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Balanced Pursuits

Author: Kristi Leskinen & Jen Hudak

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A podcast for dreamers & doers, Balanced Pursuits is hosted by all-around badasses, extreme sport athletes and television personalities, Kristi Leskinen & Jen Hudak. Each episode, Kristi & Jen interview thought leaders in sports, business, and entertainment. They discuss what it has taken each guest to cultivate a life of purpose & passion, to live life on their own terms, and find balance in their pursuits. Balanced Pursuits is an compelling exploration of the grit, fire, and determination it takes to create a life you love and offers a dose of inspiration for those seeking to do the same.
33 Episodes
Hi friends and welcome back to the Balanced Pursuits Podcast. This week’s episode is with Charles Post & it’s one of our favorite episodes to date!Charles is an Ecologist. He spent nearly a decade earning his master’s degree from UC Berkeley. Charles cares a great deal about the environment, animals, food webs, and the conservation & balance of all of these. Early in his career, he realized that one of the biggest challenges he’d face was not the science itself, but finding a way to use the science to make a difference. With that in mind, Charles set upon writing stories for publications like national geographic, producing films, and building a social media presence that both educates and invites interaction.Charles believes in being consistent, admitting when you don’t know everything, and offering transparency in the sharing process. More than anything, he understands that it takes a combination of all of these to cultivate trust. Charles explains that “so often today, people want simplified stories, but science operates in context, complexity, and nuance… If we want more people to advocate for the causes we believe in, we’re going to need more people to understand them.”Wise well beyond his years.Today Charles is going to tell us all about the moments that he believes punctuate life and what he’s learned about humanity by studying animals. We’re going to ask him about his studies, his passions, and the causes he believes in. And he’ll share what he’s doing to make a difference in the world and what we can do as well.In This Episode We Discuss:Why we want to believe simplified narratives when it comes to complicated issues.The importance of understanding different perspectives and preconceived notions.How customizing stories can help change minds.Why we care more about charismatic species and the importance of those we often overlook.The daily anxieties of environmental education.Google scholar and the importance of sourcing highly cited information.How thinking of each of your purchases as a vote can help make the world a better place.How to cultivate trust.What it takes to become an authority in your field.Why people are so much more complicated than animals.Resources:Follow Charles on InstagramCheck out Charles’ work with youth through The Nature Project on Instagram or the webResearch something you’re curious about with Google Scholar
Today we are talking to Rob Lea and we think you’ll find this one pretty inspirational. In 2019, Rob completed what he has dubbed the Ultimate World Triathlon. In the span of 6 months, he summited Mount Everest, swam the English Channel, and rode his bike across America. This is a man that isn’t afraid to take on hard challenges, in fact, he thrives on them.Rob also had his eyes on the greater good as he summited Mount Everest with his now wife, Caroline Gleich (did I fail to mention he married his dream girl in the midst of all this?). Rob & Caroline used their climb as an opportunity to raise awareness for women’s equality, drawing attention to the implicit biases that exist toward women.We explore all of this and more on today’s episode with Rob. So settle in to whatever it is you’re doing and enjoy.In This Episode We Discuss:What inspired the Ultimate World TriathlonThe difference between suffering while climbing Everest, swimming the English Channel and biking across AmericaHow Rob prepared his body for each leg of the journey (like gaining 30 pounds in 30 days before the swim)How to develop coping mechanisms to get through hard momentsWhat motivated the “tri for equality” aspectChallenges for female athletes he’s witnessed first-hand as the partner of a pro athleteWhat someone can do to understand their implicit biasWhat he misses when he doesn’t have a “next” adventure planned.Thought Experiment:Rob’s motivation to take on these monumental challenges is simple, but so inspiring. To paraphrase, it gives him something to look forward to. Finding a reason to want to better yourself everyday is not easy. But if you can find a challenge you look forward to (one that causes you to train, study or prepare incessantly) you’ll be forced to become an improved version of yourself. We live for the feeling that comes along when you finally put all your training and preparation to the test - there’s nothing better.Today’s thought experiment may sound simple but might be challenging to answer. What are you looking forward to? It’s perfectly fine to look forward to your beach vacation - we work hard to save the money to afford to do such things - but, beyond that, I’m asking about something you can achieve. Something that is simultaneously a challenge but also seems achievable with application. It can be as simple as making time to read a book or as daunting as climbing Mount Everest. What are you looking forward to and what will it take to make it reality? Until next time.Resources:Follow Rob’s adventures on Instagram!Interrupt your implicit bias with this worksheet!Learn about the Big Mountain Dreams Foundation!Get yourself some real estate in Park City from Rob!
