climber, I have dipped my toe into the sport with Boy Scouts and with my family, but I am an ultrarunner first and foremost. That said climbing fascinates me and this coming fall, when I head to college, I will dip more than my toe into climbing. I want to start building a base of knowledge about climbing, so I've been doing research and now I want to talk to people about it.

That is where Chris comes into the picture, I don't really know where I found out about him, but he is the real deal. Chris is a big wall climber, having climbed El Capitan over 70 times and Climbing Magazine estimates that he has spent 3% of his life on El Cap. Chris is also an endurance sport connoisseur, he also mountain bikes and used to BASE jump. To Chris it's about maximizing the time that he can spend outside, he has built a career around that idea. Chris has a wealth of knowledge on all things climbing, but when it comes down to it he does what he loves. That is a maxim that I think our society has forgotten. Listen in this week as Chris and I examine how he does what he loves, what goes into a big wall climb, his entrepreneurship, and a life lived fully. Gracias.

chrismcnamara.com

outdoorgearlab.com

techgearlab.com

safeclimbing.org

supertopo.com

targetreleaserecovery.com

Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 74- Sid Garza-Hillman: What Focus Can Bring

Comment

Episode 74- Sid Garza-Hillman: What Focus Can Bring

"I need that real recovery time, because sometimes it looks like someone is doing nothing, but if they're stressed in their head they might as well be doing something, because they're not getting relaxation out of it."

-Sid Garza-Hillman

So this week is a little different, my good friend Sid (Ep. 33) joins me to catch up on what he has been up to since we last had a conversation not over text, which has been a long time. Sid has had a lot on his plate recently and so I caught him right after the end of the stress to talk about it. To chat about the stress, his life, his adventures that he's had, and more. Sid just announced his new book, Raising Healthy Parents: Small Steps, Less Stress, and a Thriving Family, which will be released in September and he recently directed the Mendocino Coast 50k. Today we delve into more than just Sid's recent months, but into what health is, into managing stress, into living truthfully, into focus, and into being ourselves. Enjoy!

sidgarzahillman.com

targetreleaserecovery.com

Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 73- Gene Baur: Beyond the Message

Comment

Episode 73- Gene Baur: Beyond the Message

"Food is very emotional, very emotional, but when it comes to meat I think there is this whole power dynamic that is there, but it is invisible."

-Gene Baur

From selling veggie hotdogs out of his VW van at Grateful Dead concerts to being interviewed by Time magazine you could say that vegan activist Gene Baur has lived one crazy life. But, it hasn't been in chase of money, property, or "success." No, Gene has had one goal since his co-founding of Farm Sanctuary, a sanctuary for farm animals, in 1986, he has wanted to save those very same farm animals from the vicious machine of the animal agriculture industry. An industry that looks at living beings as numbers and not as individuals. Well in 1985 Gene went vegan and began to look at these intelligent creatures as individuals and he has been in this fight ever since.

Gene is someone who you can follow and someone who can motivate you to change your ways to live more kindly to yourself, to the animals, and to our world. But, has ego ever gotten in the way of Gene's goals? How do we make change in our youth, because they are the future? What about working class, minority groups? What will this new administration bring for this vegan movement? Today I sit down with Gene and ask him the meaningful questions that go beyond simply his story or his life. Listen in as we discuss these questions, how to make change in our own communities, managing stress, being the example, and so much more! Enjoy.

farmsanctuary.com

targetreleaserecovery.com

Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Photo Credit: Lee Iovino

Comment

Episode 72- Katie Grossman: On the Road to New Mountains

Comment

Episode 72- Katie Grossman: On the Road to New Mountains

"The things that are really hurting or are really bad, they're that way for everybody. Everybody out there is going to feel that way at some point, even if you are puking your guts out, I guarantee you that there are at least 5 other people puking their guts out too. It's a real sense of community, that you are all doing it together, its really a shared suffering."

