Date: February 27th, 2019
About Remy Franklin
Remy Franklin is a life coach who helps people, including athletes, discover their passions and priorities and then take action on them. He wrote an excellent article for TrainingBeta about setting New Year’s resolutions (and actually sticking to them): A Better Way to Set Your New Year’s Climbing Goals
Because the article was so practical and helpful for myself (I read it a few times and used the resources he provided to set my goals for the year), I asked him to be on the podcast so we could delve more deeply into the challenges of climbing goals and how life coaching might be helpful to us as climbers. Because there are other things in life besides climbing, we’re constantly ordering and reordering our priorities so we can be successful in our careers, our families, our other hobbies, and our climbing. That’s what we talk a lot about in this interview: how to figure out what your priorities are and what actions to take in order to be successful at all of them.
Remy used me as sort of a guinea pig client in this interview so that you can see how a life coach might work with a climber who also has career goals. I found this interview to be very helpful in my own life, and I hope you find it to be helpful for you as well.
Remy has sport climbed up to 5.14a, enjoys placing cams, and has fallen off lots of boulders. He has climbed around the world and has a growing passion for big wall free climbing. You can find him at remyfranklin.com and on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Remy Franklin Interview Details
- What life coaches do and how they can help climbers
- How to deal with failure in climbing
- How to deal with fear of falling in climbing
- How to find joy and grace in climbing
- 4 Steps of Coaching he uses with clients
- My mini-session with Remy about my climbing and career goals
Remy Franklin Links
- Website: www.remyfranklin.com
- Instagram: @remyfranklin
- Facebook: @remyfranklin
- Remy’s article on TrainingBeta: A Better Way to Set Your New Year’s Climbing Goals
- Youtube: www.youtube.com/remyfranklinclimbing
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- Personal Training Online: www.trainingbeta.com/matt
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- Finger Strength : www.trainingbeta.com/fingers
- All of our training programs: Training Programs Page
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Neely Quinn: Welcome to the TrainingBeta podcast where I talk with climbers and trainers about how we can get a little better at our favorite sport. I’m your host, Neely Quinn, and I want to remind you that the TrainingBeta podcast is an offshoot of the website trainingbeta.com that I started that is all about training for rock climbing.
Over there you’ll find a regularly updated blog, you’ll find training programs for rock climbers that are online and easy to use, you’ll find online personal coaching with Matt Pincus, and nutrition coaching with me. I hope that all these resources together, along with the podcast, will help you become a better rock climber. You can find that at trainingbeta.com.
Welcome to episode 121 of the podcast. Today I got to talk with somebody a little bit different on the podcast. You might notice that that’s a trend. I’m trying to branch out into areas that I haven’t touched on before on the podcast.
Today I’m talking to Remy Franklin who is a life coach and a climber. We talked about a lot of things and just to give you a little bit of a background on him, he became a life coach about a year ago. He’s been climbing for many years and has climbed up to 5.14a, he’s done first ascents, and he also wrote an article for us in January of this year, 2019, all about goal setting for New Year’s resolutions because we all know that we can make these New Year’s resolutions and then we completely forget about them or it becomes too hard and overwhelming.
He wrote an article for TrainingBeta about how to set New Year’s resolutions or goals and stick with them and how to prioritize. He gives us tools and resources to do that. I thought that it was a really great article and very useful because sometimes just setting goals can be really overwhelming, to figure out, ‘How do I balance my personal life with my career with my climbing?’ We’re all pretty ambitious people, or at least the people that I know in the climbing community, so it’s hard to balance it all. That’s why I wanted to talk to him.
We talked about people with families and how they can prioritize things, what a life coach is and how a life coach might be able to help you, and how he works with people. He used me sort of as a guinea pig and sort of life coached me, which was actually extremely helpful for me. Since I talked to him in this interview I’ve taken actions which I was afraid to take before. We talked about that and also about overcoming some emotional hurdles in climbing that we might have about fears: of falling, of failing, of succeeding. All of those things.
I found this interview to be really, really helpful and I said once in the interview that it’s more about me in this interview than it was about him, which is sort of an exaggeration. He did talk to me a lot about me and I hope that that is illustrative to you. I didn’t mean to take over the conversation but I think he was just using me as a vessel for you to maybe glean something for yourself from and hopefully that’s what you get from it.
Here is Remy Franklin. You can find him on his website at remyfranklin.com. He’s also on social media as Remy Franklin. Here he is and I’ll talk to you on the other side. Enjoy!
Neely Quinn: Welcome to the show, Remy. Thanks very much for talking with me today.
Remy Franklin: Thanks a lot, Neely. So happy to be here.
Neely Quinn: For anybody who doesn’t know who you are, can you give us a description of yourself?
Remy Franklin: Sure. My name is Remy Franklin. I am a life coach and rock climber. I’m 28 years old and I currently live in Santa Cruz, California.
Neely Quinn: Cool. How long have you been climbing?
Remy Franklin: About 10 years.
Neely Quinn: Nice. How long have you been a life coach?
Remy Franklin: About a year. I’m new to the life coaching world.
Neely Quinn: Why did you get into life coaching?
Remy Franklin: Great question. About two years ago I finished a master’s degree. I was studying human geography down in Tucson, Arizona and realized that I wanted to be spending a lot more of my time and energy on climbing. It’s just a big life priority for me so I bailed on the whole academia route and was trying to decide what to do with myself and how to organize life in a way where climbing could be a big priority.
I had the good fortune of joining a life coaching group with a friend of mine, a bunch of sort of activists that were interested in this stuff, and it helped me really clearly see what mattered to me and get really interested in how I could build a life that felt like both a contribution where I was using my education and experience and privilege to make a difference in other people’s lives and also pursue a lifestyle around climbing that really brings me alive. Coaching ended up being my answer to that question.
Neely Quinn: Is that because being a life coach was something you could do remotely?
Remy Franklin: That’s definitely a part of it, yeah. It allows that flexibility to be outside a lot, beyond just weekends. I also think there’s a topical overlap which is something I would love to talk about today.
Neely Quinn: Well let’s just talk about it. What is the topical overlap?
Remy Franklin: At a really basic level, I see climbing as an activity that allows us to develop awareness in the same way that we are in coaching. That’s basically the ability to observe our thoughts and feelings and concerns and develop that awareness and move beyond them, consciously, similar to yoga, and I think there’s a number of other body practices that are really conducive to that kind of personal growth. You would maybe even call it spiritual growth. I think climbing is just the perfect activity for that. I see so many parallels between what I get to do as a life coach and my work as a climber and my passion for that.
Neely Quinn: So it just kind of fit into your life and how you think about climbing anyway.
Remy Franklin: Exactly. I’m often being coached by the rocks, all the time.
Neely Quinn: Can you describe that a little bit more?
