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Neely Quinn interviews pro rock climbers, climbing trainers, and other insightful members of the climbing community about how we can get a little better at rock climbing. Subjects include how to train for certain aspects of the sport, how to rehab injuries, the best diet for climbing, and personal stories about climbing.

Sep 1, 2021

About Lor Sabourin

In the episode, I talk with Lor Sabourin, who is a successful climber and a mental training coach for The Warrior’s Way, where they travel to teach clinics and work one-to-one with climbers of all levels. Lor is also a graduate student on their way to becoming a counselor.

I met Lor a long time ago at the base of Dinosaur Rock in the Flatirons, where I was struck by their calm demeanor and friendly smile. I’ve followed Lor on Instagram since then and have been continually impressed by their ability to talk about difficult subjects with eloquence and humility.

Lor recently became the first non-binary climber to climb a 5.14 route on traditional gear when they clipped the chains of Sedona’s East Coast Fist Bump (5.14a). I wanted to talk to them about what that projecting process was like, how they improved their climbing so quickly, and what kind of response they’ve gotten from the climbing community about it.

We also talked about some mental aspects of climbing, which is what they work on with people every day, and Lor’s insights did not disappoint. They also shared about their experience of coming out as non-binary, and how that affected their relationships with friends and how it affected their climbing.

For some reason I feel a kinship with Lor, and I always like talking to them. In this interview we navigated difficult topics, sometimes with less panache than I would’ve liked (on my part), but these are the conversations that need to happen at the moment, even if they’re not easy. I VERY much appreciated Lor’s willingness to be open and vulnerable in talking about personal things.


Lor Sabourin Episode Details

  • What they did to improve climbing in such a short amount of time
  • Eating disorder from the age of 7
  • How their eating disorder was connected to their gender identity
  • How they felt about being the “first non-binary person to send 5.14 on gear”
  • How we can deal with feeling entitled in climbing and “wanting something for nothing”
  • Dealing with “bad mental days”
  • Building self compassion in climbing and in life
  • Hot they navigate school, work, and climbing in terms of time management
  • How they like van life long term
  • How climbing is a mindfulness exercise

Photo Credit

Photo of Lor by Blake McCord @blakemccordphoto