EP 64: Christophe Bichet — Climbing As a Metaphor for Life, Finding ‘Why’, and the Awe of Being Alive


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Christophe Bichet is a world-class rock climber and a motivational speaker. He was born with a rare blood disorder called Fanconi Anemia and is also a cancer survivor. We talked about climbing as a metaphor for life, finding your “why”, learning new skills, how to achieve world-class endurance without training endurance, and holding on and letting go.

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Show Notes:



6:55 – Christophe’s dimensions, and Fanconi Anemia

8:50 – What I remember about Christophe, and why he doesn’t like knowing names and grades of routes

12:14 – How Christophe relates to his accomplishments

13:43 – ‘Big Mac’, Smith Rock, and why guidebook grades feel irrelevant to Christophe

17:22 – How grades become limits

18:49 – Growing up feeling different from his peers, feeling isolated, and regaining self-esteem through rock climbing

20:59 – Living each day as if it was your first day vs. last day

23:59 – Christophe’s many eclectic interests

26:34 – Gracefully saying no, and asking “Why”

29:42 – Awaking people’s vitality, and the climbing metaphor: grabbing on to what is essential, and learning to let go

32:13 – Cancer, and the grand piano bill

37:14 – Letting go of his identity as a sick person

38:34 – Approaching learning new skills like learning a new route

41:50 – Learning from people who are better than us, and a common trap to avoid

44:02 – How Christophe achieved endurance through training efficiency

47:09 – Pretending to be someone you admire

52:45 – Amy

55:33 – ‘Spank the Monkey’, and dedicating an ascent to a lost friend

1:00:28 – “Stop and breath in the awe of being alive.” - Amy Frohnmayer Winn

1:02:25 – Grateful to live in the mountains and have a daughter

1:05:10 – Be light

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