Remy Franklin: Yeah, absolutely. I’ll give you a specific example: about a year ago, in December, I had a pretty bad pulley injury. I was trying sort of a hard project in Mount Lemmon near Tucson, which was my home crag at the time. I was kind of devastated. I had just come back from another less-severe finger injury six months earlier and had been training with Steve Bechtel and really was feeling healthy and finally strong again. Then maybe two days later I went outside. I did this 8A I had tried a few times and sent it in just a few goes and was really psyched about that. I was finally feeling good and was like, ‘Ah, I’m back!’ I went out and was trying this other project and loud pop – everyone at the crag heard it – and knew that I had a pulley injury.
I had the chance then to just be like, ‘Gosh, this sucks. What am I going to do about it?’ That was kind of my initial reaction. I had the opportunity to hop on the phone with Steve the next day and told him. His first reaction was, ‘Great! Let’s look at what we can do with this opportunity of an injury.’
Neely Quinn: [laughs] And you’re like, ‘What?’
Remy Franklin: I was mind blown, and this was right around the time I was getting into coaching. It was just that that moment was such a choice. I could see it as the end of my climbing career or you know, there’s all sorts of things that pop up in your head when that sort of thing happens. Or, you can choose to say, “What can I learn from this situation and how to move forward?”
Neely Quinn: So what did you guys figure out that you could learn and then what did you do after that?
Remy Franklin: The last year since then has really, I think for me, been a process of learning how to train a lot smarter which often means doing less. I’m the kind of person who really loves to climb a lot and so I tend to train a lot when I’m training.
It can seem like pulling back from that is lame and it can seem like it sucks. I can appreciate now how it’s actually allowed me to develop more strength and power because to do that training and to climb harder individual moves, I actually needed to rest a lot more than I might to accomplish my sport or trad climbing goals. I’ve seen it as this process of stepping back a little and saying, “Actually, for me to improve as a climber overall, it’s going to require a lot more rest and just being a lot smarter about how often I’m training when I’m really doing moves at my limit.”
Neely Quinn: So it’s like a ‘hindsight is 20/20’ kind of thing where maybe this lesson that you learned was maybe something that you should have been doing all along or something.
Remy Franklin: Exactly. I could look back at that moment and be like, ‘Actually, I’m very grateful for that finger injury,’ which says no one, ever, and yet I really do see it that way. I think life is full of those moments and climbing is full of those moments.
Neely Quinn: As a life coach, can you draw similarities between that experience and your clients’ life experiences and how you draw on their life experiences to get that knowledge for them?
Remy Franklin: Definitely. One of the fundamental principles of the kind of coaching that I do is that the people I’m coaching have all their own answers. I’m not giving them advice but I’m sort of creating a space in which they can see really clearly what the right thing is for them to do in whatever situation it is. Often, they find that rather than focusing on why a situation is shitty, basically, they’re more interested in what they can learn from the situation and how they can move forward.
So, if something bad happens in your life you can dwell on it and wonder why it happened and ‘why me’ and ‘why now’ and get bogged down by that, but I find that when we really get a chance to look in a supportive, open environment, people are much more interested in how they want to turn that situation around and move forward.
Neely Quinn: So we should back up probably, a little bit. Can you describe what it’s like working as a life coach with people? What kinds of things do you work on? Who comes to you? What kinds of results do you see?
Remy Franklin: Great question. The main people I work with I’d say is people who want to do more of what they love. It might sound like that’s everybody, and it sort of is, but I think the clients I’ve ended up working with are folks that see that they have some kind of contribution they want to make through their life and work and also have passions for things outside of work. They are trying to find that work/life balance, you could call it, and make time and energy to pursue their passions, whether that’s climbing or – I work with a bunch of musicians and writers, activists, entrepreneurs, so people that want to do more of what they love.
The benefit is really taking action consistently on the things that matter to you. A lot of the people I work with end up taking action on goals and dreams that they’ve had for a long time and maybe not made a priority yet. They experience a lot more fulfillment, day-to-day, just realizing that they’re focusing their energy on what matters most to them. There’s kind of an ‘all is well’ sort of quality about it which I think is ultimately pretty fulfilling.
Neely Quinn: Are you ever just like, ‘You should quit your job?’
Remy Franklin: No, [laughs] but sometimes they do. Again, it’s that moment where someone might say, ‘You know? This is not the job that’s working for me.’ They know that and yet for whatever reason they haven’t taken action on it because of all the things that come up when you decide to quit your job. Where am I going to make my income? What other jobs do I want? Maybe this is as good as it gets? There’s all these worries that come up in any situation where we’re doing something that’s important to us.
Coaching is all about looking at what’s holding you back from taking action on your goals and dreams and then moving beyond that.
Neely Quinn: So it’s kind of like therapy and – I don’t know – life coaching all in one, it seems like?
Remy Franklin: Yes. One distinction I like to make is the result of therapy is insight where the result of coaching is action. In both cases you’ll probably gain some insight about who you are and what matters to you yet at the end of a coaching session, there’s always some kind of action that you’re promising to take that’s aligned with what you’re seeing in the session.
Neely Quinn: So I think that a lot of climbers have jobs, obviously, and some of them have families and some of them also want to be really good climbers. Do you find yourself working with people like that?
Remy Franklin: Absolutely. I don’t work with too many climbers yet but it’s something that I want to do more of because it’s just a big part of my life and my community. So yeah, climbers, let’s do it.
I think you’re right in that climbing is sort of a unique challenge as a passion and life pursuit because it takes so much time. As much as I can coach someone through time management challenges, we all have 24 hours in the day whether it’s you or me or the Dalai Lama, right? There’s just no changing that. Going out to climb is just a really time-intensive sport so I do think that climbers face that challenge frequently and the kind of stuff we do in coaching is super helpful.
Neely Quinn: That’s kind of what I was getting at: if I came to you and I said to you, “I have this much time right now. I feel totally strapped for time and tired a lot and I don’t know how to structure my life in order to do all the things well,” what are some of the questions that you ask people or how do you direct them?
Remy Franklin: The first thing we would do is look at: what is important to you? What are the things that really give your life meaning? That big picture view. I would call them ‘life’s intentions.’ It relates to that blueprint activity that I think I referenced in the New Year’s climbing goals article that I wrote for the blog. Folks can find in there.
Starting from that point is really helpful because when you have put some words and language to the things that make your life meaningful, whether that’s your family or being really successful and professional in your career, a contributor to your community, being really healthy and physically fit, or achieving your athletic goals – whatever it is for you, being able to just articulate it is a really important first step to being able to choose where you’re putting your time and energy. We all have busy lives and a million things we could focus on at any given moment so that would be the first part. Just saying that if you want to be spending more time climbing, why is that? What is it about climbing that really matters to you?
Neely Quinn: Right. It’s the what and the why because we can all be like, ‘My family, my job, and climbing are all really important to me,’ among other things but that doesn’t really get you anywhere because we already know that. It seems like your job is to dig a little deeper.
Remy Franklin: Absolutely. Those are the big three, right? Which climber doesn’t want to have a successful family life, career, and also be able to climb a lot and hard? We would dig deeper and the question is: what is not working in your current experience?