This week’s guest is none other than Christie Woods - the second half of the winning team from Amazing Race Season 31, which is how we first came to know her name. Christie’s partner, Colin Guinn, was our guest on episode 26.Christie has lived seemingly numerous lives: from her time as an actress on the 1997 tv show The New Adventures of Robin Hood, to her work in sports marketing with the NFL, to the Director of Operations for DJI North America. Ultimately, Christie found her calling as an Integrated Sex, Love & Relationship Coach. Christie uses her intuitive abilities to help her clients process past trauma to transcend mediocre (or worse, toxic) relationships. She encourages her clients to go deep within to uncover & release belief systems & thought patterns that no longer serve their highest good.We explore all things sex, love & relationship on this episode and discuss how Christie & Colin managed to turn their collapsing relationship into a thriving one. If you’re struggling in your relationship, you don’t want to miss this episode!In This Episode We Discuss:Turning relationship wounds into wisdomImportance of really seeing your “role in the play”The freedom that comes from imaging the worst-case scenarioRelationships as a spiritual practiceCultivating deeper love by seeing yourself in a clearer wayFinding & healing triggers in your relationshipShowing up intentionally through self discipline & meditationWhat it means to have multiple marriages with one personThought Experiment:One of Christie’s main messages is learning how to identify our triggers - situations that tend to push our buttons and aggravate our wounds. Most of us move through our lives and relationships so automatically that we don’t realize there are wounds being triggered. We believe the people triggering us should change, which gives all our power away. What we don’t realize is that we have power in that moment to perceive things differently and not be triggered at all.Our thought experiment this week is to identify ONE trigger in your relationship (romantic or otherwise). What is it that consistently sends you off the rails? Then ask yourself why. What do you make it mean about YOU when someone behaves in this way? Why? Recognize that you have a choice here. You don’t have to make it mean anything about you.By simply bringing awareness to these situations they’ll begin to loosen. You don’t have to work to let go of the thought or belief. Overtime, these beliefs will let go of their grasp on you.Resources:Dr. Imoto’s The Hidden Messages in WaterDavid Hawkins Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior (introduces the idea of the Scale of Consciousness & The Emotional Code)Learn more about individual coaching with ChristieTake Christie & Colin’s FREE relationship course!Follow Christie on Instagram
Today, we’re chatting with Conor Daly, an American professional race car driver. We first met Conor on the set of the Amazing Race when we competed back in October 2017 and quickly became friends. It’s hard not to be drawn to Conor’s honesty or his penchant for comedic relief. He’s also never afraid to make fun of himself or be the subject of his own jokes. Conor was constantly our reprieve during long travel days on the Race! These qualities aren’t what you’d expect out of a highly skilled race car driver, one who often drives upwards of 200 miles per hour. Conor is approachable and relatable, so it’s no wonder he’s a fan favorite.In This Episode We Discuss:Why Conor thinks Amazing Race is more fun looking backHow he worked his way back to doing 13 races next season after losing his ride in 2017How he stayed ready to race in his time offHow to deal with the ups and downs of being a professional athleteHow Conor learned to just always be himselfHow his performance at the Indy 500 helped him get his confidence backBest and worst things about the amazing raceScariest part about being a race car driverThought Experiment:“Anything, anytime, anywhere. I’ll drive it.” - Conor DalyThat was the attitude that helped Conor get through some of the lows in his career. Being ready to show up and fight for his dream no matter what. It also left him open to other paths.For today’s thought experiment, think about a time when the chips didn’t fall in your favor. How did you react to that? Was it fuel to your fire? Did you reevaluate and open yourself up to change? Or did you let that setback extinguish the flame all together? What can you learn about yourself through that experience that can help you deal with things better in the future?Let us know down below!Resources:Give Conor a follow on IG & Twitter!
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Balanced Pursuits podcast with professional kite surfer and pioneer of the sport, Susi Mai! Susi is an entrepreneur, event organizer and an ocean conservation activist. Through her Mai Tai events, Susi has been a connecting force that’s helped launched companies whose products are probably in your home today. She’s met with many of the world’s most successful people and she’s touched the lives of tribes with little contact to the outside world. Susi is a force and it’s no wonder when you hear how she got her start.In This Episode We Discuss:Susi’s early years kiting & how Playstation got her into the sportHow a wildcard entry to her first event forever changed her lifeSusi’s ever-shifting perspective on the worldWhat you can be excited about regarding ocean conservationWhy kite-boarding can be a great indicator of your success in businessThought Experiment:It doesn’t happen often, but at some point, it happens to all of us. A small moment or chance encounter that dramatically changes your life forever. This happened to Susi when her dad convinced her to enter that local contest. It launched her career and completely changed the trajectory of her life. It happened to Kristi when, as one of the only female freeskiers, she met one of her heroes and was encouraged to chase her dreams. It happened to Jen when she met her now husband on a solo mountain bike ride in the middle of nowhere.These moments changed our paths forever, but we had to say YES to something to get there. We had to enter that contest, do the things that scared us, take the dive, and step into action. We had to get up, get going and chase our dreams. So we’d like to end with a little encouragement to never let yourself stop exploring, because we truly believe that this world has endless possibilities for all of us.Resources:Visit Susi on the web at!Follow Susi on Instagram & Facebook!Learn more about Susi’s ocean conservation efforts through Ultra Marine here!
