Facing your fears is never easy, and we as humans tend to run in the opposite direction rather than look them straight in the eye. I have always been a fan of running towards them. It started with my first solo plane ride overseas for my volunteer project, then to scuba diving, and recently indoor rock climbing.
I have noticed as I get older, I am starting to have a fear of heights. I never really noticed it, until I was standing very high up on a ledge somewhere, and instantly got panicked. It was a terrible feeling that I hadn't known I had, this fear. So I asked my friend Darcy to take me someplace to beat it out of me. That place, was called Ascend Pittsburgh, an indoor rock climbing gym location in Pittsburgh's South Side.
I didn't know what to expect my first time at Ascend, and to be honest, it looked pretty easy just watching people climb. The colored notches on the wall, were welcoming, cute even. Then my turn to try, and I failed miserably the first couple of times. Those colored notches are NOT cute, they are the devil. Half way up my second wall I froze, and was urged on by the ever patient Darcy to not look down, and keep going. I eventually made it to the top of the wall. Laying down for a good 5 minutes before standing up, and gazing out over my sad success. It felt good.
The point to my story is that it is scary as hell to try fight your fears, and that is why I HAD to have Steel City Slackers come on my show. This group of dare devils have taken it to the next level. I had no clue what slack lining was when I first entered Ascend. I then found out it is pretty much walking on a tethered 1 Inch thick line of material across a surface, above the ground.
The idea of it seemed hopelessly hard to accomplish to me, but I figured if they were just doing it a foot above the ground, what's the big deal? If you lose your balance (Which I most assuredly would), you can just step off, no harm done. Not entirely the case for this group, they go much higher.
I didn't know you could slack line across gorges, mountains, ravines, and other terrifying prospects. This is a thing that is called high lining, and the moment Darcy told me that she tried this to face her fear of heights, I had to have her, and Rachel on the show to talk about the process, and how they worked up the nerve to do it. We chat about what is all involved, why it is great for your mind and body, what they get out of it and how they mentally prepare themselves.
I was also treated to a showing of acroyoga which is beyond gorgeous to watch. Darcy and Rachel performed it so fluidly, It seemed I stepped into a carnival show. It was beautiful, and flawlessly executed. I hope one day I can be brave enough to try slack lining higher up, and fly through the air like that, but I won't hold my breath. ;)
I did in fact try slack lining in this episode, so you get to hear me struggling. It is a hoot. Check out the Steel City Slackers free beginners workshop to try it out yourself.
This episode is sponsored by Levity Pittsburgh! All listeners get $5 off their floats with code "Marta"
Be sure to check out the two events I have coming up! One on Friday the 13th for True Spooky Stories of Pittsburgh a live podcast with homemade sound effects at Carnegie Coffee Shop.
Early Bird tickets are now up for "Marta Match- A throwback of The Match Game" at City Theatre on January 5th! YOU could be chosen as a contestant to win prizes. Join me as I host, and invite personalities of Pittsburgh on stage with me that include- Rick Seback, Kellee Maize, Maggie Carr, Day Bracey, and many more. Magic by Lee Terbosic. Music by Violet. Free beer samplings by Helicon Brewery. Part of the proceeds benefit Big Brothers and Sisters of Pittsburgh
Congrats to Facebook follower Brooke Schad for winning the yoga tank top!
I recently met Kenny Gould on a shoot of a TV pilot. I was playing the part of the host of the show, and Kenny, was one of my judges. A very picky judge is what he had to portray, and I soon realized that the person he was playing on the show, was not his true character. Kenny is ridiculously funny, intelligent, and down to earth. Not only that, but he is self made successful entrepreneur.
Kenny Gould is Co-founder, and Editor in Chief of Hop Culture Magazine created right here in Pittsburgh, a periodical that is distributed all over the globe digitally. It has readers in every corner of the world that want to talk about their favorite subject- BEER.
I myself am a craft brewer, having gotten into the process years ago. I love the process and the community that goes into brewing beer. It is so supportive. I don't brew a ton anymore because I realized I was gaining weight at a rapid pace. When you brew a 5 gallon batch of your favorite clone (Old School Dog Fish Head), you end up with about 2 cases of beer on your hands. What do you do when you have that much beer? You drink it, a lot. I had to take a step back from brewing it, but I still love to indulge in craft home brew every now, and then, and so does the general population.
Craft breweries are popping up everywhere. Here in Pittsburgh, we probably have at least 20 with more "brewing" every month. Kenny and his friend and other founder Travis Smith saw that potential, and realized a magazine catered towards craft beer would be essential. So Hop Culture was born, and sprouted. They now have contributors from across the world wanting to share their stories. I had no idea Brazil had a craft beer culture, but I found out about that in this podcast.
We talk about beer in this episode, but we also touch on so much more than that. Kenny is first, and foremost a writer. (Kenny, stop judging my grammar) He studied creative writing, contributing to Time Out New York, Thrillist, Table, Good Food Pittsburgh, Local Pittsburgh, and Craft Pittsburgh, among many other publications. I also found out that he has helped people in prison with their creative writing projects. It was very moving to hear about it.
Another aspect of his life is yoga, which is near and dear to me. Kenny is a teaches yoga, and also discovered he could combine his two loves together- yoga, and beer into an event focused on both. It's called Ales and Ohms. Kenny teaches yoga at different breweries in Pittsburgh, and after the flow, guests get to raise a glass to each other, and quench their thirst. I can't think of a better way to drink my beer.
I hope you enjoyed this episode!
Hop Culture is giving away a free yoga tank top for this episode! Ways to enter-