The Stokecast

By Explore Inspired

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Jonathan Ronzio and Emily Holland of Explore Inspired chat with top athletes, adventurers, and entrepreneurs to reveal strategies for how to crush the work, life, and adventure balance while having fun and making a difference. Learn how exploration inspires creativity, discover the confidence to push past comfortable, and dig into the definition of "stoke!" Running ultras, traveling the world, skiing 14ers, starting a blog, learning to climb, public speaking, smashing world records, building a business with passive income, designing the life you deserve to live, and much more. #sharethestoke

Episode Date
EP27: Shelma Jun On Channeling Your Opportunity and Building Your Community
On episode 27 of The Stokecast, founder of Flash Foxy and the Women's Climbing Festival, co-founder of the Never Not Collective production company, climber and Access Fund board member, Shelma Jun. In our conversation with Shelma, we dig into the contrasting balance of a life in pursuit of wild adventures with a home base in the big city, how an urban planner became an outdoor community builder, and how to recognize when your unique snowball of opportunity and experience has grown big enough to build a dream on. Plus, the difference between being physically present and mentally present, and Shelma's thoughts around gender equity in the outdoor industry, its current trend and its future. For more from this episode, visit:
Dec 12, 2018
EP26: Joe Kudla on Scaling Vuori Clothing to 8-Figures in 5-Years
Vuori Clothing founder, Joe Kudla, shines light on the personal story behind the epic rise of one of today's fastest growing athleisure apparel brands. For the show notes from this episode and your Vuori Stokecast coupon, visit:
Dec 05, 2018
EP25: Steph Davis On The Things You Can't Not Do
Legendary Climber, Flyer, Speaker, Writer, Steph Davis joins Emily and Jonathan on The Stokecast to talk about her life's wild and passionate pursuits. On the agenda? Balancing risk and comfort, creating a career as an athlete and storyteller, Steph's take on the vegan diet, creating and leading climbing clinics, coping with loss, and what it's like to fly. For more from the episode, visit
Nov 28, 2018
EP24: Ladies AllRide Founder, Lindsey Richter, On Overcoming The Fear-Based Mindset
On episode 24 of The Stokecast, Ladies AllRide Founder and Survivor survivor, Lindsey Richter, joins us to chat about how to overcome your fear-based mindset and learning to change the thoughts that just don't serve you. - "No bad weather, just bad gear" - Why where Lindsey grew up helped nurture her tolerance for suffering (6:30) - Learning how to choose your attitude and create your own sunshine (11:00) - Why Lindsey took to mountain biking as a way to get her fitness back (14:00) - Surviving "Survivor" and the reality TV fallout (15:30) - Coping with all the faces of fame (27:00) - The difference between physical and emotional pain and how to deal with both (32:00) - How sport helps humans change thoughts that don't serve them (38:00) - Why Emily is afraid of mountain biking (41:00) - Lindsey's inspirations for founding Ladies All Ride camps (42:00) - What STOKE means to Lindsey (56:00) For the show notes from this episode, visit:
Nov 21, 2018
EP23: Learning To Nurture The Narrative Of Your Life, With Pro Climber Sam Elias
Professional climber, skier, reader and tale-teller, "human being in process," Sam Elias takes to The Stokecast to chat with Emily and Jonathan about soulful pursuits of mind and body, nurturing your life's narrative, finding family, and trusting how you feel inside. On this episode: - Life as an athlete and body breakdowns (6:30) - Selfishness vs Selflessness (8:20) - When to put in the work and when to let it ride (11:15) - What can happen once you develop a wisdom about yourself (17:00) - Float spas, sensory deprivation, and Get Out (21:45) - How climbing transformed Sam's life (24:00) - Sam's relationship with his real family, his climbing family, and the gap between (25:40) - The path to becoming a professional climber, via collecting outdoor industry work experience while building skillsets and a network (28:30) - Advertising and selling yourself - the behind the scenes work of an athlete (38:45) - Rooted: Climbing Lebanon - Sam's exploratory documentary connecting family, the middle east, and climbing (44:00) - Sam's top book recommendation (54:00) For the links mentioned in this episode, visit the show notes page at
Nov 14, 2018
EP22: Visual Storyteller Becca Skinner On Finding Balance In Her Food Forest
