Episode 86- Rickey Gates: Sage of Connection

Comment

Episode 86- Rickey Gates: Sage of Connection

"We're all just trying to make sense of everything in the larger context than the simple act of doing it, but I'm coming back to wanting those moments to simply be the moment that it is."

-Rickey Gates

Over the past few weeks I have been putting a targeted focus on enjoying the simple routine of being at home with my family, because I know that that routine will be turned upside down when I head to college soon. Part of this relaxation has been interviewing some incredible people, one of those people is Rickey Gates. Rickey is truly an adventurer at heart, someone who desires to better understand himself and our world. He recently completed a journey of his own design, TransAmericana, where he ran across America. Yes, all 3,657 miles of it and in 152 days.

I am honored to have been able to have sat down with Rickey and have a wonderful discussion. Today's discussion is about more than just TransAmericana. We of course discuss the before, during, and after of that journey, but we also delve deep into his life and evolution as an athlete. Discussing how he tells stories and the importance of storytelling. We also examine his journey into meditation, its impact on his day to day life, and the importance of staying present. One common theme amongst our discussion is the value and importance of connecting with our world, the cultures, the countries, and the people within it. I truly hope you enjoy today's discussion and that we can all learn something from Rickey's words.

Graciously,

Jarod Contreras

rickeygates.com

Support:

touchingthetrail.com/donate

targetreleaserecovery.com

Find:

touchingthetrail.com

Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP

Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt

Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt

Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail

Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

Comment

Episode 85- Tommy Caldwell: The Dynamic of Spirit

Comment

Episode 85- Tommy Caldwell: The Dynamic of Spirit

"I approached it the exact same way that I do a climbing objective, I started at the bottom."

-Tommy Caldwell

Whether you know only a little about rock climbing, have just barely dipped your toe into its world, or are a dedicated climber then you have heard of Tommy Caldwell. Tommy has been heralded as one of the best rock climbers in the world with impressive first ascents and first free ascents all across the world. He has built a life around climbing since he was a young kid in Colorado and has transformed himself into a machine able to conquer the hardest routes.

Everyone wants to know about Tommy's life 'chapters' like being taken captive by rebels in Kyrgyzstan, losing his left index finger in a table saw accident, or free climbing the Dawn Wall with Kevin Jorgeson in 2015. These are topics that everyone covers with Tommy, along with his life story, if you want to learn more about those topics then buy his book. Today, however, Tommy and I delve deep into his headspace and his drive. We discuss how suffering can shape and teach us, how choosing a life of adventure is supremely fulfilling, how pushing to the edge of what's possible and beyond gives you a deep sense of awe. Today we converse on the importance of family and how living your truest life can be made possible. Specifically today we chat about the father/son relationship. On how that relationship, when forged by discomfort in the outdoors, is forged into one of the strongest and enduring bonds. Both of our fathers have played a vital role in our evolutions as adventurers, so we delve into the father and son's dynamic of spirit. Enjoy.

Graciously,

Jarod Contreras

tommycaldwell.com

Support:

touchingthetrail.com/donate

targetreleaserecovery.com

Find:

touchingthetrail.com

Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP

Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt

Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt

Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail

Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

Comment

Episode 84- Chris 'Tarzan' Clemens: Swingin' amongst Adventures!

Comment

Episode 84- Chris 'Tarzan' Clemens: Swingin' amongst Adventures!

"My soul was getting antsy again, I had to make a change."

-Chris 'Tarzan' Clemens

Whether it's waking up in his 1985 VW Westfalia camper or along the Appalachian Trail Chris 'Tarzan' Clemens knows how to find adventure. Chris is someone that I have been following for awhile now and have always been fascinated by his ability to seemingly live so simply and yet have so many awesome adventures. Chris lives out of his camper van, he is an ultrarunner, a thru-hiker, an adventurer, a world traveler, a freelancer and someone who has forged their truest life. Chris has driven all around the US and Canada, bike toured through Chile and Argentina, backpacked in Ecuador and Peru, ran ultras, hiked the AT, and so much more.

