53 minutes | May 19, 2021

A Former Pro Climber On Enduring Chronic Illness

Until 2018, Mason Earle was a professional rock climber. Mason started climbing as a kid, and developed a specialty in a style known as "crack climbing," where you climb by wedging your hands, fists, or your whole body into cracks in rocks. Mason spent most of his 20s seeking adventure and climbing around the world. But just before turning 30, he started feeling flu-like symptoms on a climbing trip in Yosemite with some friends. Mason never fully recovered. "It was the first moment in my life where I really felt there was no safety net underneath me," he told me. He was later diagnosed with ME/CFS, commonly called chronic fatigue syndrome.

In a series of three conversations, Mason and I talked about his former career, how he's adjusting to life and marriage with a disability, and why he doesn't miss rock climbing.

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