What Rock Climbing Taught Me About Coping With My Fears: Women Traveling Podcast


Lale Arikoglu: Hello.

MC: Today, we are delighted to be joined by Nikki Smith, a true outdoor multi-hyphenator. She is a professional climber, boulder rider, photographer, writer, editor of climbing guides. I’m sure I missed other things you are doing, but we’re delighted to have you here today, Nikki.

Nikki Smith: Thank you for.

MC: For starters, you’ve been in the outdoor industry for over 20 years now, but what drew you to the outdoors when you were young, before it became a career for you?

NOT. : My father worked for the Bureau of Land Management, then for the Forest Service, and he was an archaeologist and geologist by profession and diploma. And then he was also an amateur photographer. And so we were always outside looking for minerals or fossils or hiking in my neighborhood. I have always been surrounded by farms and fields. And so that was my playground.

THE: When you were a kid, did it occur to you that it was special and lucky enough to grow up in so much outdoors and wilderness and have that access?

NOT. : Not at all. That’s all I knew growing up in Utah. I don’t know, I couldn’t even imagine traveling until later in life. I never thought it would be something I would do. My world was the cities I lived in at the time.

MC: When did you feel like that switch clicked for you that the trip was a reality and something you were really interested in?

NOT. : It started to change once I started to climb. I was 16, I started climbing and I started seeing these climbing magazines and movies and saw all these people going all over the place. And then I started to meet people from the rock climbing community and they seemed like me, but they had been to Europe and they had traveled all over the United States and I never thought it would be anything. that I might even do. I couldn’t afford it at the time. It wasn’t until I joined the military and started going to college and life that I was like, “Okay, maybe this could really be something that I can. allow me to do or to do. “

MC: What prompted you to climb in the first place, beyond just being outdoors? Because when I think of all that one can do, hiking, rafting, mountain biking, the possibilities are endless. What really attracted you to rock climbing?

NOT. : Climbing requires a lot of concentration, so hiking or running can wander all the time. You think about a lot of things and a lot of times you take your work or your personal life or whatever with you on the trail, but you can’t climb. You have to be so focused. It’s problem solving. It’s a puzzle because every alignment of a cliff or a mountain will be very different. And you have to constantly think ahead, “How am I going to grab this hold?” How am I going to move my body? What am I going to do next? “