Neely Quinn: What kind of answers do you get to that question?
Remy Franklin: At a basic level – and again it’s going to feel kind of conceptual as long as we are speaking of it in the hypothetical – the general response, and ultimately most coaching conversations are about, people not doing what they want to be doing. Really, it’s about: ‘What is holding you back? Let’s look.’ Usually there’s some kind of thought or worry that’s coming up about doing the thing you’d like to be doing. We basically look at that so that you can observe it, step back from it, and choose to put your attention on just doing the thing.
Neely Quinn: And figuring out just logistically how to do that because I feel like that’s the thing that people struggle with the most. It’s like: ‘What systems do I need to change?’
Remy Franklin: Absolutely. I love those coaching conversations when someone comes in and is like, ‘Please! Just give me a road map! I just want a system! I need a checklist for my life.’ Unfortunately, I don’t give it to them but they do usually have some sense of what the answer is for themselves already if they’re bringing that question up. What I do is help them see really clearly what that process looks like for them, because they already have the answer.
Neely Quinn: I think that your story might be a really nice illustration of this. You said you wrote an article for TrainingBeta and it was one of the first articles we put up after the new year. I think it was the first article, appropriately, because it was about actually keeping your New Year’s resolutions or basically, goal-setting appropriately and sticking with your goals to attain them. You had some really great anecdotes about your own life. Could you share a couple of those and how you figured out your own priorities and then how you went from there?
Remy Franklin: Absolutely. Is there a certain part of that that you think would be most valuable for folks?
Neely Quinn: Yeah, for sure I think talking about how you wanted to have a good family life and do good work and you had these very specific climbing goals and you made them all work together.
Remy Franklin: Great. I would love to talk about that.
A big theme for me in my life has been this feeling that it just can’t all fit, you know? It’s one of my most common worries that I can’t possibly be a good partner. My partner doesn’t climb at all, she’s just not a climber, and I love her and we have an awesome relationship and I’m committed to making that work, and yet that means that there’s no overlap between the time I go climbing and the time that I’m spending with her, which is a big part of my life.
Then, if you add in work I had this feeling that there’s a Venn Diagram with these three things and they just don’t touch each other, right? Those three circles are just mutually exclusive so that was a really common thought for me for many years and a source of stress and anxiety. Just kind of, ‘Is this all going to fit together? How will it possibly work? I’ll never be able to accomplish what I want in all three of them.’
You can probably tell there’s not a lot of possibility in that way of seeing things. I can have that thought and then I just get stuck. Then I just stop and it’s like, ‘Well, there’s no way it can possibly work.’
Neely Quinn: And then you’re just going to go play video games or something. [laughs]
Remy Franklin: Right? Exactly, and where does that get me? [laughs]
That was one of the first times I ever got coached. It was really seeing clearly that that’s the way that I was holding it. That’s the way that I was thinking about these three parts of my life that are really important to me and that it’s not getting me anywhere, you know? Just at a very practical level – we can argue about whether it’s true or not – it’s just not working for me. It’s not helpful and seeing that allowed me to shift my attention to a much more creative question which is: how do I build the life that allows those three things to thrive together?
That’s really what kicked off my journey as a life coach because now my professional life is something I’m super passionate about. I just love it and, just like in having this conversation, there’s more overlap with climbing for me than there was when I was in grad school. And, it’s just a professional path that creates a little more space and time to devote to climbing. That kind of shift from that really ‘stuck’ way of seeing it to a more creative question and getting interested in exploring that question is the kind of stuff we do in life coaching.
Neely Quinn: You also had very specific goals in climbing which you attained the year that you were talking about. You kind of did it while compromising in order to spend more time with your partner and all the other things. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Remy Franklin: Absolutely. Last year one of the big goals I had was to go attempt the FFA of this route in Sao Tome and Principe, which is this island country in the Gulf of Guinea, one of the smallest countries. Gaz Leah and a team had put up a route up this volcanic tower, this sort of amazing volcanic plug, 1,000 feet tall in the jungle and we had been talking about it – a couple of my close climbing partners and I – for a couple of years, about going and trying to free the route because Gaz and his team had put it up but they hadn’t been able to free some of the hard pitches.
That had been a really big dream and we had tried the year before. My climbing partner, Sam, had busted his ankle falling off a highball in Bishop two months before we were supposed to go so we bailed.
It was a big goal of last year, to go and send this route, and there were just so many moments when we could have said, “No.” It was a really ridiculous trip. We were flying to Central Africa and climbing in the jungle and it could have just rained the whole time we were there. The climbing was really at my limit and at my partner Sam’s limit. There was no guarantee that we would send those grades in a two-week trip.
Anyway, just having that goal and all the uncertainty, the skills that I’ve been building as a coach – working as a coach and being coached a lot – have been so valuable because I could focus on my doubts and worries about it and ultimately I had already made a decision to go try because I knew it was important to me. It’s about being an adventurer and pushing my limits and since I had made that commitment I could watch myself go, ‘Oh, this is a bad idea. It’s not going to work because of this or it’s not going to work because of that,’ and all the stuff your mind comes up with. I could just be like, ‘You know, I’m not really interested in those thoughts. I’m interested in trying to go send this route.’ Then just kind of keep saying, “Yes,” whenever opportunities came up to prepare for that experience.
I’m not sure if that was the story you were thinking of but it illustrates how useful that self awareness that we’re building in coaching is to accomplishing our big climbing goals.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, I thought that that story was definitely part of it and also how you prepared for that because you talk a lot about goal setting and how to stick with your goals. I found it really interesting that because you wanted to be a good partner and you wanted to be a good climber, instead of going on a bunch of weekend trips away from her you would climb locally, like your goals were now local so that you could have that overlap.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, that’s definitely been a key part of organizing my climbing life. A lot of the climbing I was able to do preparing for that trip was in Tucson, in southern Arizona, at this fantastic chosspile called the Dry Canyon. It’s just south of Tucson an hour. No on ever climbs there. There are like five of us that climb there regularly although it’s getting some more attention now. There are now two 14a’s and possibly the first 15a in Arizona, an extension, so anyway you’ll probably hear about it more in the next year or two.
Anyway, it was a chance to just get to explore some local climbing and it turns out, some real gems of routes there. For me, it’s just so much more fun to say, “How do I build my climbing goals around the situation that I’m in?” and just embrace both things. Getting to live with and be near my partner for much of the year and also push my climbing limits.
Neely Quinn: I think that’s a really lovely illustration of having this big objective. When you guys got there you did the route, right?
Remy Franklin: We sent it, yeah.
Neely Quinn: Which is amazing and it really shows your commitment to the process and your ability to push away negative thoughts, or whatever you do with them. Do you want to talk about that a little bit? About how you guide people in dealing with negative thoughts? That’s something that climbers definitely have to deal with a lot.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, I’d love to. That’s maybe the first thing people think of when you think of mental training for climbing, right? The actual performance moment. It’s so valuable. We’ve all had those experiences of working a route or being on a climb where we really get present and other things fall away. We could call it a flow state or complete presence or whatever it is, but I think what a lot of us are chasing in climbing is those moments, being able to cultivate that very precise awareness, focused fully on what we’re doing at the time.