-Katie Grossman

From snow covered mountain tops to a cabin in Wrightwood, Katie Grossman is at home in the mountains. Married to Dominic Grossman (Ep. 16 & 67), they recently moved to live permanently in the mountain town of Wrightwood. This move and her recent acceptance to run the Hardrock 100, a brutal race in the Rocky Mountains, has positively upheaved her life. Listen in this week as we discuss mountains and vision quests, hopes and dreams. A wonderful discussion on everything from pain to overwhelming excitement. Please enjoy this delve into the mind of someone who pushes their mind, body, and soul daily.

targetreleaserecovery.com

This Week's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Remember to leave a review of the podcast and sign up for the Touching the Trail Weekly newsletter at touchingthetrail.com to enter for a chance to win some Buff headwear products!

Comment

Episode 71- Building a Base for Adventure

Comment

Episode 71- Building a Base for Adventure

An adventure can take many forms, but to complete one you must have experience and fitness. While it may seem odd that an 18 year old is talking to you about experience, I have learned a lot in my years on the trails and yet I still have a lot to learn. Experience and fitness are a mind and body symbiotic relationship that allows you to achieve what you want, but they take work. If you build a base of experience and fitness before you even specialize in the adventure you will be better prepared to accomplish whatever you wish. Listen in this week as I discuss building bases, my week, a new giveaway, and my thoughts leading up to my first 100 miler! Enjoy.

touchingthetrail.com

targetreleaserecovery.com

This Week's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 70- Awareness of Body & Mind

Comment

Episode 70- Awareness of Body & Mind

Through meditation and through ultrarunning I have learned that awareness is a vital tool to employ in our journeys. This tool, separate from its use in meditation, is one that fosters honesty to oneself. I think that in today's society of lies, sugarcoating, and glossing over the truth, a reconnection to awareness is paramount. This ability to be aware of both the pleasures and stressors in our lives, yet not be absorbed by them, is one that allows us to see both life and ourselves as they truly are. Listen in this week as I discuss awareness, my thoughts on my own actions in my AP Chemistry class, and tales of my running. Thank you and enjoy.

targetreleaserecovery.com

This Week's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 69- Are you a Bodybuilder or a Bodyfiller?

Comment

Episode 69- Are you a Bodybuilder or a Bodyfiller?

Now I do not mean a bodybuilder in the sense of Arnold Schwarzenegger, when I say bodybuilder I mean someone who cares for their body and builds it into the image that they truly want to see realized. Now this may sound like vanity, but it is actually confidence and care. It is building your body to be happy, healthy, and wholesome. A bodyfiller is someone who is the stark opposite, someone who is poisoning their body with food. They neither enjoy the food now reap the benefits of real food. It comes quick and poisonous and they are addicted, now there are many degrees of this archetype, too. You may fall into one of these categories, let's talk about that today. Please enjoy this talk on what it means to build the life and the body that if fulfilling to YOU, plus tales of adventure as always. Thank you!

targetreleaserecovery.com

This Week's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 68- Nickademus Hollon: A Magnifying Glass on Pain

Comment

Episode 68- Nickademus Hollon: A Magnifying Glass on Pain

"Stay present, focus on the fleeting beauty of the moment, and let the race create its own experience rather than forcing your expectations/desires onto it."

-Nickademus Hollon

Nickademus Hollon, sometimes known as "Ultrademus," is as tough as they come. He has completed many of the world's hardest races including the Barkley Marathons, Tour de Geants, HURT 100, Badwater 135, and many more. He is a self described specialist in the "world's hardest events" and he has shown that he is time and time again. Because, he also began to run at around 16 I feel a deep camaraderie with Nick, which is why I am honored to chat with him.

