Like a Bigfoot

Motivation, Mindset, Positivity, Endurance, Adventure, Perseverance, and Possibility

Like a Bigfoot Podcast #46: Bill Sycalik — Running the Parks, National Parks Marathon Project

Photo by Nick Danielson

Taking the leap to chase a massive goal, uprooting your life and heading out into the wilderness, and running through the most beautiful places in the United States.  This week’s episode has it all!

About a year ago, Bill Sycalik quit his comfy job in New York City and hit the road, starting his quest to run a marathon in every National Park in the country.

Flash forward to now and he’s through number 47 and has adapted to his new nomadic life, exploring new places every single week.

In this episode Bill shares stories from his adventures through various National Parks, describes what it takes to step completely outside of your norm to follow your dreams, explains how he plans each and every marathon, and discusses his plans for the big events in his future (aka- the 8 REMOTE parks in ALASKA!!)

Hope you guys enjoy listening to Bill as much as I did.  Really a ridiculously inspiring dude who had a great since of humor and drive.

From his website:

One Nation

National Parks are our antidote to the seeming divisive country in which we live. In a National Park there is equality. The mountains, the trees, the animals set forth no judgment of man nor care about man’s judgment. On the grounds of a National Park everyone enjoys the same land, air and water; the same experience regardless of gender, orientation, age, education or economic background.

We are one Nation in a National Park.

Go plan a trip to one of our National Parks! You will find a peaceful respect for our natural places, step outside of your normal routine, and maybe, just maybe, reconnect with that inner Bigfoot!

More from Bill:

National Parks Marathon Project Website:

Facebook Page:


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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #45: Susan Nowell 2 — How to Prevent and Manage Common Running Injuries

This week we are honored to welcome Susan Nowell back to the show!

Susan is an accomplished endurance athlete, a lifelong runner and adventurer, and a physical therapist in Northern California.  She is also my cousin and is someone whose fearlessness and discipline I’ve looked up to since I was a kid.

She is a wonderful resource for all of us athletes who are concerned about injury prevention and pain management.

In this episode we discuss the four most common running injuries.  How do you prevent them?  How do you rehab them?  We also talk about how she found success at the recent Carrara de Baja stage race and how she is going about training for an Ironman later this summer.

Hope you guys enjoy and hope you learn something!

More from Susan:

Stage race article she wrote for Trail Runner Magazine:

Last time she was on the podcast:

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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #44: Andy & John Anderson — Iowans for Everest, Summiting North Side of Everest

A few weeks ago cousins Andy and John Anderson became the first Iowans to summit Everest from the North Side.  I was honored to chat with them only a few days removed from the top of the world.

On this week’s show they share their journey, the experience of summit day, their purpose and preparation.

How did they train for such an endeavor in the (relatively) flat state of Iowa?  How is the North Side experience different than summiting from the South?  Why forming a community and being clear on a purpose is so important in life?  What must your mindset be to handle the intensity of seeing a dead body on the mountain?  How will this experience influence their lives going forward?

The higher purpose of Iowans for Everest is to positively influence the lives of veterans by reintroducing them to the tight bonds of a community.  In this case, getting them involved in the climbing community and solidifying those bonds by taking them on hiking and climbing trips around the country.  If you feel the need to support them, please do so at

Frankly, I was just incredibly pumped because I’ve been geeking out over Everest stories for YEARS and these guys were the first people I’ve ever chatted with who had summited…..and their from one of the greatest places in the world!! Double bonus!

Hope you guys enjoy this week’s episode and that you are finding purpose in the pursuit of your own Everest- whatever that may be!

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Like a Bigfoot #43: Adam Casey 2 — Managing Extreme Adversity, Tao of Pooh Discussion

This week we send out a huge welcome back to our friend Adam Casey.

In this episode Adam continues his story and explains the next period of his life as a U.S. Marine officer which leads into the absolute brutal day that unexpectedly knocked him onto a whole different path.