Voted one of the 15 Millennial Yoga Teachers to watch out for, Arielle Shipe is best known for her adventurous spirit and passion for personal development/growth which she shares on Instagram and YouTube. Arielle joins us this week to share her wealth of wisdom about living a fulfilling life. We go deep in this episode exploring how loss impacts our ability to live.Arielle goes on to share why she believes it’s so important to have a purpose behind your daily actions, how success in one area of life can lift you up in others, and the power sobriety has in getting to know your true worth. She is also working on one of her personal life goals this coming year of thru- hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (a 2,650 mile hiking trail from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington).As a climber, adventurer and ex semi-professional snowboarder Arielle has always been one to look for new ways to test her limits of what’s possible. We can’t wait for you to listen!In This Episode We Discuss:What Arielle’s IG bio quote, “Hint - the cage is not locked” meansHer plans to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and how it came to fruitionWhat the unexpected loss of Arielle’s father has taught her about living lifeHow success in one area of life can propel success in the nextWhy sharing experiences on IG can help us all live better livesThought Experiment:One of the things Arielle shared in this episode was her father’s ability to live in the present moment and say yes to things that made him come fully alive. It reminded me of a quote from Howard Thurman that says ““Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Our thought experiment this week is to think about when you feel most alive. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? What are you thinking about? When you find the answer, try to prioritize these moments over others. We need people like you to come fully alive in this world.Resources:Follow Arielle on Instagram @arielleshipeCheck out behind the scenes details of Arielle’s life & adventures on YouTubeLearn more about Arielle & her yoga on her website
BALANCED (adj): having different elements in the correct proportionsPURSUITS (noun): an activity of a specified kind, especially a recreational or athletic oneThe word “balance” is in the title of our podcast, but what does it really mean? Kristi & I ask all our guests how they find balance in their lives, and of all of our standard wrap questions, this one makes our guests pause the most. Often our guests say things like “Oh, I think I’m still working on that one” or “I haven’t figured that out…” but then go on to give an answer that really speaks to our perspective of balance. So, we decided we should probably record an episode about what balance really means!IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:What we mean by balanceWhat balance looks like in each of our livesWhy it’s important to have balanceHow to cultivate more balance in your lifeKEY TAKEAWAYS:Know your values/priorities - check in on them frequently as they may change over timeBe willing to say no - some things just aren’t worth your time (check in on your reasons for wanting to say yes - scarcity (I’ll never have an opportunity like this again) or people-pleasing (I don’t want to let them down).Look at life as seasons - don’t try to fit everything in at once, don’t seek balance in each day, but over the long term (see-saw analogy)Have multiple interests that carry equal weight & importance in your life not just by time or money but by the emotional value the hold for you.THOUGHT EXPERIMENT:It’s a crazy time in the world. Most of us are on some kind of lockdown or at least practicing social distancing. For many of us, our routine has been stripped away. Our lives look like shells of what they used to be. It may seem impossible to prioritize your values right now, but we beg to differ.Times like this are a perfect opportunity to reflect on what really matters and to start building habits to prioritize your values from a blank slate. Take a few moments to think about what truly fulfills you in life. Are you prioritizing these elements or are other things taking precedent? How can you give more attention to your current values? Even in this chaos, we can choose what gets our attention. Make it count.Sending lots of love & health your way.xo,K + J
Such a fun episode this week with Colin Guinn, one half of the winning duo from season 31 of The Amazing Race (the interview with Christie, his wife will be released in a few weeks)! We talk a little bit about the race, but mostly we explore Colin’s nerdy tech side through his business pursuits, specifically with drones.Colin is a serial entrepreneur and high tech product development expert. He’s currently the founder of Guinn Partners, an autonomous robotics and emerging technology consultancy and investor. Prior to this, he founded Austin startup Hangar Technology, after serving as Chief Revenue Officer at 3D Robotics and founder/CEO of DJI North America. Colin has developed, invented, and/or patented some of the most popular drones in the world, including the DJI Phantom, Zenmuse Gimbal systems, the 3DR Solo, and several others.Colin is one of the most interviewed experts on robotics and drone technology in the world, and provides product development guidance to startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. He has testified on the subject of commercial drones in a congressional hearing, has been featured at premier industry conferences, and in countless top-rated publications and newscasts, including 60 Minutes, CNN, Techcrunch, Forbes, and Fast Company. During his career developing drones, Colin has had the opportunity to teach many of the world’s greatest technologists, artists and filmmakers about drones; including Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Stephen Spielberg, Michael Bay, Carlos Slim, and countless others.In This Episode We Discuss:How The Amazing Race led to the launch of Colin’s drone for television useColin’s time as CEO of DJI and how he developed the Phantom droneGaining new perspectives of who we are through flying dronesHow drones could potentially increase safety for big wave surfersHow technology can help us live more sustainablyHow a manifestation/meditation practice helped Colin & Christie win The Amazing Race 31Thought Experiment:One of Colin’s main pieces of advice for anyone looking to improve their lives was to introduce a meditation practice, even as short as 5 minutes out of the 1440 minutes we have in a day. Kristi & I both know that as simple as that sounds, it can be difficult in practice. Which is why we want to offer a few ways to start meditating that don’t require sitting completely still with perfect posture, cross-legged & without thought.Most new meditators believe that the goal is to have “no thoughts,” which is a tall order considering we have about 60,000 thoughts in a day. But really, the goal is stop attaching to them, to not get sucked down a rabbit hole of unproductive, exhausting thinking. Our invitation to you, is to commit to 60 seconds of focused breathing.Feel the breath as it moves in through your nostrils filling your lungs & belly, pay attention to how instantly calming it is, and observe your mind. If you notice yourself drifting, then bring your attention back to your breath. Don’t judge or berate yourself for being human and having a thought. Just let the thought continue floating along in the sky like a cloud. Your goal is simply to allow the thoughts to pass through, to notice them without latching onto them.You can also do this while on a hike or simple bike ride in nature. You can do this in yoga - one of my personal favorite ways to bring a meditation practice into my life. You don’t have to be still in order to meditate. And if you have any questions for how to get started reach out to us on Instagram or leave a comment below!Resources:Read Joe Dispenza’s Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the UncommonSign up for Colin & Christie’s FREE relationship course: Igniting the Flame!