But, regardless of how much I regale you with his exploits you need to hear about them from the man himself. That very same man gets out into our world and understands that if you go through life completely comfortable you're never going to grow, which breeds his idea of AntiComfortable. This episode is about getting rid of the junk, of simplifying, of seeing the beauty in the basics. Everyday Chris lives the basics in his camper and lives in the present, not hindered by superfluous possessions. Listen in as we discuss how to be minimal, how to live truly, how to endure, how to get out of your comfort zone, and how to find yourself. Enjoy.

Graciously,

Jarod Contreras

Comment

Episode 83- Ted Winters: Twinkle in His Eyes

1 Comment

Episode 83- Ted Winters: Twinkle in His Eyes

"I don't know, I just enjoyed doing it, it was something to do. I mean it's a little bit different, a little bit out of the ordinary."

-Ted Winters

When we look back on our lives we should look back with a smile and a twinkle in our eyes. Life is the adventure we make it and Ted Winters understands this. Now you might be wondering who Ted is, well Ted is someone that I hold very near and dear to my heart. Ted is my neighbor and he is an ultrarunner. He ran ultras when they were in their infancy and has witnessed their evolution. From Angeles Crest to Western States, Ted knows what it means to suffer and what it means to overcome.

Ted is someone who allows us all to see what a life truly lived is. This episode of the podcast is one for the history books and an honor to hear. Today we are privileged to listen to Ted's life story. His ups and downs, his successes and failures, his time in the army during the Cuban Missile Crisis and his rock 'n roll days, and of course his tales of trails. Please allow your ears to work around the not optimal audio (I did my best) and absorb this story, for it is truly one told from love. Let us all sit back, relax, and enjoy the story of how Ted forged a life that truly fulfilled him.

Graciously,

Jarod Contreras

Ted's Buckles!

Ted's Buckles!

Support:

touchingthetrail.com/donate

targetreleaserecovery.com

Find:

touchingthetrail.com

Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP

Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt

Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt

Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail

Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

1 Comment

Episode 82- Let's Eat: Dispelling the Myth that Eating Vegan is Bland

Comment

Episode 82- Let's Eat: Dispelling the Myth that Eating Vegan is Bland

There are times in our lives when certain things take over our every thought and desire, but in a society that is culturally obsessed with food an addiction to the immediate gratification provided by processed sugars, grains, carbohydrates, and chemicals is commonplace. This world is addicted to food. That same food we are addicted to is largely pointlessly simplistic and bland. However I have been asked many times, "Isn't that whole vegan thing super bland and boring?"

This is a gross misconception and one that, in today's episode, I work to dispel. A vegan lifestyle is filled with spontaneous creativity and flavor. The flavors, nutrients, colors, and depth of any vegan meal far surpass anything I ate before I was vegan. Before I was vegan it was a piece of chicken and rice, now it is kale lentil curry soup. The lifestyle I now lead is free of the obsession with poisonous foods that I once had and allows me to be the most creative and engaged version of myself. This week let's talk about how lively vegan meals are, how hard this whole college thing will be for me, what experiencing new cultures can bring for you, and more. Please enjoy.

Graciously,

Jarod Contreras

Support:

touchingthetrail.com/donate

targetreleaserecovery.com

Find:

touchingthetrail.com

Touching the Trail Weekly: eepurl.com/bEENNP

Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt instagram.com/jarodrunsdirt

Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt twitter.com/jarodrunsdirt

Facebook: Touching the Trail facebook.com/touchingthetrail

Strava: Jarod Contreras strava.com/athletes/jarodcontreras

 

Comment

Episode 81- Youth

Comment

Episode 81- Youth

Each generation is called upon to 'change the world,' but hardly anyone does. Why? Because, the 'change' they speak about or try to enact stems from lies. The lies that are the foundation for our society of immediate gratification and material success. Youth are the ones who desire to change the world, because they have a unique perspective on life. They transcend childhood and adulthood, but any change they try to enact usually fails because of its basis. To truly change the world you must be at peace within yourself first. To change yourself you must look within and be at peace there. Fulfillment does not come from without, but from within.