We also discuss why he reads the “Tao of Pooh” once every 6 months.  The book explains the essentials of Taoism using examples from Winnie the Pooh.  Based off of Adam’s suggestion I am currently in the middle of it and it is absolutely wonderful.

This conversation has brought up some really important questions in my life and I hope it helps you consider some of them too.

How can you use the concept of being the “Uncarved Block” to navigate your life?  How do you respond when life sends you the ultimate curveball?  What drives/motivates you and are you letting that completely define you?  How do you view obstacles- do they stop you or are they necessary at getting you to where you are today?

When you are at your absolute lowest moment, how do you find the strength to barrel forward?

Thanks guys for checking out the podcast! I’m gonna be in Canada for a week so I probably won’t be able to respond to any emails until I’m back.  Expect another podcast early next week though!

More From Adam:

His nonprofit:

Our first episode:

Ted Talk:

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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #42: A Guide to Climb Your First 14er — Scott Stark and Sean Furlong

Every single person, at least once in their life, should climb a mountain.

As we quickly approach mountain climbing season out here in Colorado, my inner mountain geek is beginning to get antsy.  To appease my own restlessness, I decided to put together a podcast that essentially could be the “intro to climbing a mountain.”  Specifically a 14er, the biggest mountains in Colorado (though the info could be applied to any mountain I suppose).

In essence, if you have never before stepped foot on a mountain, what are the basics that you absolutely should know in order to have a safe, fun experience?  If you think summiting a big peak is an absolute impossible task, you are wrong.  There are plenty of easier “beginner” peaks that, while still requiring hard work to get up, lack exposure (cliffs) and technical skills (using your hands and actually…climbing).

Though easier and less dangerous, there still are plenty of things you should understand going into these hikes as you are above treeline and still in remote wilderness.

So I brought in two guests.

First up is Scott Stark, last year at this time Scott had only summited one 14er.  In the midst of a crazy summer, he spent an insane amount of time above treeline and has now finished over 50 mountains (and 20 some 14ers) ranging from easy (Mt. Elbert) to some of the more difficult (Pyramid Peak).

Next is Sean Furlong.  Recently Sean has moved from Chicago where he jokingly claimed that he “didn’t step foot on grass for 8 years”.  In this podcast, he’s our “newbie”.  He’s excited to take on some big hikes and get up into the mountains this summer, and we put Mt of the Holy Cross on the schedule for July.

So we basically fill Sean in on some of the basic information he needs to know in order to have a fun and amazing BUT SAFE experience.

In this episode we cover “above treeline concerns”, good beginner mountains, what unexpected challenges may arise (aka crappy trailhead roads), how to train and prepare, and a bunch more.

NOTE: Take this for what it is…a guide.  Scott and I are nowhere near “experts” and are simply sharing our knowledge for what has worked (and not worked) for us in the past.  We, of course, are still in the pursuit of knowledge and experience when it comes to big time mountains.

NOTE 2: Also, I wanted to record outside because it was a super nice day….and I didn’t realize that the wind was hitting the mic every so often. It doesn’t screw up the audio too much but you will probably notice it every so often…you live and you learn!

Hope you guys enjoy and I really hope this episode inspires some of you to go out and conquer some mountains this summer!

More Info– the absolute hands down best information on 14ers out there.  This is a necessity for ALL the information you need about the peak you are planning on summiting.

“Colorado 14ers from Hikes to Climbs” by Gerry Roach – Maps, detailed info on routes, trailheads, etc.  Another piece of information that is a “must have”

More Like a Bigfoot

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Other Episodes about 14ers

Calvin Johannsen 14ers Project Part 1:

Calvin Johannsen 14ers Project Part 2:

Will Seeber Winter 14er Quest:

George Kittle Climbing 14ers with his Dad:

Scott Morris Mountain Biking up 14ers:

Like a Bigfoot Podcast #41: Alan Kay — Alone, Wilderness Survival, Mindset of Isolation

“All profound things are preceded and attended by Silence.” – Herman Melville

This week on the podcast we are honored to bring you wilderness survival expert Alan Kay.