Nick holds a deep respect for the events that he has completed and the adventures that he enjoys, this is evident in his love for this sport of ultrarunning and the greater sport of endurance. He is someone who understands what it means to endure for days on end and in this talk we delve into the mind that allows him to do just that. This conversation is about more than racing or running. Our conversation ranges on everything from training and coaching to mindfulness and dedication. I truly hope that you will be motivated by Nick to go out and bring your own magnifying glass to pain. To endure.

ultrademus.blogspot.com

lucky13coaching.com

This Week's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 67- Dominic Grossman: Georgia Death Race

Comment

Episode 67- Dominic Grossman: Georgia Death Race

"You're going to have some aches and pains that seem absurd and impossible and unreasonable, but it's going to make the finish that much more sweet when you decide that you're going to swallow the pain and keep moving ahead."

-Dominic Grossman

What is 68 miles long and has 20,000 feet of elevation gain? The Georgia Death Race! My friend Dominic Grossman ran this race a couple of weekends ago and he joins this podcast again (the first time was way back on Ep. 16) to tell us about it. This race is absolutely brutal, with a crazy amount of elevation gain and extremely technical trails all nestled in the beautiful Northern Georgia mountains, Dominic had to suffer a lot to complete it. He went into the race with less than optimal training, but had a great mindset. Listen in as he discusses his race, his training, his recent move to Wrightwood, and some advice for me for my first 100 miler. Enjoy!

dominicgrossman.com

This Week's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 66- Living in LA

Comment

Episode 66- Living in LA

Since birth I have lived in Los Angeles, I have experienced this city to its core and it has shaped me. You could say that I have lived a stereotypical life, maybe I have, but I do know that it has been one forged by this city. I live in San Pedro, a coastal working class town by the LA Harbor. My town is part of LA city and the port is our livelihood, this breeds close connections and quite honestly a small mindedness in life. I am extremely unique or "odd," whichever word you wish to use, in this town. However, I love San Pedro and Los Angeles. I have many stories to tell and reasons for why I love LA, so listen in as I recount some of my loves and experiences in this town of Los Angeles. The City of the Angels. As well as a discussion on how we can be true to ourselves and our journey amidst the vapidness and pretentiousness of big or small towns. Enjoy!

This Week's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 65- JB Benna: Beyond the Lens

Comment

Episode 65- JB Benna: Beyond the Lens

"You've got to live your priorities, if they're your priorities."

-JB Benna

Since the beginning of my running career JB Benna has been someone who's films have inspired me deeply. His ability to capture the simple beauty of running far is second to none, because of that he has been someone who I have wanted to have on the show for a long time. I am honored to have been able to speak with JB. Our discussion is wide ranging, we cover topics from ultrarunning and the beginning of Journey Film to family and living life fully. JB's thoughts and ideas come from an active mind fueled by years of running in the mountains. I hope you can be motivated and enlightened by our discussion today!

This Week's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 64- The Ascetics

Comment

Episode 64- The Ascetics

Throughout all religious and secular thought there are so many basic parallels and ideas that ring true throughout everyone's life and existence. There are very basic cornerstones of existence that we can all learn. One group that strives for this are the ascetics. Almost every religion has an ascetic sect and while you may conjure an image of a fasting, meditating monk on a mountain for an ascetic, they have much to teach us. There are very applicable practices that we can and must learn from the ascetic ideals and apply to our modern lives. Enjoy today's episode as I reference Epictetus's Discourses, the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, Buddhism, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Tao Te Ching, and Hinduism in creating and explaining my ideas on what asceticism can teach us.

Today's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 63- Let's Talk About Travel: Traveling Smart

Comment

Episode 63- Let's Talk About Travel: Traveling Smart

Whether your an experienced traveler or someone who has never taken a trip, travel is wonderful and hard at the same time. It is a hectic experience and can be assuaged by many different tips. Today I talk about some of my experiences while traveling and some tips and tricks that have helped me in my travels. Also some big news involving racing! This past week a lot has happened yet again and I share my thoughts and opinions on my experiences. From packing smart to staying present please enjoy this week's travel episode!

