Today’s guest is Sasha DiGiulian, who is best known as a professional and world champion climber. Sasha began climbing at 6 years old and has since become the first female to complete the 700-meter Mora Mora climb in Madagascar. Along with her athletic prowess, Sasha is also a speaker, a writer, a producer, and a co-founder of ROAM Media.
In this episode, Sasha and I discuss her injuries and how she’s been dealing with them, how she assesses risk, and the general danger of the outdoors. We also talk about what drives her to climb, what her nutrition and dieting looks like, and some key points of knowledge she has gained throughout her career.
2:00 – Injuries & Rehabilitation. “I was really lucky because I was given this recommendation to this surgeon, who actually used to be a professional Red Bull athlete as well. He was a base jumper. We got the MRI and he said the pain was from hip dysplasia and it was in a pretty bad state because I had left it for so long.”
12:00 – Reading the Signs of Injury. “With climbing, something that I’ve always been really good at is putting my feet really high, in heel-hooks or high steps, and generating off of them. What I’ve lacked is stability in my stance. And it wasn’t until the MRI that I actually knew that this instability was from an injury beyond something like a labrum. Because athletes can perform with a torn labrum all the time, and that’s kind of what I thought this injury was.”
17:00 – Timeline Back to Performance. “Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone was taking COVID-19 as seriously as they should have during the beginning of it. So my surgery got pushed back.”
27:00 – Risk Assessment. “I’m more concerned with not being selfish for the ones that I love.”
36:00 – Danger in the Outdoors. “Climbing is so multifaceted and that’s what I love about it. You can be an expert in one discipline and a total beginner in another. Like when I go ice climbing and stuff like that, I’m not a professional climber. I’m not a professional climber in ice climbing but it’s this new terrain and new experience that inspires me to be as well rounded as I can be.”
41:30 – Drive to Climb. “Climbing makes me feel so full inside. Also, I love the aspect of just totally being out there. It’s almost like you forget the suffering in retrospect.”
49:00 – Nutrition & Timing. “My post workout snack is 6 raw oysters.”
1:03:00 – Diet. “Climbing has this vicious feedback cycle because it is a gravity-based sport and it’s a strength to weight ratio. It wasn’t until I overcame this eating disorder, did I realize being healthy and increasing my strength is going to be what is sustainable for my long term future.”