What is a food forest? You'll have to listen to find out! On this episode of The Stokecast, Emily and Jonathan chat with adventure photographer, writer, farmer, conservationist, and National Geographic Explorer, Becca Skinner. For Becca's take on permaculture and sustainable ranching, her experience of building a career as photographer and storyteller, her top tips for car camping/living (learned from 32,000 miles on the road with her pup and a camera!), and her feelings about business, busyness, and balance, dive in! For the show notes from this episode, visit:
Nov 07, 2018
EP21: Ski Mountaineer Kit Deslauriers On Giving Yourself Room To Dream & Time To Grow
Kit Deslauriers is a Jackson-hole based ski mountaineer, the first person in the world to ski off the top of the highest mountain on each of the seven continents (famed Seven Summits), an author, speaker, activist, and mother. That's quite the impressive resumé and we were honored to chat with Kit for episode 21 of The Stokecast! For the show notes:
Oct 31, 2018
EP20: How Serial Entrepreneur Davis Smith Built "Gear For Good" Apparel & Experience Brand, Cotopaxi
In episode 20 of The Stokecast, Emily and Jonathan recap the joys and pains of their recent experience running the Trapp Lodge Mountain Marathon in Stowe, Vermont. After, they have a deep conversation about building businesses with social impact with Cotopaxi Founder and CEO, Davis Smith. Also on the show, learn: - How Davis runs his business AND his family by defining values and building an organizational culture (14:32) - When and why Davis learned to embrace his entrepreneurial spirit (16:00) - How Davis started and scaled his first business, going digitally native and selling pool tables online (18:45) - Why you shouldn't hire your closest friends first or at all (24:20) - How to identify ideas that are going to work and stick with it (29:35) - How to compete in a crowded market (34:38) - Why he started an adventure race series called Questival and hired two llamas off Craigslist to launch Cotopaxi (41:14) - How Cotopaxi is empowering creativity within their manufacturing facility in the Philippines (49:31) - What is a Benefit Corporation and how does it work? (53:55) - The benefits of bootstrapping vs. raising capital (56:33) - Davis' work to promote gender equality with GirlUp and Women's Leadership Institute - How he balances professional and personal life by managing both like a business (1:05:00) - What Cotopaxi is doing to aid the refugee crisis and one incredible story of the impact made (1:11:06) For the show notes from this episode, visit:
Oct 24, 2018
EP19: Why Tim Burke Quit His Job and Sold His Things to Travel Full-Time As A Moto-Photojournalist
Tim Burke was an airport operations manager at Boeing Field in Washington, overseeing the safety of everything happening on the airfield. He loved his job and he had worked so hard to get there. So why then did he walk away from everything stable and certain to pursue the roads of the world with his camera and a motorcycle? In episode 19 of The Stokecast, we chat with Tim Burke about: - His decision to leave his job and start living on the road - What place, after nearly 2 years of travel, has left the biggest mark on his soul - The realities of life and travel without deadlines or destinations - How he makes money on the road and is building his business as a photographer and journalist - Brand relationships and competing on social media - Why you don't need the best gear to take the best photos (and Tim shares his sketchy shooting setup) - The struggle to return home after long-term travel and connect or find common ground with anybody at home who can't relate to your experiences - Why you just need to send it and figure it out! For more on this episode and ways to connect with Tim, visit:
Oct 17, 2018
EP18: Learning to Design Life on Your Terms, with Transition Coach Sanni McCandless
Sanni McCandless is a life and transition coach for outdoor-minded individuals seeking more intentional lifestyles, as well as the co-founder of the Outwild festival series. On this episode learn how to embrace career and lifestyle changes, deal with vulnerability on display, and start asking yourself, "what is it that I want from life?" In this episode: - How to overcome mental barriers to start embracing transitions in your life or changes in your career - Lifestyle design and how much life experience do you need to be a life coach? - Believing in the power of connection to bridge the gaps in finding your calling - Knowing how to recognize when you've felt balance, and how to go back to that - Honing the mindset to turn failure into opportunity within a long-term vision - The importance of micro-challenges to boost your confidence - Vulnerability on display For the show notes:
Oct 10, 2018
EP17: From Big Mountains to Bold Business Pursuits, Alpenglow Expeditions Founder, Adrian Ballinger