We are so excited to share this week’s episode with Jamie Little with you all! Jamie is an American pit reporter for NASCAR coverage on Fox, though Kristi & I know her from her early days reporting at X Games.Jamie is well known among the motocross and extreme sports community for being a pit report on ESPN's Motoworld program. In 2008, Jamie won the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, edging out Craftsman Truck Series champion Mike Skinner by 0.324 seconds.But beyond her work in the field and behind the wheel, Jamie is a wife, mom (2 kids and 4 dogs), entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Her energy and enthusiasm for life is purely contagious. We got so much out of this interview with Jamie and know you will too!In This Episode We Discuss:What drives Jamie to keep pushing for growth in her lifeWhy it’s important to focus on small steps and forget about the end-goalThe power of not dwelling on negative stereotypes & letting your work speak for itselfJamie’s process for managing performance anxietyJamie’s love for animals and how she gives backTweetables:“If I want it I go for it.”“It’s not about the end goal.”“I always said yes. I never said no to a new opportunity.”“When you want something, you really do need to make sure that people know you want it. Don’t just assume that because you’re good or you’re the next in line, that you’re gonna get the opportunity.”“To me, knowledge is power.”Thought Experiment:Jamie shared so many valuable lessons with us in this episode, one of which is around managing fear & anxiety. Anytime we’re pursuing our own personal limits and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone we’re going to be confronted with an uncomfortable feeling of incapability.Jamie shared her process of managing her fear and anxiety through preparation. It’s through this preparation that you get yourself into action, you develop your knowledge, you develop your skills and it helps you to manage that fear through developing your confidence.So, friends, if you’re facing a big challenge that seems impossible we encourage you to dig deep. Find a way to get yourself into action simply to start preparing, to start learning and give yourself the power of knowledge!Resources:Follow Jamie on Instagram and Twitter!Watch Jamie on A&E’s America’s Top Dog
About Chris:Chris, a California native grew up skiing Mammoth Mountain, which was home to one of the first snowboard parks in the Nation. By virtue of his surroundings and peers he was heavily influenced by snowboarding and art, which seemed to shape him into one of the more stylish skiers out there. Caring more about how a ski turns and glides through the snow, led Chris into designing and developing his own pro model ski with Atomic; The Bent Chetler. “I try to have my ski be an extension of me, and try to look at the mountain as one continuous line, instead of compartmentalizing it into one single cliff or air.”His art and designs have also made it on other signature pieces for Dakine, Dragon, Reef, and Clif Bar. Including his most recent art endeavor of painting a 70ft mural with Skye Walker, on the side of the EVO store in Seattle, WA. Starting his career competing in slope-style, he shortly after met the film crew Poorboyz Productions, and realized he could ski powder full time. He quickly bailed on the contest scene and started chasing his true passion; deep snow and creativity.Now Chris is known for traveling the world and skiing in front of a camera. Between creating the GoPro Series ‘Chasing El Nino’ and followed by the series ‘Chasing AdVANture’ plus multiple other edits for GoPro’s channels, he has also played a roll in starting Nimbus Independent, a production company founded in 2008 by Eric Pollard with help from Chris, Pep Fujas and Andy Mahre. In addition, he has been featured in films with Teton Gravity Research, Sweet Grass Productions, Warren Miller, MSP and Poorboyz Productions.Jokingly tormented during the summer for his passion for surfing and love of climbing, he tries to stay close to home in California as much as possible where he is at peace in the mountains and in striking distance to the sea.In this episode we discuss:Chris & his wife (professional snowboarder, Kimmy Fasani’s) anniversary traditionHow being present allows Chris & Kimmy to balance adventure with parentingHow Chris landed a gig directing & producing an official Grateful Dead ski & snowboard filmThe power of starting before you’re readyThe challenge of making people believe in your visionHow Chris has learned to blend his many passions into a unified career & lifestyleTweetables:“No line is ever the same. Sure, you can ride the same line twice, but you’re never gonna turn in the exact same spot. And you’re gonna always approach it the second time differently than the first because you have more knowledge and you have a larger toolbox of skills.”“To make people believe in a vision is a whole other job in itself.”Resources:Watch Fire on the Mountain - The Official Grateful Dead & Chris Benchetler FilmFollow Chris on InstagramCheck out all of Chris’ pursuits & shop his pro models on!Thought Experiment:One of the recurring themes in this episode was Chris’ willingness to begin before he was completely ready. He doesn’t dwell on his lack of skill or experience in certain areas he just gets started and learns along the way. Confidence and capability are qualities most of us believe we need in order to accomplish great things. But, what’s often overlooked, is that both confidence and capability are created through the actions we take not from speculating from the sidelines about what we need to do.Which brings us to this week’s thought experiment. It’s a simple one: ask yourself what it is that you’re not doing because you believe you don’t have the skills or the know-how required to achieve it. Then, pick one small action step you can take toward making it a reality. As Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.”Once you’ve done that, drop us a comment below so we can be your accountability buddies! You’re far more capable than you believe.As always, thanks for listening to the BalancedPursuits podcast. Until next time.
