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One Step Beyond

Take a step outside your comfort zone

Hey you… Join author, runner, broadcaster, and traveler Tony Fletcher on this show about positively engaging with the world outside our door.Whether it’s to hike a local trail or climb a distant mountain, move to a new c
3/4/2021

Ep. 23: The Backcountry Bug

Three years ago, Julie McGuire, a High School English teacher in the South Bronx, came home from work eager to set off on another weekend in the Catskills, only to find her wife waiting to declare the end of their marriage. The sudden announcement threw Julie into a deep depression fueled by days full of self-loathing and nights full of NyQuil; she admits that she lost the will to live.Julie slowly regained her mojo by throwing herself into her love of backcountry skiing - hiking uphill, away from the resorts of the Catskill Mountains, and skiing her own routes back down. To better plan her winter Catskills descents off the beaten paths, she took to hiking the mountains out of ski season, and after completing the region's 35 peaks above 3500ft, plus the four mandated additional hikes in winter, she recently became – by pure coincidence – the 3500th member of the Catskill 3500 Club. She now routinely wears a ‘Queen of the Catskills’ t-shirt and posts colorful pictorial essays about her almost daily adventures hiking and skiing the back country, usually accompanied by a Double IPA (or two).In this interview, Julie and I talk openly about divorce, the outcome for 39% of American marriages, and the healing process that takes longer than expected. Julie walks me, an avid if amateur 'on-piste' skiier, through the attractions and technical aspects of backcountry skiing, explains why she endures the challenges of the mountains, and why she is hosting back country clinics limited to women and people of color. To try and match the giddy heights of Julie’s daily achievements, I recorded all my voice overs while hiking Blackhead Mountain in deep snow and ice as I close in on my own 3500 Club badge.Find Julie McGuire on Instagramand on FacebookThe full Zoom interview on YouTube.Excerpts from Julie McGuire's essay on hiking the 3500s as a way out of divorce.The Catskill 3500 Club web siteSki Touring for Beginners in Ski magazineHow to start Backcountry Skiing: A primer video from Mappy Hour.An introduction to splitboards.Catskill Outpost, for your very own Queen of the Catskills t-shirt. For questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net
2/18/2021

Ep. 22: Conquering the Unthinkable

Ep. 22
In 2009, in the first month of his first tour of Afghanistan with the British Army, James Rose had his legs blown off when he stepped on an IED. He barely survived with his life. Yet in 2019, he became the first double, above-the-knee amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro unaided. The decade in-between saw James struggle with PTSD, weight gain, alcohol and drug abuse… but also, the unending support of his now wife, who finally convinced him to try the sport of rowing. This inspired a turnaround in physical and mental health, which led in turn to winning medals for Team GB in the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games, in sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball, and then that unprecedented ascent of the tallest free-standing mountain in the world – a climb James completed in the same number of days as it took me, your host, only a month beforehand.In a frank and free-wheeling interview, James shares his life story, talks frankly of the problems he faced after losing his legs, and offers motivation for those encountering similar seemingly insurmountable hurdles. He also talks of his ultimate goal: becoming the first double, above-the-knee amputee to climb Mount Everest.Also in this episode: more about Episode 20’s subject matter, Black Travel, and Episode 21’s focus on winter hiking. James Rose on InstagramJames in the media:James featured on ITV newsJames in the Daily MirrorJames in Republic WorldOn video:James Rose ascending Kilimanjaro by Zara ToursJames Rose: A double amputee and his love of the mountains James Rose: No excuses Invictus GamesHelp for Heroes, the charity James supported on his climb up Kili.Been Around The Globe: Rooben Fils websiteTraveling While Black by Rooben FilsAuthentic Travelers on FacebookThe Hike Intel app on AppleFor questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net
2/5/2021

Ep. 21: A Winter Day's Hike

I live at the gateway to New York’s Catskill Mountains, which I consider my playground. And I’m not the only one. In what seem to be record numbers right now, people run these mountains, they ski these mountains, they bike some of these mountains, they camp out in these mountains, they forage in these mountains, at times they are allowed to hunt in these mountains, but more than anything, they hike these mountains. And on a Sunday in late January, taking on Halcott Mountain for the first time as part of my very long-term plan to merit myself a badge, I did likewise.I didn’t achieve anything that nobody else has achieved, even that same day, I didn’t take anybody with me on the adventure for an interview, though I did meet a couple of nice Chris’s along the way. This is just a peaceful episode about a peaceful day out, a hopefully uplifting story to elevate your mood if you’re suffering from the northern hemisphere pandemic winter blues.Links from this episode:The route and elevation gain from my hike of Halcott Mountain, Jan 24 2021Catskills Trails Conditions on FacebookCatskill 3500 ClubWhen In Spain podcast: Seville and slow, sustainable travelFor questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net
1/21/2021

