Aspen Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler launches new podcast
Gretchen Bleiler has never had a problem stepping out of her comfort zone. When she was a child, the future Olympian’s fear of competing led to her quitting gymnastics. As an adult, she overcame a fear of public speaking, something that now is a big part of her post-competition life.
Next up for the Aspen-raised star is a recently-launched podcast, which again will push her outside of what she’s comfortable doing.
“I actually have always been someone who was timid about asking other people questions,” Bleiler said. “I’m very sensitive around the questions people ask. So now I am making myself be the host of a podcast where I have to ask people hard questions. So a big part of it for me is to push myself and get myself more comfortable having conversations and asking deeper questions.”
Bleiler is a four-time X Games Aspen gold medalist in the superpipe and won an Olympic silver medal at the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy. She decided to reach into those roots for her first three podcasts, all of which debuted simultaneously on iTunes and on her newly re-designed website.
Called “The Art of Living Extraordinarily,” Bleiler’s first three guests include Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark, Aspen halfpipe skier Alex Ferreira and Olympic snowboard halfpipe coach Ricky Bower.
The podcast with Clark especially stood out considering how close the two are from having competed against each other in the halfpipe over the years.
“When you are really close with someone you don’t always have these types of conversations. So it was fun to sit down with her and listen to the play-by-play around her Olympic experiences,” Bleiler said. “She just came out with a book, so she’s got some cool things to say. That was fun. And then listening to Alex was totally different, because he’s this fresh newbie.”
Both Clark and Ferreira are competing in the Pyeongchang Olympics this month in South Korea. Bleiler, who hopes to launch a new podcast each week, will continue the Olympic theme for the rest of February with Steamboat Springs-raised halfpipe snowboarder Arielle Gold and former ski racer Jeremy Bloom.
After these early podcasts, Bleiler plans to diversify the type of guests she brings in. Among the first non-athletes on her podcast will be musician Brett Dennen.
“What were the steps that helped you get to that place and what were the challenges and what were the obstacles? Those are the conversations I like having,” Bleiler said. “Hopefully within those stories are also common themes that anybody can pull to use in their own life.”
Bleiler said she had been thinking about doing this podcast for a couple of years now, but only recently did she find the courage to pull the trigger.
“If no one listens to this podcast, that’s OK, because I’m going to have fun doing it. I’m going to have fun making it,” Bleiler said. “What I think has inspired me to do something I’m super uncomfortable doing is in hopes of doing this it will help distill this path for other people. That is more exciting to me than my fear of sitting down and asking questions.”
Visit http://www.gretchenbleiler.com or search iTunes to listen to her podcasts.
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