Balanced Beings

Wellness Secrets of Adventure Athletes

Dean Potter//31//Climber
Potter has long employed a total-body fitness approach to redefine the sport of climbing. In September 2002, he completed a historic feat by free-climbing the main faces of El Capitan and Half Dome in less than 24 hours. As he tackles increasingly dangerous challenges, Potter is paying more attention to how he approaches what he does off the rock. "When I do stuff where death could be a real consequence, it makes me want to live right," says Potter. "And it really drives home the importance of living right, not sometime in the future, but now. For me that starts with respecting the people around you, your environment, and yourself." "I want my health to be perfect when I'm pushing the edge. I do yoga. I meditate, and when I'm not climbing, I focus on breathing deeply all day long," Potter says. "I hydrate obsessively, limit processed foods, and make a conscious attempt to eat and drink pure things, organic foods. I've noticed that these things stay with me longer than processed foods and that I'm more consistent in my climbing and my life—there aren't so many highs and lows."

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