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 62- Turning 18

Comment

Episode 62- Turning 18

Sorry for the delayed episode, I was out of town. My family and I went to Portland, OR! One of our favorite places in the world. But, not only that. I turned 18 last week! Yes, I did. I have many opinions on turning 18, that it is just a number and that I am living my journey so an age doesn't change it. However, I am still excited to be 18. This week there is no specific lesson or topic. Well I guess the topic is story. I tell the story of my birthday and of my trip to Portland. A lot of stuff has happened in the past week and I am grateful for it! Enjoy.

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Episode 61- SriMati a.k.a Julie Piatt: A Conversation

Comment

Episode 61- SriMati a.k.a Julie Piatt: A Conversation

"As we become more in tune to our body and to the moment, it's like we're reborn in every moment." -SriMati

To walk life's journey is to face two things, the good and the bad. To enjoy the best of times and to overcome the obstacles. In my own journey many people have helped me enjoy those best of times and to overcome those obstacles, but one person that holds a high place on my list of influences is Julie Piatt. I have never known her personally until now, but I believe that that speaks even more deeply to her ability to convey motivation, love, dedication, and enlightenment through the written and spoken word. Through her own teachings of food and song.

Srimati has been a motivation to so many more people than I, also. Through her podcast, the Divine Throughline, she shares her accumulated knowledge. Julie is an incredible vegan chef with a sublime understanding of what makes food, food. She is able to capture the simplicity and complexity of the spirit in the dishes that she creates. Art is her forte it seems, or at least her wonderful ability to transfer her soul into what we conventionally call "art." 

SriMati is an individual who holds more than just knowledge, she holds transcendence. Through this conversation I think we transcend just a little bit. The reason that I titled this episode "A Conversation," instead of the usual descriptors that I use, is because this is a wide ranging discussion that does not need to be teased. Just listen. Sit back and enjoy our chat on everything from being a loving and contributing member of a successful family to meditation and death. Transcend what you think you understand.

srimati.com

This Week's Sponsor:

audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Comment

Episode 60- Let's Talk About Creativity

Creativity is more than just an expression, it is a solution to issues and an expression of who you truly are. We all must be more creative, because our world needs truth. Through creativity we find and express our true selves, this world needs more expression of unique self. Creativity is a pathway to ourself and we must use that, because if we don't use everything in our toolkit, then our toolkit will wither away. 

However it is easy to grow your creativity, despite what you may think. The two best ways are through meditation and art. I have talked extensively about meditation, but not so much about art. So join me today as I discuss the importance of creativity, the use of art (in my life and others), solutions to our ego, and something I forgot to mention last week, the reactions of people to my 100k. Please enjoy and I hope we can all be just a little more creative!

http://www.audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Comment

Episode 59- What's Next?

So let's talk about what has happened since Sean O'Brien. It was my first 100k so there was a lot to learn, even afterwards. Last week was a week of rest, relaxation, and recovery. I did not run and I focused greatly on meditation, yoga, and eating well. Making sure I recovered back to 100% was vital and I think I pulled it off pretty well. Recovering by Friday really. The week was tough nonetheless. I faced muscled pain, stomach pain, and great fatigue, but by eating well, meditation, and yoga I think I overcame it all. It has been a nice change to get a week of non-running and rest. Looking forward there are many more adventures to come and I talk about acknowledging your own mistakes so that you can do it better next time. Because you must be able to say who is truly responsible, you, before you can move on and strive for your better. Enjoy!

http://audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment

Comment

Episode 58- The Sean O'Brien 100k: Life in a Trail

For my first 100k I choose one of the hardest 100k's in the country. Of course right? Well, it was brutally awesome. I had to wake up at 2 am and the race began at 5, my family woke up with me and stayed the entire long day. I only saw them once during the race. One step after another I covered the entire 14,000' of elevation gain and 62 miles, which is a 100k, in 15 hours and 18 minutes. A finish, which was all that mattered to me that day. I loved, or at least tried to love, every moment of it. It truly was an entire life in a trail.

Enjoy!

http://www.audibletrial.com/touchingthetrail

Comment