I think the skills that I work with in coaching – again, I’m not working with a lot of climbers specifically – is exactly the same thing. It’s really about getting present to where you are and bringing your full attention to the thing that you’re doing here and now and bringing the qualities that you want to that moment.
Neely Quinn: Can you give me an example of that? Like how that would play out in climbing?
Remy Franklin: Absolutely. There’s an exercise that I thought I could share.
Neely Quinn: Oh yeah.
Remy Franklin: If you think about going to a climbing gym, I think this is a great place to practice it. When you go to a climbing gym and you’re choosing which routes or boulders to get on, what are the thoughts that go through your head when you’re choosing even what route to try? Then I’ll ask this as a real question and we can try it out.
Neely Quinn: Like, what looks fun? What looks challenging? What looks doable or not doable for me? What is nobody else on?
Remy Franklin: Exactly, right? ‘Where is the open climb?’ That’s the Boulder, Colorado version. [laughs] So I think even just being able to stop and notice: ‘What are the thoughts I’m having that are even deciding what terrain I get on?’ is a useful starting point because for some people it won’t be, ‘What is the route that’s going to be the most challenging for me?’ For some of us it might be, ‘What’s the route I can send?’ or ‘What’s the route that I will feel safest on?’
I don’t know if you’ve read Dave MacLeod’s book 9 out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, I’ve read parts of it.
Remy Franklin: It’s an entertaining read but I think one of his key points in that book are that the two things that hold most rock climbers back from really developing their abilities is fear of falling and fear of failure. I think if we look at what thoughts we’re having when we go to perform climbing, or even just in the gym deciding what climbs to get on, those thoughts are probably coming up at least some of the time for everyone.
The coaching approach would be, ‘Let’s look at those thoughts and what’s the result they’re producing for you?’ If I’m thinking, ‘I really want to climb something that I’m not going to fall on,’ because I’m afraid of falling or not as comfortable with falling as I’m lead climbing, the result is that a) you’re probably just climbing climbs that are your style. You’re probably not getting on roof climbs if you’re a really good vertical climber, or vice versa, and b) you’re probably not pushing to your limits in a way that’s really going to improve how you climb.
I think it really starts with the thoughts and the result is how you’re training and climbing and that’s really what leads to how you develop as a climber.
Neely Quinn: Right, so if I did go into the gym and I was like, ‘Hey, what routes should I do? I think I’ll just do this one that’s really easy for me and stick with that,’ and never go beyond that, what are the things that you do to change that? You can’t just say to me, “You need to change that,” there needs to be a reason for me to change that. How do you coach people on that?
Remy Franklin: Well, the question for people is: what do you want to get out of your climbing in the gym?
Neely Quinn: Me? I want to get stronger and I want to have fun.
Remy Franklin: Perfect. Do you feel like that’s what you’re getting right now?
Neely Quinn: Currently? Yeah, but not for many years of my life because I wasn’t challenging myself. I was afraid of failure and I was afraid of falling but it took – I don’t really know what changed but I would like to be able to bottle it and give it to our listeners right now because I feel like so many people struggle with that, right?
Remy Franklin: Yeah. That’s a thing that’s really going to be unique and also common. What I would do as a coach is we would say, “Well, what do you want the experience to be like?” ‘I want to be getting stronger. I want to be having fun.’ “How are you currently showing up? What are you doing when you go to the gym, or not doing, that leads to that result?” Maybe the answer is, ‘I’m just not getting on routes that challenge me and push me because I’m afraid of falling and afraid of failure.’
Then we would look and we would spend some time observing. What is the specific thought, when you go to the gym and you think, ‘Oh, I’m going to try the pink route instead of the blue route because the pink route I know I can send right now?’ Is that because you are afraid of looking bad in front of your friend that’s belaying you? Is it because you’re actually afraid of falling and hurting yourself? Is it because you’re concerned that you’re going to take too much time? Like, ‘Oh, if I hang a lot my friend is going to have to sit there belaying me forever.’
What is the thought that comes up? It comes from a part of our brain that psychologists call ‘the negativity bias.’ The amygdala is the physical part of the brain but it turns out, as humans, we just have to happen this old part of our brain that is wired to look for what could go wrong. In coaching I call it our ‘monkey mind’ and that’s a term we borrow from Buddhists, but just to describe that voice of doubt and worry that’s always chattering away at us in the background.
One of the things we would do is observe. What is your monkey mind saying to you in that moment? What are the doubts and worries coming up? Is that who you are or is there something beyond that, your capacity to be interested in something else, like your growth as a climber?
Neely Quinn: Do you feel like just noticing the monkey mind chatter is enough? Or do people have to then take steps? It seems like if the issue is that I feel bad making my belayer sit there and belay me on this thing for 10 minutes or whatever it is, do I then need to talk to my belayer about that? Do I need to dispel that myth by having a conversation?
Remy Franklin: Yeah. Do you think that would be an authentic sort of step for you? Would talking to your belayer affect how you think about that?
Neely Quinn: If I am not getting on that slopey, overhanging route because I’m afraid of failing on it and being embarrassed, what do I do about that?
Remy Franklin: What would be the worst thing about failing on it?
Neely Quinn: People might think that I suck.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, ‘People think that I suck,’ and then the other question would be: what is the worst part of people thinking that you suck?
Neely Quinn: Then they won’t like me or respect me.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, they won’t like or respect you anymore. Perfect. That could totally be a coaching conversation we would have. Then I would ask you, Neely, “Really, on a scale of 1-10, how much do you believe that people won’t like and respect you if you fall on that route?”
Neely Quinn: I mean, it’s probably not true.
Remy Franklin: It’s probably not true, right? We know that and yet we have those thoughts and they’re totally normal. If I were coaching you and you said, “Yeah, it’s not true,” then what is true in that moment? The truth is that the people you climb with probably aren’t paying any attention to you. They’re probably worried about their own success and failure on their next route, right?
Neely Quinn: And regardless, if they are paying attention to you and they’re your friends, they’re just going to respect you and love you regardless.
Remy Franklin: Exactly, yeah. ‘Are you more interested?’ would be the question. Once we really observed whether you were more interested in worrying whether your friends are going to not like you because you fell on that route or are you more interested in pushing your limits and realizing that your friends like you either way?
Neely Quinn: Right, and ironically I have found in my own life that people get annoyed with me more for not trying and then failing than just staying below my limit, if that makes sense. People respect people who try hard, I think, and so that was one of the switches that I had to make. First of all, it doesn’t matter what other people think. I’m not climbing for them, I’m climbing for me and if I want to get any better I have to just try hard. [laughs]
Remy Franklin: What a perfect insight, right? I just love the way you put it. People respect you when you try hard, right? They love watching you fail and the push through and learn from it and then succeed. They want to support you in that process. It’s one of the joys of climbing and it’s one reason why we love the sport.