This week we sit down with Maryguenn Vellinga-Hinz, known in her circle as MG, is a boxer, entrepreneur, mother & wife. She was born and raised in Santaquin, UT, but is now based in Park City, which is where our paths first crossed. MG fought her first bout in 2010 and is now ranked #3 by USA Boxing in the 112 pound weight class and has numerous national & international titles to her name including 2018 Golden Glove National Silver Medalist and 2015 Ringside International Silver Medalist. In 2018, MG is founded RISE Boxing - a fitness boxing studio that utilizes all the benefits of boxing to strengthen both body & mind. Her mission is to spread her love of boxing with the community and continue to grow women’s boxing through this gym. MG is a force in and out of the ring. She has a sharp focus that allows her to maintain balance with a massively full plate comprised of training, running a business & being a mom. Excited to share this one with you all! So hope you enjoy! In this episode we discuss:How MG recognized a void in the market that led her to start RISE Boxing GymMG’s relationship with fearHow being told “no” became fuel for MG’s boxing careerWhy getting hit in the face isn’t as bad as you’d thinkWhy MG believes running her own business is harder than boxingMG’s 2 secrets to keeping her energy up for 14+ hour daysWhat people get wrong about boxersTweetables:“I’m drawn to things that scare me a little bit and I want to conquer that fear. If something gives me the jitters, I’m determined to do it, and to ride through that feeling.”“Safety is a place where I know I’m not going to grow.”“The sport becomes the equalizer.”“The work is worth the reward.”“I have to remind myself that no outcome changes who I am.”Thought Experiment:There is no question that MG is juggling a lot. We LOVED her advice on making it through those 14+ hour days without losing her sanity. So, how can you be mindful of those short-quiet moments throughout your day and utilize them as opportunities to recharge? Secondly, what can you do tonight to set yourself up for success tomorrow? Maybe it’s as simple as repeating MG’s mantra: I will wake up, rejuvenated, refreshed & excited. Kristi & I will be adding this into our nighttime routine ASAP!—UPDATE! Since recording this episode, MG fell short of her qualifying goals for the 2020 Olympic games. So, she decided to enter the pro circuit and had her first bout on February 7th. SHE WON! We’re excited to cheer MG on in this new chapter, so be sure to go give her some love!Resources:Follow MG on Instagram!Follow Rise Boxing on Instagram & give them a like on Facebook!Visit Rise Boxing online! If you live in the Park City, UT area, new members get 2 weeks unlimited classes for just $40.
Caroline Gleich is a professional ski mountaineer and adventurer based in Park City, UT. She’s graced the cover of Powder, Backcountry & Ski Magazines and appeared in a ski films. But beyond being an athlete, Caroline uses her voice to advocate for social and environmental causes to bring awareness to issues like climate change, clean air, gender equality and cyber harassment.Caroline’s goal is to inspire people to get outside, live a healthy, active lifestyle and protect the places we love to play. There may not be anyone better for the job. Caroline shares so much with us in this episode from what it means to use your voice for change to how to ignore your naysayers & believe in your wildest dreams.In this episode we explore:What compels Caroline to use her platform as a professional skier for advocacy around climate change & equalityHow Caroline reconciles the inherent risk of being in the backcountry after experiencing lossCaroline’s decision to climb Everest without an ACL and the power of taking life & all its adventures one step at a timeHow Caroline found her power & agency throughout an ongoing cyber-bullying attackA few simple steps to becoming a citizen activistTweetables:“I just felt like when I was in the wild, I could be my real self. There’s something so freeing about being outside.”“As a female athlete, we’ve never been able to have that kind of platform before. Where we’ve been able to tell our stories the way we want to tell them in real time. I’m really grateful for the power of social media because it’s allowed me to take be able to take people along on my career in a way that wasn’t accessible to us before.””You can’t be what you can’t see.”“You have to be so careful about the voices you allow in your head.”Resources:Follow Caroline on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook!Learn more about ProtectOurWinters and how you can support!Listen to the podcast DrilledBuy the book Merchants of DoubtHead to the Patagonia Action Works platform to discover and connect with environmental action groups and get involved with the work they doCheck out Caroline on the web!
