EP 87: Alita Contreras — Learning Languages, Coaching Women to Climb Powerfully, and Translating Training Books


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Alejandra (Alita) Contreras is a half Colombian half Venezualan professional rock climber, coach, and translator. We talked about the economic situation in Venezuela and why she moved to Colombia six years ago, about living in Germany and translating training books by Udo Neumann, about coaching women, our global climbing family, and her current 5.14a project.

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Show Notes:



1:50 – Alegria

3:52 – Alita vs. Alejandra

6:40 – The situation in Venezuela, and why Alita emigrated to Columbia

14:21 – Studying languages, Alita’s father, singing opera, and becoming interested in Germany

18:48 – Separating languages in your head

21:13 – Tips for learning a new language

25:36 – Thinking differently, and having different personalities in different languages

28:13 – Bad milk

29:42 – The many things Alita does for work, and coaching a women’s group

34:05 – Patterns Alita notices in working with women climbers, and what she works on with her group

39:23 – Empowering girls and educating guys

41:46 – Researching a new project to help women with cancer regain physical and emotional health through climbing

45:55 – Translating Udo Neuman’s books into Spanish

48:30 – Parallels with translating and the podcast, and the big takeaways from Udo’s books

54:51 – In Search of Greatness (documentary), going with the current of motivation, and being honest with yourself

59:11 – The powerful 13a that Alita is most proud of (even though she has climbed 13d)

1:02:29 – My season of seeking out obscure 12d’s at Smith, and the benefit of climbing easier routes outside of your best style

1:05:16 – Alita’s 14a project

1:08:59 – Macheta climbing area, and a description of the 14a

1:10:45 – Alita’s video of ‘Los Tenahos Contratican’, and similarities to Hueco

1:11:33 – Dreams of climbing at the Red, and climbing in Europe

1:12:53 – Alita’s favorite climbing destinations

1:15:00 – Living and climbing near the equator, and tactics for projecting when you don’t have seasons

1:19:10 – How Alita thinks about yearly goals

1:21:12 – Continuing to improve, and enjoying the process

1:26:07 – Living in Canada, competing in one competition, and Alita’s hype-up song

1:31:33 – Patron question from Eli: What is the local climbing like in your area? Similarities and differences in climbing cultures around the world?

1:36:18 – Gratitude for Alegria (her dog)

1:39:46 – A new opportunity

1:37:25 – Aspirations to be a pro-climber?

1:39:01 – Vulnerability and the gift of sharing

1:40:10 – Gratitude, and meaningful connections

123 episodes