Have you ever thought about climbing Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, or starting a global expedition guiding company specializing in rapid ascents on the world's biggest mountains? Adrian Ballinger has. If you're a total logistics nerd (like Emily and Adrian) and obsessed with operations, or if you're just drawn to pursuing crazy challenges, listen, learn, and be inspired as Adrian shares his story. On this episode: - Learning to trust your team and delegate tasks when you start to scale beyond yourself - The grind of growing guiding company, Alpenglow Expeditions - Balancing a career as a professional athlete with running a business and keeping relationships alive - How Adrian got his start as an adventure athlete - Learning to reframe failure as success - Altitude training systems and big mountain speed ascents - The Lake Tahoe Via Ferrata and Adrian announces his quest to climb K2 without oxygen! For the show notes:
Oct 03, 2018
EP16: The Art of Building Brand, Body, & Being, with TJ David
If you've been wondering how much work it takes to become a professional outdoor athlete, working on building your base of physical fitness, your personal brand, and keeping your mind on track, you're going to want to tune into this one. TJ David is a professional skier and Aspen-based plant-powered endurance athlete with experience on both sides of the lens. And he's also still hustling to make it work - because let's be real, it's rare to be a full-time athlete in this industry! Listen and learn: - How new opportunities emerged for more athletes to have viable careers when they started creating social content - The way TJ approaches building his Instagram audience and curating moments - How focusing on trail running has improved his skiing - The importance of having a meditation practice grounded in stillness - What TJ's plant-based training diet looks like - TJ's take on being a paid athlete and still having a normal job Show notes:
Sep 26, 2018
EP15: Learning To Love What Makes You, You - with SheLift Founder, Bachelor Alum, and Self-Love Superstar Sarah Herron
Sarah Herron was born without the lower half of her left arm but that hasn't stopped her from living out some of life's greatest adventures, looking for love on The Bachelor, finding it within herself, starting a non-profit, and helping others with limiting beliefs learn to love themselves and accomplish more than they ever felt capable of. On this episode, Jonathan and Emily chat with Sarah about: - The importance of challenging self-limiting beliefs - Providing spaces for women who are living with physical differences - What it takes to found a non-profit - How women and young girls need more communities to discover confidence and self-esteem - The healing nature of the outdoors - Tapping into mentors as much as possible - When to give all of yourself to your passions and make a leap of faith For the show notes on this episode and ways to connect with Sarah, visit:
Sep 19, 2018
EP14: Chris Burkard Dishes His No-BS Recipe For Sacrifice And Success
This week, we had the extraordinary photographer, entrepreneur, filmmaker, adventurer and storyteller, Chris Burkard on the podcast. Chris shares his no-BS approach to the perpetual hustle mindset and gets real and raw about how much you have to sacrifice to find the success you desire. Also, Jonathan and Emily chat with Chris about: - How to fill the gaps in your skillset - Why you should be investing in yourself with time AND money - Everything you need to learn about the 'technical stuff,' you can find online - His interesting relationship with Instagram - Creating passive revenue streams - When you should consider getting an agent - How to manage communicating with your loved ones while you're on the road For the show notes on this episode and ways to connect with Chris, visit:
Sep 12, 2018
EP13: 3x World-Record Endurance Athlete Colin O'Brady Teaches How To Build A Community With Your Dreams
What an incredible episode. From burn victim to pro-triathlete to world record crushing mountaineer, Colin O'Brady of Beyond 7/2 and 50HP is a bundle of inspiration, stoke, and an overall fantastic guy. On this episode, learn: - What 'sleep-hiking' is and learning to micro-nap - The drive behind pursuing mountaineering World Records - His project of Beyond 7/2 and motivating young people to get outside - The use of social media as a platform for building communities - His 50HP project and the 'Forrest Gump' effect - How to bring a crazy idea to life (through tons of hard work, meetings, failures, etc) - Why just any sponsor won't do and the importance of finding the RIGHT sponsor partners - Colin's training regimen and his take on balance For the show notes, visit:
Sep 05, 2018
EP12: Michelle Parker on Self-Motivation, Her Life as a Pro Skier, and Staying Safe In The Mountains