Phil Costa is a former starting center for the Dallas Cowboys. After retiring from football, he worked as a medical device salesman, assisting heart surgeons during more than 500 operations. And in 2018, Phil graduated with an MBA from Columbia Business School. All of this makes it sound like he transitioned smoothly out of sport without struggle, but as you’ll learn in this interview, that was not the case.Phil faced challenges in his retirement process that he wasn’t expecting and wasn’t prepared for. After navigating the transition, he realized that there was a void in the market for resources to support athletes as they face this transition out of sport. It was then that he decided to write a book. Phil co-authored the book The Transition Playbook for ATHLETES, How Elite Athletes WIN After Sports in which he interviews 100+ athletes about their transition process and shares their best strategies & tips.In this episode, we discuss:Phil’s time in the NFL and how he got his start as an undrafted free-agentThe power of vulnerability and how this was a pivotal element in navigating the transition out of sportHow he shifted from being an expert as an athlete, to becoming a novice in the business world.We’re so thankful that Phil was willing to join us and to continue being an example of how vulnerability can transform lives.Resources:Follow Phil on Instagram @costa_philFollow his book on Instagram @thetransitionplaybookWebsite:
About Steph:Stephanie Dankelson is a body acceptance coach, podcast host & writer on a mission to flip diet culture on its head. She is passionate about helping high achieving women end their battle with food so they can discover what it means to feel at home in their bodies.From the age of 14, Stephanie struggled with disordered eating, exercise addiction, and body image issues which lead to over 10 years of seeking externally for approval, endless perfectionism, and feeling disconnected who she wanted to be on this earth. It wasn't until she learned what it meant to drop out of her head and into her body to truly understand her worth that she was able to start healing and feel whole again.Stephanie is now helping others learn how to not only feel freedom around food, exercise, and their bodies but deeply know their worth through 1:1 coaching, online courses, and her podcast Move with Radiance.In This Episode We Discuss:Steph’s process for learning to recognize our self-worthWhy dieting doesn’t workWhy what we’re chasing is a feeling, not a resultThe dangers of playing the “when/then game”What “intuitive eating” really IS and what it is NOTHow to start trusting your bodyThe power of exploring long-held self-limiting beliefsHow to turn obstacles into action steps for you dreamsTweetables:“If you’re chasing freedom, if you’re chasing connection, if you’re chasing abundance, how can you activate that feeling in your body right now? Because that’s possible.”“A lot of people view acceptance as ‘giving up.’ It’s not giving up. It’s accepting where we’re at right now, coming from a place of love and then still setting goals that we want to achieve for ourselves, but our success is no longer placed in the end-result.”Resources:Experience Steph’s 5 Days to Jumpstart Your Body Acceptance JourneyApply for 1:1 Coaching with StephInstagram: @stephaniedankelson and @movewithradianceWebsite: www.stephanie-dankelson.comPodcast:
This might be our favorite interview of all. Kelly Clark was an early pioneer in women’s snowboarding and a women that both Kristi & I looked toward for inspiration throughout our careers. She is incredibly wise, grounded, and committed to leaving a legacy that motivates others to live their fullest lives.In This Episode We Discuss:Kelly’s wakeup call with her strength and conditioningHow her 2002 Olympic Gold Medal catapulted Kelly into deep reflection about what she had been seeking for her lifeWhy Kelly’s work to understand her identity helped her reconnect with snowboardingHow being internally motivated is the key to Kelly’s successHow her motto of “what an opportunity” transformed her competitive careerTweetables:“Success won’t fulfill you.”“I looked my whole life to be successful, but at the end of the day, I didn’t want to just be successful I wanted to matter.”“Sudden success is easy, but sustained success is very difficult.”“I’ve learned to value the things that no one sees more than the things that everyone sees.”“You can’t really have a victory unless you have a fight.”“You value things based on what they cost you.”“Things are either a threat or an opportunity. I just chose over and over again to look at things as an opportunity.”Thought ExperIment:Kelly’s outlook on facing challenges and hard times through her life and career is incredibly powerful. She has made the choice, time and again, to see obstacles as opportunities and it seems this has played a large role in her success. So, how can you look at a challenge you’re facing and start seeking the opportunity in it? Let us know in the comments below!Resources:Follow Kelly on Instagram @thekellyclarkOrder your copy of Inspired: Pursuit of ProgressSee how Kelly is giving back to the next generation throgh the Kelly Clark Foundation
