Self-reflection, distraction, education or entertainment – there are many ways to pass the time right now. Here our athletes and influencers share some of the ways they’re getting through isolation.
US climber, Nina Williams, is one of the few female boulderers to climb 8b and has a knack for so-called ‘highball’ bouldering, climbing boulder problems that are six metres or higher. In 2018, Nina led all the crux pitches in a six-day free ascent of the 600m Father Time (8a) on Yosemite’s Middle Cathedral after becoming the first woman, and only the fourth person ever at the time, to send the Flagstaff crimping test-piece Window Shopper (8a+).
“Of all the books about exploring the self, Mindset: The Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck is my favourite. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to shift their perspective around motivation and goal setting. Carol Dweck distinguishes between ‘fixed’ and ‘growth’ mindsets and details how their application affects nearly every aspect of our lives. Whenever people ask me about books for mental training, this is the first one I give them.”
If you can’t get your hands on books right now, Nina recommends watching Brene Brown's TED talk, The Power of Vulnerability. “It digs pretty deeply into how profoundly we are affected by shame and our unwillingness to open up to others,” says Nina. The book behind the TED talk, is Daring Greatly .
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Versatile, talented and constantly curious, French skier Leo likes to go big in the backcountry. Splitting his time between the Freeride World Tour and filming eye-popping documentaries like Ushba and Hunza he also manages to find moments to read. Here are three of his favourite autobiographies.
Open, An Autobiography by Andre Agassi
“He never wanted to become a professional tennis player and even less a star, but he won eight Grand Slams and one Olympic title without a real love for the game. I love this book because I’ve always thought that in individual sports, like tennis or skiing, you can succeed no matter where you come from or your interests. Here’s a good example, with a taste of rock ’n’ roll.
Life, by Keith Richards
“If you want to know a bit more about The Rolling Stones, I think Keith Richards has enough stories in his book. The beginnings of rock ’n’ roll sounded fantastic.”
My Life in Climbing by Ueli Steck
“It’s a great book about Ueli and his alpinist life. I love how he approached the mountains, the way he talks about them and his story about the South Face of Annapurna, even if it is totally crazy!”
Photographer & Freerunner
London-based Lamarr, combines his passion for free running and urban climbing with photography. His unique skill set and capabilities behind the lens allow him to curate truly beautiful photography and capture images from a viewpoint few get to experience.
Lamarr suggests falling down a YouTube rabbit hole for a while with the likes of Yes Theory and parkour athletes Storror.
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Arianna, aka Ari, blurs the boundaries between freestyle and freeride skiing. A three-time Freeride World Tour champion from Italy, she always brings her playful freestyle skills to the backcountry and big-mountain faces. She’s also a qualified physiotherapist and a really, really, good surfer.
Fun fact: Ari doesn’t have Netflix. “I have no idea about series. I’ve never actually watched one to the end.” She does recommend learning something new – “right now I’m learning to play the ukulele” – or learning more about human beings. “I love books by Yuval Noah Harari, particularly Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind.”
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