Mason Earle speaks about going from being an elite athlete to spending most of his waking hours in bed, the pleasure he now finds in the littlest things, and why he actually doesn’t miss climbing.
Mason Earle speaks about going from being an elite athlete to spending most of his waking hours in bed, the pleasure he now finds in the littlest things, and why he actually doesn’t miss climbing. (Carina Guevara)
Adventures in Audio

The Disorder That Brought a Pro Climber Down to Earth

Mason Earle speaks about going from being an elite athlete to spending most of his waking hours in bed, the pleasure he now finds in the littlest things, and why he actually doesn’t miss climbing.

When he was in his early twenties, Mason Earle was living the dream. After dropping out of college so he could climb full-time, he signed a sponsorship deal with a major outdoor brand and began taking climbing trips all around the world. But then, as he approached his 30th birthday, he was on a trip to Yosemite when he began experiencing flu-like symptoms that wouldn't go away. He would later be diagnosed with ME/CFS, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome. In this powerful episode from our friends at the Death, Sex & Money podcast, Mason speaks with host Anna Sale about going from being an elite athlete to spending most of his waking hours in bed, the pleasure he now finds in the littlest things, and why he actually doesn’t miss climbing. 


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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, which was developed in partnership with PRX, distributors of the idolized This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour, among others. We have since expanded our show and now offer a range of story formats, including interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and politics, as well as reports from our correspondents in the field.