The disorder that brought a professional climber to earth

Mason Earle talks about how he went from being a top athlete to much of his waking hours in bed, the joy he now finds in the smallest of things, and why he actually doesn’t miss climbing. (Illustration: Carina Guevara)

When he was in his early twenties, Mason Earle was living his dream. After dropping out of college to climb full-time, he signed a sponsorship deal with a major outdoor brand and began climbing trips around the world. But then, as he neared his 30th birthday, he was on a trip to Yosemite when he had flu-like symptoms that wouldn’t go away. He was later diagnosed with ME / CFS, commonly referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome. In this impressive episode from our friends on the Death, Sex & Money podcast, Mason talks to host Anna Sale about how she went from being a top athlete to much of his waking hours in bed, about the joy he now has with the youngest Finds things and why he doesn’t actually miss climbing.

This episode was presented by 303 guards and cleaners who take care of the boats, trucks, RVs, and SUVs that you rely on in your adventures. Podcast listeners outside of podcasts receive a 20 percent discount on all 303 products for a limited time. Go to 303products.com and use the promo code OUTSIDE2021.

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