Alan was the season one winner of Alone on the History Channel, which is probably the best (aka least reality showish) demonstration of wilderness survival on TV.  Ten people were dropped off in separate locations on northern Vancouver Island with minimal supplies, they could quit whenever they wanted, and whoever outlasted the rest was the winner.

After 56 days of remote survival; foraging for food, filtering water, building shelter and creating fire in one of more soggy and untamed wildernesses in North America, Alan was declared the winner.  More impressive than the physical aspect, he also managed to stave off loneliness as he faced what is a rarity for most of society these days, complete and utter isolation.

In this episode, Alan shares how to prioritize your needs in a survival situation, what his mindset was going into the challenge and how focusing only on what he could control led to his success.  We also spend a lot of time diving deep into the mindset of isolation.  This was a fascinating topic because most of us will never experience complete solitude, especially not for the length of time Alan did.

Alan is an educator in wilderness survival, so this podcast also covers various topics such as shelter construction for warmth, how to stay safe in mountain lion country, skills you should learn from previous generations and strategies to stay dry and warm in the wilderness.

I really want to thank Alan for chatting with me.  It was a fascinating conversation that I’m excited to share with you guys.  Also just wanted to give him props for being so open and raw about his experience.

How to contact Alan:

If you want to book Alan for a survival clinic you can reach him at his website or on Facebook at  He teaches everyone from beginners to more advanced wilderness folks.  I truly believe that the skills he promotes are essential skills every single person should have at least a basic understanding of.  Booking a class is something I am definitely interested in pursuing in the future.

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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #40: Scott Morris — Bikepacking, Mountain Biking 14ers, Nomadic Living

This week is all about long distance mountain biking as we chat with Scott Morris.  Scott and his girlfriend Eszter Horanyi live nomadically on public lands and spend their days working remotely and exploring beautiful areas on their mountain bikes.

Growing up in Utah he fell in love with mountain biking.  As his rides got longer and longer and he overcame the “limits of daylight”, he began “bikepacking”.

What in the world is bikepacking (besides a word that keeps trying to autocorrect….)???

Simple- It’s backpacking with a mountain bike…..or mountain biking with a backpack.

Essentially, you ride your mountain bike all day and then at night you throw out a sleeping bag and set up camp.  The next morning, you set back out down the trail on your bike.

Scott’s bikepacked the Continental Divide Trail (the parts he was allowed to), explored the “bikeable 14ers”, and started the first single track bikepacking event on the Arizona Trail, a journey from Mexico to Utah with a brief jaunt down and up some little geologic feature called the Grand Canyon.

In this episode we explore a bunch of different topics.  How did he get into this fringe sport, how did the AZT bikepacking race evolve, what life is like living nomadically from his camper van, how his GPS tracking software works (mentioned in episode #37 with Candice Burt), why public lands are so dang important, and which 14ers you can actually mountain bike up.

Oh yeah….we also have the same uncle but aren’t related.  How this math equation works is beyond my tiny brain…..  (My Uncle Joel Bown’s episode:

Enjoy guys! If one person out there listens to this episode and tries bikepacking I will count it as a victory!!

Learn More About Scott:

“Diary of Scott Morris”:

Bikepacking Resource he started:

Arizona Trail Race Info:

Topofusion GPS software:

Trackleaders SPOT tracking software:

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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #39: Jason Sudduth — Backpacking the Linville Gorge, Losing 40 Pounds in 2 Months

This week we are chatting with Jason Sudduth about rediscovering health, having adventures, and creating positive routines.  Recently he’s lost 40 pounds in two months, started doing yoga, began running, and recently went on his first backpacking trip to the Linville Gorge in North Carolina.

