Navigating Hate

By Cory Richards and Chris Jerard

Jul 9, 2020

In this episode, one of the best rock climbers of all-time, Sasha Digiulian, sits down to talk with Cory and I about her life, her career and Adventure with Purpose. Sasha shares how she strives to find harmony and has rolled with the punches during her career – and at this challenging time. 

At 27 years-old she has already had a decade-plus long career in climbing and adventure. The conversation covers her storied career and what she’s up to now while quarantined and recovering from a major surgery. She dives into what it’s like to try and balance an athletic career with life, education, relationships, travel and how she has learned to both confront and shut out the noise of social media.  She describes the power of commitment, discovering “just being” and struggling with the question of “does everything happen for a reason,” while she has been dealing with post surgery recovery, the death of a friend and quarantine. Sasha drops some real pearls in this conversation. It’s a great one for all of those who are looking for a dive into the concept of Adventure with Purpose and tools for confronting the unavoidable challenges life has in store. 



How to navigate the hard choices of career balance

Coping with multiple hard things at once: injury and surgery and the death of a friend 

Does everything happen for a reason? Why are these bad things happening? 

The bigger the career the smaller the core circle is her bedrock 

How she has become “more calloused” over the years to criticism

Confronting body shaming online 

The reality of the polish of social media versus 

Waking up and wondering “what is my purpose” in the age of Covid

Discovering stillness 

Applying the concept of purpose to daily habits – knowing the focus 

Her ambition to write a book and her writing habits now (she studied writing at Columbia) 

How she and the ROAM community are evolving away from travel as part of identity and the new lifestyle 

The concept of “you are the collective sum of the 5 people you spend time with” and why it’s important to spend time with positive people 



Sasha first began climbing at 6 years old, in 1998.  She has won the World Championships for Female Overall, and has placed Silver in the Bouldering World Championships, as well as Bronze in the Duel. Sasha has been the undefeated panAmerican Champion 2004 to the present, and she is a three-time US National Champion.  Outdoors, Sasha is the first North American woman to climb the grade 9a, 5.14d, recognized as one of the hardest sport climbs achieved by a female. She has done two. Sasha was the third woman in the world to accomplish this grade. Additionally, she has onsighted multiple 8b+’s, 5.14a’s, ascended groundbreaking multipitch routes of up to 1000 feet of 8c climbing, and has accomplished multiple First Ascents and over 30 First Female Ascents around the world, including a First Female Ascent on the North Face of the Eiger.DiGiulian graduated from Columbia University in New York City, having studied Nonfiction Writing and Business. She is on the Board of the Women’s Sports Foundation and serves as a Global Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, Up2Us Sports, and the American Alpine Club. She also has served as an Athlete Representative on the board of the International Federation of Sport Climbing.

She has been the recipient of multiple prestigious awards, including GLAMOUR Magazine’s Top College Women of the Year, 2016, the Cutting Edge Athlete Award for 2014 performance, presented by the American Alpine Club, The Golden Piton Award, and the Arco Rock Legend Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Outdoors.In addition to climbing, DiGiulian has a column with Outside Magazine and has been a published writer by other publications, including National Geographic, Rock and Ice, SELF, Seventeen, and CRAVE. She travels globally for Appearances and Events, including Public Speaking and Clinics.

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