The question, Neely – again if we were coaching – would be, ‘Well, what’s one small way you could demonstrate what you’re seeing in the next week?’ for example.
Neely Quinn: It would be: I’m going to go into the gym. I’ll get on something that I probably won’t do first try.
Remy Franklin: Perfect. Nice. And you’re willing to do that?
Neely Quinn: Yes, I am willing to do that.
Remy Franklin: Awesome. Again, we would say, “By when?” And then you would be like, ‘Well, I’m going to the gym on Friday with my climbing partner and I’m going to try one route that I’m going to fall on.’
Neely Quinn: So then that’s your homework?
Remy Franklin: That’s your homework. We would call it an ‘authentic action’ just because it’s really related to something that matters to you and as long as it’s clearly connected to something that really matters to you, it’s worth doing.
Then we get to come back in a couple weeks. I always coach with maybe a six month set of sessions with someone so we get to come back next week or the week after and report back. ‘How did that go? What was it like? What came up?’ Maybe you didn’t do it and if you didn’t do it then perfect – what a great learning opportunity. ‘What was the thought that came up that had you not doing it?’ Usually people do it, it turns out. [laughs]
Neely Quinn: That’s good.
Remy Franklin: It’s really about realizing that there’s no success or failure, it’s really just about taking whatever happened and seeing that it’s an opportunity for growth and improvement. I think that really when it comes down to it, that’s what people want.
Neely Quinn: Yeah. I would like to do the same exercise about falling because I think those are the big things that people don’t want: to take up too much time and space, they don’t want to fail in front of people, and they don’t want to fall. Can we go through that with falling? Like why people aren’t getting on things because they don’t want to fall?
Remy Franklin: Yeah, that’d be great.
Neely Quinn: How do you coach somebody when they’re coming to you like, ‘I’m just so scared of falling that I don’t want to try anything hard and so I can’t get any stronger?’
Remy Franklin: I love that question. It’s so funny because I’ve never coached someone as a life coach on that specific question so we’re going to wing it, but I think it’s so coachable and really, it comes down to what we would call risk assessment, initially.
First of all, is it safe to fall? Let’s just look and see if it’s safe to fall. Let’s assume that it is. If you’re in a gym on an overhung route, it’s probably safe to fall. I think even just starting there is really important because sometimes it’s not safe to fall and in which case you want to decide if it’s still worth doing the thing.
Then there’s a great moment when you’re climbing and you commit to something. That’s one of the muscles that I think we can build through coaching and also climbing: just really fully committing to something or not. Either saying, “I’m going to do the thing or I’m not going to do the thing and I’m not interested in sitting in this middle space of hesitation.”
Neely Quinn: Which I think is where a lot of us get stuck for sure, in so many areas of our lives.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, exactly.
Neely Quinn: But when you’re up there and you’re hesitating and you’re scared, what is going to push you to go above your bolt?
Remy Franklin: I think as a coach I would say, “I don’t actually care if you go above your bolt or not. It’s really: do you care about going above your bolt? Why would it be meaningful to you to climb above your bolt?”
Neely Quinn: That’s a good question because it could be anything from, ‘Well, then I’ll know that I’ll be proud of myself or I’ll know that I pushed myself. I’ll know that I can maybe get stronger.’
Remy Franklin: Awesome, and of those things, what’s the most meaningful part about that?
Neely Quinn: I think for me it was knowing that I could push myself like that.
Remy Franklin: Nice. What did you find from pushing yourself? What did you gain from that?
Neely Quinn: That you get more and more confident as you take more and more falls and then you can just climb and not worry.
Remy Franklin: Nice.
Neely Quinn: And then it’s way more fun. [laughs] Turns out it’s way more fun.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, exactly. Maybe this is a great thing that will speak to both the climbers and the belayers of the climbers who don’t want to fall, right? It’s just such a gift to show up for someone, really supporting them 100% and not having an agenda for them. As a belayer, that’s just saying that for the other person that you’re belaying, if they don’t want to fall then maybe they don’t want to fall. You can say, “I’ve got you. I’m with you and you should do whatever you want.” For the person climbing it’s looking like, at that moment when you’re about to do the move above your bolt and you decide not to, what’s coming up for you? What’s the thought that you have in that moment?
Neely Quinn: And just observing it being the first step.
Remy Franklin: The first step is always to observe. Exactly. The coaching model I work with has four steps. Do you want to hear them? They are: look, see, tell the truth, and take authentic action.
Basically, in this moment, that would look like: ‘Let me look at the situation. Is it safe for me to fall above this bolt or not? If it’s safe, great. Am I interested in doing that?’ I’m still looking, right? Then what do I see there? ‘Yes, I’m interested. It would be an opportunity for growth and I also see that I’m having this thought of what if I swing into the wall and hurt my ankle or something? That’s one of the worries coming up for me.’ Then continuing to look, ‘Is that really true? I’ve got a great belayer. This is a gym wall. It’s really steep. It’s really not a realistic fear.’
Then, the telling the truth part is sort of the surrendering to what you’re going to do next. ‘The truth is I’m willing to try it or I’m not and I just want to come down.’ Just making that choice really clearly for yourself, after you’ve looked and seen what there is for you to see there means then there’s just doing it. That’s the authentic action. ‘Either I’m going to do the next move and try to make the clip or I’m going to say take or I’m going to jump off,’ or whatever it is.
It sounds so simple when I say it that way. ‘Oh yeah, it’s so simple,’ but we all know it’s not simple, right? It takes practice and in that moment it’s really challenging but I think when you build those skills, whether it’s in climbing or life, you always start super small. If you haven’t set goals before we’re not going to set the big goal first. There’s really no need to set a six-month or five-year goal or something. We’re going to set the next week goal and then practice scoring it and moving gracefully beyond whatever comes up, challenges and obstacles, and build that skill set.
Neely Quinn: So if somebody has big goals in climbing or in their career or whatever, you don’t want to set the big goals first? Or you do? You want to have them in the background but focus on the present.
Remy Franklin: Exactly. I think the way you just put it is great. If someone is coming in with a burning goal like, ‘This is the thing I’m wanting to do in the first six months that we’re working together,’ then great. That is awesome. We will have our intention there and yet the practice is setting the small goals and then doing what you promised to do.
Actually – again, I’m throwing a lot of content out here – we have a definition for success in coaching which I really love. You might think success is subjective but it’s not. There’s one definition.
Neely Quinn: What’s that?
Remy Franklin: The definition I use is: “Success means doing what you said you were going to do consistently with clarity, focus, ease, and grace.” I think when we see it that way we realize that really, successful people are realistic about what they want to do and then they do it. It’s kind of a simple process and we can all practice that in our life. It usually starts with the next small thing to do.
Neely Quinn: It sounds so simple, right? Well, it doesn’t. It doesn’t sound simple at all. What did you say? Doing what you intend to do with clarity, ease, grace, and focus?