I had Jason on specifically to nerd out about the Linville Gorge, one of the most remote wild places in the southeast, but upon seeing the strides he has made towards a healthier lifestyle the conversation turned into a much deeper more hilarious reflection on health and happiness.

He followed, what I believe to be, the time tested formula of success:


It’s nothing fancy, there is no shortcut or hack, and it sure isn’t pretty.

It IS just showing up day after day, week after week, and putting in the hard work.  Being cool with a little discomfort.  Being ok with “failure” and having the beginner’s attitude.

That’s it.

You have a goal?

Do a little bit each and every day to move towards that goal.

While most of us would prefer to go directly from point A to point Z.  You have to consciously travel all the steps along the journey A, B, C……until you eventually reach Z.  There’s no teleportation.  Like I said, it ain’t pretty.  But it’s necessary.

So do the work.

Be like Jason.

(Oh yeah….I might have convinced him to sign up for his first ultra marathon in October……and he’s only run 7 continuous miles up to this point.  But he understands this formula and realizes that if he puts the work in daily and remains motivated, he WILL reach his goal)

Hope you guys enjoy!  It’s an important message and an empowering one!

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Calvin Johannsen’s Join 100 Club:

Linville Gorge

Like a Bigfoot Podcast #38: Simon Donato — The Boundless Life, Adventure Racing, Stoked Oats and Adventure Science

This week we are honored to welcome endurance athlete, entrepreneur, and creator and star of the awesome endurance racing TV show Boundless, Simon Donato.  Recently he wrote a book called The Boundless Life: 13 Lessons Learned the Hard Way.  If you are like me and obsessed with endurance sports, wilderness exploration, and solid life advice, then definitely check it out! I finished it over the weekend and absolutely loved it!

You can find The Boundless Life here:

Simon is also the founder of the company Adventure Science ( which partners field scientists with wilderness athletes in an attempt to explore and understand the wildest places in the world.

In this episode Simon shares stories and advice from his days as a world class adventure racer, explains the lessons he’s learned though endurance racing and how they have led to success in other aspects of life, and discusses various expeditions and challenges he has pursued through Adventure Science.

He’s an incredibly fascinating, driven, insightful person and I’m so excited for you to hear his stories and philosophies!


Follow all of Simon’s various endeavors by checking out the following links:

His personal Facebook page:

Stoked Oats (His oatmeal company):

Adventure Science Facebook Page:

Boundless (Endurance Racing TV show):


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Most importantly though….go out and find an adventure this week!


Like a Bigfoot Podcast #37: Candice Burt — Race Director For Bigfoot & Tahoe 200s, Racing The HURT 100

This week’s Like a Bigfoot episode is, fittingly enough, with the creator of the Bigfoot 200 mile endurance, Candice Burt.  In fact, she organizes, manages, and directs THREE 200 mile races: Bigfoot, Tahoe, and Moab (really 234 miles…but at that point what’s 34 more!)

Candice is a really thoughtful, funny, and happy person….for someone who jokingly received the moniker of “most masochistic race director in the world!”  I was so grateful get to speak with her before she takes off into the wilderness planning the next big race.

In this episode we talk about all the highs and lows of organizing such a gigantic event, how she keeps her runners safe, what people can expect from a 200 mile event, how to train for her races, and how 200 milers are a whole different BEAST than 100 milers.  She really gave me an idea of the massive amount of work involved in putting on a successful ultra.  Pretty amazing!

We also discuss what it’s like to ‘fastpack’ through isolated wilderness areas, what to do when you see mountain lions in the middle of nowhere, and how she handles running the brutal HURT 100 in Hawaii.

Hope y’all enjoy this episode!! (Heading to North Carolina for a wedding so I gotta get my southern back!)

Please check out all of her Destination Trail Races here:

Candice’s Blog:

If you enjoyed this episode I would highly suggest our conversation with Melissa Sinclair about training and running Candice’s Tahoe 200:

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Thanks guys!! You are the best!

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