Claire Bao, Brooklyn Boulders GM, On How to Overcome Mindset As You Climb Towards a Tough Goal

Welcome to a #WeGotGoals episode that’ll have you itching to chalk up and scale a wall at your local indoor rock climbing facility… or, at the very least, daydream about summiting your next mountain.

claire bao
Photo by Andrew Glatt for lululemon

Claire Bao, general manager of Brooklyn Boulders in Chicago and lululemon Ambassador, is a 10-year climbing veteran who ironically discovered her love for the sport while attending college in the flat Midwest. And surprisingly, Claire was afraid of heights until she began climbing and opening herself up to new challenges, with the help of several mentors in the community. We talk about how social relationships are so vital to climbing, especially when you’re new to the sport. And fittingly, she’s working towards a big goal of building the climbing community wherever she is, while growing as a leader, growing relationships, and making the sport feel as welcoming as possible.

In this weeks Goals to Go section, we hear from listener Hester Lam, who needs help overcoming mindset as she attempts to scale her first 5.10. She’s experiencing some mental blocks around the challenge associated with 5.10 routes, even if she knows the rating system can be subjective. They go over tips and suggestions from Claire, like practicing the same route over and over again and recognizing that failure is part of the process.

(We also hear about Claire’s dogs, Bowie and Bella, and insisted on a picture to share with the readers. You’re welcome.)


If you love this episode as much as we do, subscribe to the #WeGotGoals podcast wherever you like to listen to podcasts, including on Apple and Spotify (and hey, leave us a rating while you’re at it!).


About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.

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