Ep. 20: Black Travel Matters

Ep. 20
Ashley Scott is a teacher in Atlanta, GA, who grew up believing that travel was not for people like himself. In his mid-30s, having still never been outside the USA, he established an educational travel program at his school, and began taking female students of color to countries where they could immerse themselves in local culture while having a safe and non-prejudiced experience. Some 40 countries and 5-600 students later, Ashley now also has his own travel company, Abiri Tours, "a Georgia-based travel company striving to make international travel more accessible and affordable for people of color."In the first half of this episode, Ashley talks about how and why he embarked on his travels, what his students gain from the experience, his favorite countries to take his female students of color, and why, in a country where barely 40% of the population own passports, black travel matters so much. In the second half, he is joined by three incredibly well-traveled former and current students - Nia, Deja, and Joi - who share their own anecdotes and opinions. They all agree that Guatemala should be top of anyone's destination list.This show was edited the day of the US Presidential Inauguration and is dedicated to Amanda Gorman, the 22-year old black female poet whose 'The Hill We Climb' spoke to the struggles and aspirations of an imperfect country that has nonetheless been pulled back from the brink. She serves as an emblem of the USA's potentially bright future, as do the young women on this episode. They also serve as proof of why travel is so important in creating well-rounded individuals - especially when that travel is conducted with a social conscience and an educational purpose. Links from this episode:Ashley Scott's travel company Abiri Tours. AbiriTours.comAshley Scott's occasional podcast, Traveling Incognegro. Abiri Tours on Instagram. Info about the Henley Passport Index is here: Only 42% of Americans own passports hereInfo on San Pedro, GuatemalaFor questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net
1/7/2021

Ep. 18: Not the Samos It Ever Was

Ep. 18
One Step Beyond launches 2021 with a two parter about two people who refused to let the pandemic of 2020 prevent them making planned life changes. In part 1, Adam Fletcher - yes, he is a relation - talks about his volunteer work with asylum seekers on the Greek island of Samos, and why it has inspired him to hang up his career as a touring musician, including lucrative work in a touring Abba tribute band, and go back to college to become a doctor. In an interview conducted from the Island of Samos on New Year's Eve, Adam talks about the conditions faced by the refugees on the island, many of whom have been living in squalor for years now, the work of various charities and NGOs, and why he feels blessed and privileged to have the opportunity to spend time with them, and to embark on a fresh career.Some of the articles mentioned in this Episode:https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/world/europe/greece-samos-migrants.htmlhttps://www.rescue.org/video/finding-courage-continue-greeces-refugee-campshttps://www.rescue.org/country/greece#what-caused-the-crisis-in-greecehttps://www.instagram.com/p/CJHGmJwjj38/The short monthly Soundcloud podcast hosted by Medequaliteam. Also:https://observers.france24.com/en/20200918-blocked-camp-samos-refugees-demand-legal-justicehttps://theconversation.com/samos-grim-winter-leads-to-protests-by-refugees-living-in-limbo-on-greek-island-110116https://www.pressenza.com/2019/12/children-alone-amongst-6-000-refugees-on-samos/https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/on-a-greek-island-that-welcomed-migrants-residents-and-refugees-feel-abandonedA list of NGOs and charities typically operating on the island of Samos, as supplied by Adam Fletcher:Action for EducationAvocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France)The Flying Seagulls ProjectGlocal RootsHelp Refugees / Choose LoveIndigo VolunteersMed’Equaliteam(this is the NGO Adam currently volunteers for)Movement on the GroundPrecious Plastic SamosProject ArmoniaProject TENRefugee4RefugeesRefugee Law Clinic BerlinSamos VolunteersStill I RiseVerein FAIRThe One Step Beyond Supporter page (i.e. the tip jar):https://supporter.acast.com/onestepbeyondFor questions or comments, or to subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail Onestepbeyond@ijamming.netJoin One Step Beyond on social media at:Instagram is OneStepBeyondPodcastFacebook is One Step Beyond with Tony FletcherTwitter is OneStepBeyondP1And your host can be found here:tonyfletcher.net