Remy Franklin: Perfect. Doing what you said you were going to do consistently.
Neely Quinn: Consistently.
Remy Franklin: With clarity, focus, ease, and grace. The clarity there is knowing what really matters. The focus is putting your energy in the most useful way towards those things really efficiently. Ease is just that there’s not a sense of struggle, you know? Sometimes we can get done the thing we want to do and yet it was such a slog. Ease is about having a sense of spaciousness about it. Grace is just that sort of consistent access to gratitude regardless of the challenges or obstacles you’re facing. You can be in touch with gratitude at any moment.
Neely Quinn: So it’s sort of a sense of humility about things.
Remy Franklin: Yeah. I like that.
Neely Quinn: Which I think is also a big deal and I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, about how – and I’m definitely victim of this – sometimes I feel like I deserve to do things, that I deserve to have success, and so there isn’t humility. That causes suffering, for sure.
Remy Franklin: What a key insight. You know, it’s funny, Neely, one of the things we say about the quality of monkey mind – you know, that voice of doubt and worry I talked about – is you know that a thought is a monkey mind thought when it’s about getting what you deserve or getting out of trouble or staying out of trouble. I think you’re totally right that when we’re listening to that voice of doubt and worry there’s a sense of suffering to it. We might not always call it that because suffering seems so extreme and yet I think that is a stress or anxiety that we all experience.
Neely Quinn: Yeah. It took me a long time to pinpoint that that was what was going on. That was just my MO for a really long time, like, ‘I deserve to do this. I should be able to do this. Did I train for this? No, but I should be able to do it anyway.’
Remy Franklin: ‘Should’ is another great one. Anytime you see yourself having a ‘should’ conversation then as a coach I would be like, ‘Really? Should? Let’s talk about this should. What is this should? Do you want to do it or do you not want to do it?’ So that’s great and I love that you saw that.
You know, how is life different now that you sort of made that shift? It sounds like kind of a big insight.
Neely Quinn: It is a big insight and honestly, again, it just makes climbing way more fun because I go climbing now and I don’t do – honestly, I don’t send things very often in the gym at all and I’m just climbing in the gym right now. Now, I’m kind of like, ‘Well, I don’t deserve to send any of these things. I know I’m pushing myself so I’m probably getting better at this,’ so it’s just way easier. There’s way less ego around it so it’s way more fun and happy. I’m much happier.
Remy Franklin: Isn’t that amazing? When we kind of let go of the outcome and enjoy the process it’s just so much more joyful.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, and not caring about what other people are thinking about. I just don’t care. [laughs] I think I hit 40 years old and I was like, ‘I don’t care. I don’t care what you guys think.’
Remy Franklin: And I think that’s one of the big results of coaching and it’s one of the reasons I really want to do this work more with climbers. I’m kind of exploring what that looks like, if it’s just workshops or coaching folks one-on-one. I think climbing can be so fun and some of us get so bogged down in, ‘I should be able to do this. Why am I not as good as that person?’ That comparison. We can get so serious and down on ourselves about it and lose touch with that beautiful, playful, fun journey that it is.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, I know. I think so, too. I’ve done that for years.
Remy Franklin: We all have. If you’re listening to this and you’re like, ‘Oh shit. I do that, too,’ it’s so normal. One of the things we say about the monkey mind – that voice of doubt and worry – is that usually if it’s coming up for you, which would be a comparison thought or a ‘should’ thought or an ‘I deserve this’ thought, those would all be monkey mind thoughts. If it’s coming up for you it means you’re doing something that’s really important to you. That’s kind of the irony of it. It’s both annoying and in our way and it’s also one of our greatest guides. It’s just an invitation for you to look and see what there is to learn out of this situation and I think in climbing, for a lot of us, that’s about getting in touch with the really fun part of the experience that’s sort of beyond whether we send or not.
Neely Quinn: Yeah. That’s another thing I want to talk to you about: actual failure. If you went to whatever country it was you went to and you had your two weeks and you didn’t accomplish your goal, then what? How (where) do you go from there?
Remy Franklin: I’m a human so I probably would feel devastated first [laughs] and then I think it would have been just the best coaching moment/the best life lesson in saying, “Was this worth trying it anyway?” Yes. I got to go on this amazing trip to this part of the world I had never even heard of a few years before and spend two weeks in the jungle just sitting at the base of a cliff and hanging on a portaledge with some of my best friends and pushing myself, throwing myself at these moves. Gosh – what a privilege to get to do that.
Obviously, it’s more fun when we send and yet I think the journey that I’m certainly on as a climber, and I think a lot of climbers are on, is moving towards a place where really the process is what matters to me more than the outcome. I think if we can learn that lesson in climbing and apply it to the rest of life, we are going to be so fulfilled.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, I think so, too. There comes the grace there, too, the taking the failure with grace.
Remy Franklin: Exactly, yeah, that access to gratitude, just as you said it.
Neely, I’ve been thinking about this a lot this last year and there are some great books that I think if folks are interested in this thing – like Arno Ilgner has written a great book on this. I don’t know if you’ve read The Rock Warrior’s Way but it’s really this. It’s slightly different language but it’s basically about what we’re discussing and using climbing as this warrior’s journey, as he describes it. Just seeing all the lessons we can learn from it and also apply it to life to become more successful climbers.
Eric Horst has a book, Maximum Climbing, and there’s a newer one by Jerry Mastermind.
Anyway, there’s some content out there that climbers have written about and I think a big thread through all of it is this idea that when you get more interested in the process and what you can learn from a climbing experience than in the outcome, like whether I clip the chains or not, whether I send, ironically you clip the chains more often. You become a better climber and you usually send more frequently. There’s this kind of paradox in there that we see and I think a lot of us have described. ‘When I let go of trying hard or the outcome and I’m just present to the process, that’s when I send.’
Neely Quinn: Yeah, it’s like flow state.
Remy Franklin: It pretty much is, yeah. I think that’s part of what I love about the coaching work. I think it’s teaching me the skills to be in that state a lot more when I’m climbing, and in life in general.
Neely Quinn: Which is impressive. I don’t even understand what that means, really. [laughs] I don’t know that I’ve ever been in flow state.
I wanted to talk more about balancing everything because I think that that’s a lot of what people struggle with. Climbers are ambitious people in general, right? At least the people I hang out with. They have big dreams with their careers, they have strong relationships with their partners and families, or they’d like to, and so I’d like to either go through a mock scenario or some scenario that you know of or something to show how we can prioritize, first of all, and then move from there and achieve our goals.
Remy Franklin: Awesome. Would you be willing to share? You mentioned something when we were talking earlier about your business and climbing and balancing that stuff. Would you be willing to share a real example that we could coach on a little bit?
Neely Quinn: For sure. I feel like this interview has been more about me than about you, which never happens but that’s okay. [laughs]
Remy Franklin: It’s funny how that’s exactly what coaching calls sound like, too. Even if I’m not coaching you it’s sort of what we do.