Want to learn how to be well-rounded, passionate and creative while also living your dream? How to be self-motivated in an industry without much structure? Take notes from this weeks' Stokecast guest, Michelle Parker. On the show: - How she skied before she could even walk - Growing up in a premier mountain town, Squaw Valley - Importance of female role models - Being your own boss - the need to be diligent, productive and well-rounded - The process of pitching, planning and starring in a TV series with Red Bull - How to go after sponsorship with big brands - Continuing to evolve your passions/athletic endeavors - The origination of the organization, SAFE AS - How to get involved in outdoor advocacy efforts like Protect Our Winters For the show notes on this episode and ways to connect with Michelle, visit:
Aug 29, 2018
EP11: Running Slow AF And Loving Every Second With Writer, Speaker, Ultra Runner, Mirna Valerio
Redefine running with The Mirnavator. Mirna Valerio is the creator of the Fat Girl Running blog, author of A Beautiful Work in Progress, as well as a speaker, educator, and mother. On this episode, Mirna takes us on her journey of becoming an ultra-runner, learning to be her own boss, advocating for representation in the sport, and... - Jonathan and Emily have an exciting update on their lives and goals! - Mirna's experience running this year's freezing wet Boston Marathon - From growing up in Brooklyn to her life now, the importance of going outside and exploration - How a health scare pushed her to rediscover running and an active lifestyle - Her new series, Slow AF Trail Running Adventure Retreats - How running clears the mind and helps promote creative energy - Having a coach is a game-changer but you should also be able to motivate yourself intrinsically For the show notes, visit:
Aug 22, 2018
EP10: Veteran, Adventurer, Stacy Bare Explains How To Reframe Your Darkest Defining Moments
Do you know the difference between joy, awe, and stoke? Veteran, climber, skier, star of Adventure Not War, Stacy Bare digs deep on The Stokecast to paint a thought-provoking picture of the ups and downs in his life and how he was able to reframe some of his darker defining moments. Stacy also shares: - How he puts himself in situations in which he needs to push himself out of his comfort zone (any why it's important to do so) - His work with The Phoenix: A Sober Active Community - Thought on privilege and the need for self-awareness - The definitions and differences of joy, awe and stoke - Using the 'stoplight' to figure out how to balance your life each week For the show notes on this episode and ways to connect with Stacy, visit:
Aug 15, 2018
EP09: Learn What It Takes To Smash Trail Records From Endurance Runner "Stringbean" Joe McConaughy
Have you ever thought about going out for 2,000+ mile run? Do you think even if you had the physical strength, you could muster the mental stamina? This week on the Stokecast, record-breaking distance runner, Joe McConaughy, shares what it takes to smash records on the world's longest trails. Plus... - How Joe came to be a runner, and even crazier, an ultramarathon trail runner - Combining your passion with a cause (Run for Colin) - What you learn when you dig deep - Joe's journey on both the Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail (to crush the speed records) - How a positive mindset works wonders - The importance of gratitude and having a support crew - Jonathan also gets his first sub-5-minute mile right before we interview Joe! For the show notes on this episode and ways to connect with Joe, visit:
Aug 08, 2018
EP08: Climber, Writer, Mother, Beth Rodden Talks Dealing With Your Demons
Professional rock climber, writer, and mom, Beth Rodden, joins Emily and Jonathan on to chat about: - How and why Beth fell in love with climbing - Creativity vs. competition and what’s changed about the sport for kids today - Women in climbing and growing up without access to many female role models or any clear path to turning climbing into a career - How barely escaping a kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan rocked the foundation of Beth’s confidence in climbing, her marriage, and mental health. - Vulnerability vs. the conquerer’s mentality - California’s yummy summer produce For the show notes on this episode and ways to connect with Beth, visit:
Aug 01, 2018
EP07: If You're Not Inspired To Do It, Then You Shouldn't Be Doing It (says Cody Townsend)
This week on The Stokecast, professional skier, unprofessional surfer, fisherman, fun haver, and co-founder of Arcade Belts, Cody Townsend. Expect to walk away from this episode with your new life manifesto and a mission to live every day in more meaningful ways. Jonathan and Emily chat with Cody about: - How fun and happiness are the bedrock principles for all of his pursuits - Why he chose to stop doing what initially brought him success as a professional skier and shift directions into inspiring new outlets - How to dial in a pace that you can sustain (in the mountains, in life, in business) - Identifying an opportunity, building an MVP, and scaling a startup For the show notes from this episode and all the links,