Hey friends! Welcome back to the Balanced Pursuits Podcast! This week’s guest is Jen Gurecki, the co-founder & CEO of Coalition Snow, a women’s ski and snowboard company designed to deconstruct the status quo. We have a very raw and honest discussion with Jen about the state of the outdoor industry & how to use business as a tool for radical change.Jen is not shy about sharing her opinion on how we, as a society, can do better for marginalized communities. She’s committed her career to this work not only through Coalition Snow, but also through Zawadisha, a social enterprise whose mission is to provide small loans to rural Kenyan women, and Sisu Magazine, a quarterly print publication whose focus is to uncover the untold stories of the outdoors.Also, I’d like to make a special shoutout to our male listeners today. Kristi and I didn’t start this podcast with the intention of focusing exclusively on female empowerment, but it’s a theme that seems to turn up quite often. I suppose it’s because it’s the world in which we live and it’s close to our hearts. In our eyes, this is not just a conversation to have with women, but with all people. So guys, thank you for being a part of the conversation and being a part of the change.In this episode we explore:Turning a void in a market into opportunityHow business can be a tool for radical changeWhy not preparing can sometimes be a key to successWhen Jen first got the call to step into women’s advocacyThe difference between being “nice” and being “kind”How solar lamps elevated the lives of Kenyan womenTweetables:“I didn’t know that much, so I just did it.”“Being naive sometimes can be such a blessing because you do things that, if you knew everything, you wouldn’t do.”“Business can be a tool for radical change.”"I like to think about life as a series of choices and what’s behind the next door.”“I never think about the practical side of things, but I think that that’s served me relatively well so far, so I’m just going to keep going with it.”“Service is the rent you pay for life.”“We’re having conversations about things that there’s no definitive answer to. And how interesting is that? To question the concept of fact and to question the concept of knowledge.”“We have to be very careful and very discerning between what is a marketing message and what is true change.”Learn more about Jen’s & on & on & on InstaFollow Jen Gurecki on Instagram
This week we have the honor of introducing you to Taylor Killian! Taylor is the co-founder and creative director of And She’s Dope Too, a world-wide adventure collective of women that he and his wife Jenn started. Their mission is to connect people & planet with perspective & purpose. They’ve done this by completely stripping away the compare-and-compete culture that is so prevalent in our media today. ASDT encourages women from all walks of life and of every ability level to get out with them. They’ve created rendezvous & retreats that allow women to feel 100% comfortable in their own skin while trying new and exciting things.Taylor is also the father to four kids, a photographer & filmmaker and the Creative Director for And She’s Dope Too and Lady Wild Film Festival. We’ll dive into all the details of these endeavors in our conversation. Today’s episode may bring you to tears (as it did me), while Taylor shares how he balances family, business, community, and giving-back. He’s a true example of how to leave the world better than you found it & it’s an honor to have him on today’s show.In This Episode We Discuss:How Taylor (& wife, Jenn) balance adventure while raising 4 childrenWhy Taylor considers AndShesDopeToo to be his Phoenix RisingThe importance of having a true north in life and businessHow to create community that is truly welcoming to allHow to navigate outdoor adventures with your significant otherWhat ASDT is doing to support the mountain bike culture for women in NepalWhy you have to believe in yourself before others will believe in youTweetables:“I seek purpose so much more than happiness. Happiness is, in a lot of ways, fleeting and has so many attachments to it, but purpose is constant. And when you have that purpose and times are rough and nasty and nothing looks attractive, purpose is what gets you through.”“We know we have to stick to our true north and make sure we’re in alignment with what we set out to do in the beginning.““I’m hopeful that what it [long-form conversation] does more than anything is make us realize how similiar we really are. And maybe cut, not only ourselves, but other people a little slack.”“If you believe in what you’re doing, it may not come the way you expect it, it may not have come the way that you want it, but none of those lessons would have been learned through the hard if we wouldn’t have stuck with it.”Resources:www.AndShesDopeToo.comFollow ASDT accounts on Instagram!@AndShesDopeToo@ASDT_adventures@ASDT_media@ASDT_wasatchCheck out Taylor’s personal account @Killian_TaylorWatch their film Moksha - Freedom Through the Mountains on Vimeo!