Neely Quinn: Let’s do it.
Remy Franklin: Awesome. Tell me about what you’re thinking about around your business and climbing and what you would love to discuss.
Neely Quinn: I think what I decided recently – because my priorities are helping people. I think that’s why I was put on this planet, to either give people the resources they need to help themselves – well, basically just that. As a nutritionist I see clients one-on-one but there’s this need for me to help more people so I want to create a nutrition program for climbers that they can access at their own pace and learn all of the things that I have to teach about nutrition. I was sort of outlining it and I know that it’s going to take so much time.
At the same time, I have really lofty goals for climbing this year and the next year. I’ve already talked to my husband, like, ‘Do you think I could put a little bit more effort into my climbing and a little bit less into work this year in order to do that?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, totally.’ Then of course I want to maintain my relationship with him.
Those are the things that I’m trying to balance right now.
Remy Franklin: That’s awesome. First of all, I see how much you’re living that mission of helping people. It’s so clear and this podcast is an amazing example. It’s just a service to the climbing community and I can tell you’re doing that through your nutrition practice as well.
Neely Quinn: I would like to. I think I’m helping people and it really gives me a lot of satisfaction and joy to do that.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, I can tell. I can hear it in your voice.
Neely, what is there for you to see more clearly about this balance that you’re seeing? Like the potential conflict between time spent on work versus climbing this year.
Neely Quinn: I think it would be really easy for me to get sucked into this project and just do it all of the time and in the process, ruin my body from just sitting and being at a computer and standing at a computer all the time then giving up. Like, right after this interview I’m going to go climbing and it’s the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday. That’s something that I’ve tried to commit to, climbing during the day one day a week so that I don’t have to deal with the crowds and so that I can focus.
My fear is that I’m just going to get sucked into it.
Remy Franklin: Perfect. What would be the worst part about getting sucked into your work?
Neely Quinn: It would be that everything else would go to shit.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, and then the rest of life would just go to shit. Is that a familiar thought for you?
Neely Quinn: Yeah, honestly it’s sort of a traumatic thought because when I first injured my shoulder it wasn’t from climbing. It was from sitting at a computer a hundred hours a week for three weeks straight doing this heinous project for nutrition. As soon as I was done my shoulders were jacked because I had been hunched over for so long and stressed out. That’s what I don’t want to happen. It just occurred to me that that’s exactly what I don’t want to happen.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, so you see that you have this concern and you have some evidence for it. You’re like, ‘This has happened before and it could happen again.’
Neely Quinn: Totally. I don’t know that I trust myself.
Remy Franklin: Yeah, ‘I don’t trust myself.’ What a funny thought, right? ‘What if I don’t do what’s important to me?’
I just see what a normal thing that is when you’re jumping into something new. You’re trying to expand both your nutrition practice and also push into climbing harder grades. Neely, if you were to get sucked in like you did last time and spend all your time hunched over the computer and let go of your climbing goals, what would it mean about you if that were to happen?
Neely Quinn: It would mean that I failed myself as a climber and I would have failed to reach those goals that I have.
Remy Franklin: Failed yourself as a climber. What else?
Neely Quinn: That’s it.
Remy Franklin: Again, it’s really awesome that you’re willing to do this on a recorded interview, for everyone’s benefit to look at this.
Neely Quinn: Hopefully it will benefit anybody.
Remy Franklin: Well, if you weren’t worried about this concern that you’re going to get sucked into the work project what might you be free to focus on instead?
Neely Quinn: Just climbing, honestly. Maintaining TrainingBeta, doing the standard things, and not improving TrainingBeta and making something that I know that I really, really, really want to make. If I didn’t do it then I would just focus on climbing.
Remy Franklin: Not even if you didn’t do it but if you weren’t focused on this concern that you’re having, right? ‘If I do it the other things are going to go by the wayside.’
Neely Quinn: Oh, if I wasn’t focused on the concern then yesterday I wouldn’t have procrastinated by filling out a dog adoption application for two hours [laughs] when I don’t even want a dog.
Remy Franklin: That’s awesome.
Neely Quinn: I was like, ‘Wait a second – why am I doing this? I know what I should be doing or want to be doing but I will not do it.’
Remy Franklin: Perfect. I love that. [laughs] What would you have loved to be doing with that time when you were filling out the dog adoption application?
Neely Quinn: I think I could have been sussing out the structure of the program and asking questions of my audience. Just hashing it out and figuring out what I need to do.
Remy Franklin: What would be the very first step in that process for you?
Neely Quinn: The very first step would be to – I’ve already done the very first step which was to go for a walk and talk to myself like a crazy person about what I want to put out in the world. Then, I need to write it down. That’s the next step.
Remy Franklin: What are you going to do after you write it down?
Neely Quinn: I’m going to make a list of priorities and start working on them.
Remy Franklin: And what’s going to the first thing on that list or one of the first things?
Neely Quinn: It’s going to be to make videos and then it’s going to be to make worksheets and questionnaires and write out articles and all of the things.
Remy Franklin: So having down this list of priorities seems like an authentic first step. Is there someone that you might share that with or get feedback from?
Neely Quinn: I don’t know. That’s a good question. Maybe my friend and maybe my husband?
Remy Franklin: Perfect. What I’m doing here, you’ll see, is I’m sort of coaching you to see what the first step is in what we would call ‘physical reality’ versus the visioning realm. We can have the thoughts and the ideas and the vision, and that’s what the walk is, right? Putting some of that out into words for yourself. It’s a great process and that’s what writing down the plan is and yet at some point you’re going to do something that makes this next step, this vision that you have, real in the world. Even if it’s just sharing it with someone or getting feedback from someone or making that first video – whatever that first thing is. At that moment you’ll have a totally different experience with the process because it won’t just be an idea.
What I’m coaching you now to do is just look at: what is that thing so that you can commit to doing it?
Neely Quinn: It’s good. It’s helpful to just say it out loud and imagine myself doing it.
Remy Franklin: By when are you willing to share the plan with your friend and your husband?
Neely Quinn: Maybe next week?
Remy Franklin: What day next week might you be able to get it done with ease and focus?
Neely Quinn: Remy, gosh! Maybe by Friday.
Remy Franklin: By Friday next week. Awesome.
Neely Quinn: Then I’ll see her next Saturday so perfect timing.
Remy Franklin: Okay, perfect timing. ‘This is Friday, February 15th. I have an initial list of priorities for my nutrition project or business and I share it with my friend,’ whatever their name is. Would it support you to write that down somewhere?
Neely Quinn: I am writing it down right now.
Remy Franklin: I thought you might be. Welcome to coaching. That’s your first authentic action and it’s such a short, abbreviated version and yet you’re doing it, right? You’re going to be making progress on it.
Neely Quinn: Yeah, and then the last question I would have is: how am I going to make sure that I’m still working towards my climbing goals?
Remy Franklin: What is one climbing goal that you have in the next month or two that you’d like to be working towards?