Jul 25, 2018
EP06: Power Company Climbing Founder Kris Hampton On His Journey From Rap Songs To Rock Walls
Father, climber, emcee, coach, Kris Hampton, reflects on his rise from rapper to rock climber to business owner and content creator. His journey wasn't always easy, and certainly, wasn't always focused. In this episode, Kris recounts some of the most transformational experiences of his life, specifically when he learned to let go of ego in lieu of finding fulfillment in more personal challenges. Once Kris seemingly got out of his own way, the pieces of the puzzle started to fall together. And his friends taking note of his success, starting asking for training plans. Power Company Climbing was born. Kris has now trained thousands of climbers all over the world and dedicates himself to helping others break past their personal barriers, both mental and physical. That is, when he's not working on his own climbing projects or spending time with his family - for which he says scheduling is the key to keeping balanced. For the show notes, visit:
Jul 18, 2018
EP05: Ski Mountaineer Caroline Gleich Talks Pushing Past Fear & When To Dismiss Criticism
Professional ski mountaineer, adventurer, environmental and social activist, Caroline Gleich is not shy about battling demons. Whether those demons are social media stalkers and trolls, or her internal voice of fear and insecurity, Caroline has become a champion of creating an open and honest dialogue around tackling personal and professional obstacles head-on. Her unshakable positivity coupled with her drive to push limits in the mountains while protecting the places we play, make Caroline a powerhouse of inspiration that we were stoked to have on The Stokecast! In this episode, we chat about skiing, mountaineering, and training for an ultramarathon, as well as the importance of humbling yourself with new challenges as a way to overcome personal and professional struggles. For more from Caroline and the notes on this episode, visit
Jul 11, 2018
EP04: How Semi-Rad’s Brendan Leonard Turned His Passions Into Art That Pays
Semi-Rad creator Brendan Leonard shares his story of developing a brand voice for the everyday adventurer and how he has been able, and continues, to turn his passions into art that pays. With, Brendan has dedicated his life to speaking to the simple joys of being regular in outdoor pursuits, focusing on the quirks and commonalities of experiences we share. Learn how Brendan got his start, taking the leap from corporate life into the freelance world and eventually turned the side-hustle into the full-time paycheck all while climbing, biking, adventuring, and having fun. Also, Brendan weighs in on why he believes the concept of balance is BS. Go to for the show notes.
Jul 04, 2018
EP03: Ultra-Runner Clare Gallagher On Finding A State Of Flow In Discomfort
Clare Gallagher rocked the ultra-running scene when she came out of seemingly nowhere to win the infamous Leadville 100 in 2016, slaying the competition and putting down the second fastest time in the race's history. But Clare's story started long before Leadville and it's continued these past couple of years in a very big way. In episode 3 of The Stokecast, Jonathan and Emily dig into what drives Clare Gallagher as an ultra-endurance athlete, how her career as a runner evolved, how she tricks her mind to keep moving, and what she's most stoked about for both her, and the sport's future. For this episode's show notes, visit Also, be sure to subscribe and leave a review to let us know what you love about The Stokecast so far!
Jun 20, 2018
EP02: How Brody Leven Went From Midwest DJ to Adventure Skier & Storyteller
Professional adventure skier and storyteller Brody Leven speaks to his entrepreneurial beginnings and journey from the humble hills of Ohio to some of the world's biggest mountains, most epic bike trips, and even the steps of Washington D.C. For the show notes from this episode, visit
Jun 20, 2018
EP01: Get To Know The Stokecast (with hosts Jonathan Ronzio and Emily Holland)
Welcome to The Stokecast podcast by Explore Inspired! In this episode, get to know your hosts (Jonathan Ronzio & Emily Holland). Learn what inspired us to start this podcast, hear about the types of topics we'll be covering and the people we'll be speaking with. And, of course, Emily defines "stoke!" Thanks a ton for tuning in and embarking on this journey with us. We look forward to bringing you stories and tips each week to help you balance work, life, and adventure, and inspire you to take action! For this episode and more, visit
Jun 20, 2018