This week, Kristi & I sit down to answer some of the best questions we’ve received on Instagram since starting this podcast. We’re doing this podcast for you, after all, so we want to make sure you’re getting everything out of it you can!QUESTIONS WE ANSWER:How do you become such great friends with your competitors?I’d love to hear how you manage stress?Can you share more about the people behind the athlete?Where do you find inspiration?How do you keep going/push through/never lose sight of the dream, when you have those moments where it feels hopeless/no one else thinks you can, etc.What sectors of the ski industry need more women?How do you advocate for yourself in a male dominated arena/change male dominated thinking?Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or one horse sized duck?Thanks for tuning in!FOLLOW:Kristi on Instagram or TwitterJen on Instagram
We’re so excited to share our conversation with Lane Merrifield with you! Kristi & I both met Lane at Baldface Lodge separately, four years apart. But it was the same qualities in Lane that struck us both. He’s one of the most down-to-earth, welcoming, engaging, and interested people we’ve ever met. Yes, interest-ED (also interest-ing, but we’re sticking with ED for now). He truly wants to connect and learn from everyone he encounters now matter how different their respective walks-of-life may be.Lane has achieved a level of business and financial success that many of us could only dream of, but it’s not his success itself that we admire, but how grounded, unchanged, and unattached to it he is. Lane has maintained a level perspective and always remains focused on how he can contribute to the world around him.In this episode we discuss:The three skills/subjects that are the most important for students to learn, but are often overlookedHow being aligned in the ‘why’ is crucial to business successHow Lane went from running remote controlled alligators at Disney Land to being an executive vice president at DisneyThe benefit of not identifying what you do with who you areLane’s foray into reality television as a dragon on Dragon’s Den (what Shark Tank is to the rest of the world)Tweetables:“One of the upsides of my school experience as a kid, was that I had to make sure I wasn’t defined by what I did in school… as I got older I learned to not overly associate who I am with what I do.”“If you don’t let it define you when you have it, then you’re not going to let it define you when you don’t.”“There’s a thrill in overcoming the fear, there’s a thrill in moving past the fear.”“You have to take risk in order to get better at anything in life.”“That’s what it’s about, like ‘how am I getting better?’ Not this idea that if I can’t be the best, then I’m just not going to do it all.”“I love life. I’ve always loved taking risks and doing crazy things.”“Just leave it better than when you came. Leave this world a little better environmentally, in business, friendships, relationships, even if you part ways. Just be good to people and everything tends to work out.”About Lane:The newest “dragon” to join CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den, Lane Merrifield is one of Canada’s leading tech entrepreneurs. He is the founder of Club Penguin, the largest children’s online social network. At age 28, he sold it to Disney for $350 million, and, as their youngest executive vice president, turned it into a billion-dollar brand.In 2012, Lane returned to his entrepreneurial roots and launched FreshGrade, a learning assessment tool that connects teachers, parents, and students to help personalize and improve learning. It’s now used in 80% of districts across Canada. Lane is also the founder of Wheelhouse, an organization that invests in and supports early-stage tech companies and entrepreneurs through mentorship, access to capital, and connections to global business networks.Under his leadership, Lane’s teams have won dozens of awards including a prestigious BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television) award for Club Penguin. Lane is also the recipient of an Honorary Fellows Award and a Business Leader of the Year award from the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, and has been named as one of the “Top 35 Executives Under 35” by The Hollywood Reporter.Lane currently sits on the board of Spin Master and the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation.Resources:Lane on InstagramLearn more about Club PenguinExplore what Lane’s up to with FreshgradeCheckout Dragon’s Den
Circe Wallace is a woman you want in your corner. She’s walked an incredibly unique path through this life and has so much to share. Circe was an early pioneer in the women’s snowboard movement as an athlete and she now represents some of the biggest names in action sports as the VP of Action Sports & Olympics for Wasserman Media Group. But that’s not all, she’s an entrepreneur (twice over), a producer, mother, and advocate for social change.In This Episode You’ll Learn:The unforeseen cost of living a meaningful lifeHow mindfulness is necessary for rebellionWhy it’s important to make peace with the patriarchy while working to change itHow to take responsibility for the changes you want to see in the worldThe challenges of being a pioneer in the cannabis industryHow becoming a mother has allowed Circe to live a richer more spiritual lifeTWEETABLES“I feel comfortable speaking my truth, which comes at a cost.”“I was always inherently kind of cocky. I overcompensated any insecurities with confidence, just intrinsically thinking that is how I can be great.”“I really have to stay in a daily mindfulness practice to not be completely mortified or shaking in my boots, literally every day, with what is being asked of me or what I’ve asked of myself.”“To be successful in today’s times, as a woman in business, I don’t know any other way but to make peace with that reality [of the patriarchy].”“In the board room or in the c-suite, we just need more women that have a seat at the table to help have these kinds of conversations and make sure that we continue to be progressive.”"We need to teach our children to be looking for things that are really meaningful and not just about how you look.”“What is the real tangible work that we’re doing? You can’t just project out your perfect life. You have to be DOING something. Whether that’s making art or working really hard in marketing or sales or any of those areas that are elevating your own experience and not just ‘hey, look at me.”“I’m a really closer. I know how to land a client and I know how to make it rain.”“The opportunity that cannabis provides for individualized medicine is really interesting because we’re all totally unique. Certain things work for you and certain things don’t work for you and we need to get more refined in our approach to healing.”“You have to allow yourself to live a life without boundaries, because the minute you put boundaries on it is the minute that it no longer becomes interesting.”“I’m basically totally petrified, but that’s why I do it.”“I’m humbled and brought to my knees everyday by the journey of parenting.”“I saw that my experience would allow them some relief from some of the more mundane aspects of the business that would allow them to pursue their dreams with reckless abandon. And that is how I parent.”“I’m definitely a byproduct of the belief that anything is possible if you’re willing to do the work.”Resources:Follow Circe on Instagram @CirceSnowCirce’s Cannabis Company, Hot Nife: Website & InstagramSISU Magazine - order issue #1 to read Jen’s article “Influence”Don’t forget to follow Balanced Pursuits on Instagram!