Neely Quinn: In the next few months I would like to do Ultrasaurus in the Flatirons.
Remy Franklin: What a great climb.
Neely Quinn: You’ve done it?
Remy Franklin: I’ve done it. I love it. It’s so good.
Neely Quinn: It’s so good. It’s very power endurance-y and that’s what I lack.
Remy Franklin: Brilliant. So you’ve been on the climb and by when would you like to send it?
Neely Quinn: May?
Remy Franklin: End of May? Beginning of May?
Neely Quinn: End of May would be nice.
Remy Franklin: So maybe, ‘By May 31st, 2019 I sent Ultrasaurus.’ That might be a goal that you have.
Neely Quinn: Yeah.
Remy Franklin: Cool. So just putting it out there is a great step to make sure that you don’t lose track of it since that seems to be a concern, right? Then the question would be: what’s one thing you can do this week to make progress towards sending Ultrasaurus?
Neely Quinn: I can try really hard in the gym and hangboard.
Remy Franklin: So you’ll do one hangboard workout and you’ll try really hard when you’re in the gym.
Neely Quinn: Yeah.
Remy Franklin: That’s the extent of the coaching that you need because you’re a brilliant climber and trainer and I’m sure you can write a plan for yourself, right? Or have a plan already.
Neely Quinn: [laughs] You would think.
Remy Franklin: Well then that might be something we would look at. ‘What would it look like to get some support in reaching that goal?’ if that’s something that would be helpful, whether that’s a climbing partner or a coach or whatever it is.
Neely Quinn: Cool. That’s super helpful, just having you ask those concrete question. Hopefully, people listening were maybe thinking of their own goals while doing that. If you weren’t, maybe even re-listen to that part and just go through it with your own goals in mind.
Remy Franklin: I love that. Neely, just to close up the conversation, what was your experience? What’s your experience now having spent 10 minutes talking about that topic?
Neely Quinn: I’m actually really excited to work on it and I feel like I can trust myself a little bit more.
Remy Franklin: I can hear it. That’s awesome, right? Isn’t it amazing to just shift from the, ‘Can I do both the things? How am I going to do both the things?’ to being like, ‘ These are two really frickin’ awesome things I’m doing.’ Sometimes you just need a little bit of a perspective shift and just setting those concrete actions.
Neely Quinn: I think that is something that we lack a lot in this culture, being given the guidance or the self-guidance to know how to do that. Thank you. Thank you very much, Remy.
Remy Franklin: Of course, Neely. It was my pleasure. It was really fun.
Neely Quinn: Cool. Where can people find you?
Remy Franklin: remyfranklin.com or Remy Franklin on Instagram.
Neely Quinn: So they can work with you from a distance if they want to?
Remy Franklin: Yeah, everyone I coach is over the phone or Skype.
Neely Quinn: Great. Well thanks! Are you doing anything exciting in the next month or so?
Remy Franklin: So many exciting things. They’re not necessarily climbing related but I have some big goals in Yosemite this year. As soon as the weather clears up I’ll be getting out to flail around on El Cap.
Neely Quinn: Nice. Well great. I hope to maybe have you do another article for us at some point but again, thank you so much for your wisdom and your guidance. I really appreciate it.
Remy Franklin: Totally my pleasure. Thanks for making this podcast happen. It’s such a contribution to our climbing community.
Neely Quinn: Thanks! My pleasure. Talk to you soon.
I hope you enjoyed that interview with Remy Franklin. You can find him at remyfranklin.com or on social media @remyfranklin. It’s pretty difficult for me to put myself in the hot seat in this podcast because I’m the host. I’m basically supposed to be just a vehicle for information. Putting myself out there like that is a little bit hard for me but I hope that it was helpful for you in some way and that you can go and write down your own goals and ask yourself these really important questions in order to stick with them and prioritize your life properly.
Today I also wanted to talk just a little bit about nutrition. Sometimes I’ll do this. As a nutritionist I’ll just do little tidbits of information about things that I’m thinking about recently. One of the things that I’ve been experimenting with is intermittent fasting. I know that’s a topic that comes up a lot, with my clients at least, and it’s kind of a hot topic online right now.
I have been successful with using intermittent fasting, as well as some dieting, to lose some weight recently. I think that it can be a really, really important tool in terms of weight loss. For a long time I thought that it was a really bad idea for climbers to do it. I didn’t actually think it was a bad idea, I just thought that it was very difficult for climbers to do. Having done it with a normal climber schedule – meaning I work in the day, I go climbing at night, then I go to bed – that can be difficult because people don’t want to eat dinner before they go to the gym but that’s actually exactly what I did so that I could get a big intermittent fast between dinner and breakfast, which is the whole point.
Intermittent fasting just means that you’re having a certain amount of time everyday where you’re fasting. The reason for that, basically, is that when you fast – when you don’t eat – you can secrete human growth hormone more easily and human growth hormone is something that allows us to lose fat and gain muscle and recover. There are all kinds of eating windows and fasting windows that you can use and a lot of times, people will end up using a 10-hour eating window and a 14-hour fasting window. I always get the math wrong here but sometimes people use an 8-hour eating window and a 16-hour fasting window. Anywhere in between that would be fine.
What I was doing was basically 6:30pm-9:00am or 10:00am. Then I would eat from 10:00am until about 6:30, so I had about an 8.5-hour eating window and then the rest was fasting. That meant that I would climb at night, after having a light dinner, and I would come home. If I was really hungry I would eat a little bit of something but if I wasn’t too hungry I would just go to bed and sleep it off.
It was interesting because I thought my recovery might suffer but it didn’t suffer as much as I thought it would. In fact, I felt pretty good. Because my priority was weight loss, that is what I ended up opting for and prioritizing over recovery, not that recovery isn’t important and my diet still included protein and carbs and all the macronutrients that I needed. The timing was what I was looking for.
I think that if you can work that into your schedule where you’re not eating late at night, you have a nice break at night so that your body isn’t digesting at night, which is pretty hard on your body, but also so you can secrete that human growth hormone, you might see some gains in your body composition that you might want.
That’s intermittent fasting in a nutshell. I’m not going to go too deep into it but it’s something that if you’re interested in it more you could definitely research or you can just try out eating windows and see what happens. Actually, it just reminded me that my dad had been intermittent fasting and the last time I saw him he had lost 15 pounds. I know that it can do really great things. That’s it for intermittent fasting.
Another thing is that Matt Pincus is also taking a few new clients right now. He does online personal training where he’ll build you a training program that’s specially made for you and your individual needs. You can find that at trainingbeta.com/matt or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
I think that’s all I’ve got for you today. Let me know, definitely, if you are the person who has just sent your first 5.13a or if you know anybody who that is. You can find us on social media @trainingbeta. Also, you can join our Facebook community where people just talk about training all the time at trainingbeta.com/community. It will send you straight over to Facebook.
Thanks for listening all the way to the end. I really appreciate it and I’ll talk to you in a couple weeks.