The youth of our world, my generation, are fueled by the material. Most begin a tailspin that leads them right into their graves, because from birth they begin to build walls around who they truly are and never see it. Catching that tailspin early or before it starts is vital, begin breaking down those walls before they are built. In reality whatever age you are at you must begin living your truest life. A fulfilling, well-rounded, peaceful, and healthy life is what we all desire, but we must find it within.

Enjoy.

Support:

touchingthetrail.com/donate

targetreleaserecovery.com

Find:

Touching the Trail Weekly

Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt

Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt

Facebook: Touching the Trail

Comment

Episode 80- Revolution Equal

Comment

Episode 80- Revolution Equal

For some of us when faced with a society that seems to be against our own values or that seems to ignore our voices we begin to consider change, drastic if necessary. We begin to think on revolution and equality, which are two ideas that seem to disparate, but are not. When I say revolution I do not mean war, I mean change on a societal level. But, in this society the only change we consider is the change to a bigger house or newer car. Our obsession with identity has led us down many dark paths. In this culture that identity is sought after through the material. Through money, houses, cars, jobs, and more, but they are all inherently impermanent. This impermanence scares us, causing us to seek evermore after eternity. Our lives are fueled by falsehoods, but to make real change there has to be truth right?

To truly change a society or to find equality amongst all you must look within. You are not your bank account. You are yourself, but you have built walls around who you truly are. The truest form of revolution is to change yourself. Remember that in our quest for meaningful change. I hope you enjoy.

Gracias.

Support:

touchingthetrail.com/donate

targetreleaserecovery.com

Find:

Touching the Trail Weekly

Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt

Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt

Facebook: Touching the Trail

Comment

Episode 79- Eric Schranz: The Voice on the Trails

Comment

Episode 79- Eric Schranz: The Voice on the Trails

"Trying to make sure that I have balance."

-Eric Schranz

If you have dipped your toe into ultrarunning then you have heard his voice, Eric Schranz is the host of Ultrarunner Podcast and a true "super-fan" of the sport. Eric tells the story each week on his show of the world of ultrarunning, with great guests and conversations. But, Eric is more than just a voice, he is someone who truly understands what it means to build your most fulfilling life. Today's episode is not simply about running far, it is about living truthfully, persevering through challenges, family, relationships, finding balance, daring adventure, and staying true to the trail. Enjoy.

Also remember that anyone can run long distance or meditate! You make your own reality.

ultrarunnerpodcast.com

Support:

touchingthetrail.com/donate

targetreleaserecovery.com

Find:

Touching the Trail Weekly

Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt

Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt

Facebook: Touching the Trail

 

Comment

Episode 78- Gina Lucrezi: Keepin' Smiles

Comment

Episode 78- Gina Lucrezi: Keepin' Smiles

"You stress yourself out that much worrying abut things your body can feel it, you feel more tired and exhausted, because you've been putting yourself through all that mental anguish."

-Gina Lucrezi

What lives in a van, yet kills it on the trails? Gina Lucrezi is who! This girl is tough, no doubt about it, and she is committed to the lifestyle that truly fulfills her. Her and her boyfriend live in a van they call Ramona the Ram, a Ram Promaster that they built out themselves to live out of. It was an adjustment for sure, but as Gina tells it it has been quite an adventure. Along with her running and unique lifestyle Gina also founded Trail Sisters, a community of like-minded, trail running women. On today's episode of the podcast we dig deep into who Gina is, what makes her tick, how she's evolved, and the stories she has. From the mountains of Colorado to the screen of a computer, Gina has made positive changes in our world, let's listen in to see how we can make some of our own.

ginalucrezi.com

touchingthetrail.com/donate

Find:

Touching the Trail Weekly

Instagram: @jarodrunsdirt

Twitter: @jarodrunsdirt

Facebook: Touching the Trail

Comment

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