149: Shelby Stanger/Chronicler

Shelby Stanger, February 2021. Photo: Tozer

My ‘lifer’ episodes are always among the most popular instalments, and this conversation with podcaster and journalist Shelby Stanger is a classic of the genre. It’s also particularly fascinating for me because, as I realised during our conversation, our careers are actually really, really similar – from the circumstances that got us into the industry, to our progress through it, and to the way we ended up laughing our own podcasts at around the same time. Given how niche our careers are, I found it to be an intriguing coincidence.

As fellow members of the unofficial action sports podcaster union, Shelby and I have been internet pals for a couple of years now. It’s a small world this industry, so you tend to end up knowing each other. And from the beginning, when she went out of her way to give me some extremely useful and savvy advice, I could tell she was a total legend.

Shelby Stanger, February 2021. Photo: Tozer

So in February 2021, we sat down to unravel the story of Shelby’s life and career. And what a tale it is. As you’ll expect if you’ve listened to Shelby’s show’s Wild Ideas Worth Living and Vitamin Joy, this is a top yarn with an expert, empathetic storyteller. These are my favourite episodes of the show, where I can tell we’re on safe hands, and the overall vibe is relaxed and expansive.  My thanks to Shelby to coming on the show, and for such a warm, insightful conversation. Hope you enjoy it. Listen to the episode below:

Connect with Shelby

Show Notes

  • Chris and Cardiff
  • Vitamin Joy
  • Sobriety and drinking
  • Small tea cups
  • Freelancer’s guilt
  • Working for Vans
  • Doing the hardest things first
  • The War of Art
  • Figuring it out as a freelancer
  • Steven Kotler and the 90-minute chunk
  • The Pomodoro technique
  • Early starts
  • Adventure as life’s antidote
  • Wild Ideas Worth Living
  • Leaving Vans – and the start of a freelance life
  • Skater mums and inspiration from the ‘bad ass’ people she was interviewing
  • Writing as a kid
  • Covering the Warp Tour for Vans straight out of college
  • Getting a business education through Vans
  • Mum ‘…raised me to follow my passion…’
  • Measuring success by experience, contributing and fulfilment
  • Journalism at Emory
  • Pitching the LA Times
  • A grounding in traditional journalism
  • How the news and journalism has changed
  • Making the choice and moving to Colorado to write about snowboarding
  • Waiting tables and TV hosting through Biff America
  • Moving back to California and getting back in with Vans
  • Podcasting
  • Wim Hof and having interviews cut into
  • Wanting to deliver interviews in their purest form
  • When the universe aligns
  • A fateful Business Accelerator course and creating Wild Ideas Worth Living
  • Courage, and the art of making decisions
  • ‘…the best adventures sometimes take you down the wrong road…’
  • Dealing with depression
  • Losing dad ‘…you are not guaranteed tomorrow…’
  • ‘…It’s not what you did but how you made them feel…’
  • Family
  • Outdoor activity as a great medicine
  • Being kind, to yourself and others
  • Lean into the sweet spot
  • What drives people ‘…Some of us are driven by our demons, others are driven by their hopes…’
  • Looking back and regrets
  • Inequality between effort and reward
  • Money
  • Humour and Vitamin Joy
  • Getting real about health and vitiligo

Names Mentioned

  • Chris Cote
  • Owen Tozer
  • Steven Pressfield
  • Steven Kotler
  • Johnny
  • Steve Van Doren
  • Kristy Van Doren
  • Biff America
  • Glen Plake
  • Steve Caballero
  • Tony Alva
  • Christian Hosoi
  • Wim Hof
  • Tim Ferriss
  • Brian Keaulana
  • David Goggins
  • Fortune Feimster
  • Gabby Reece
  • Laird Hamilton
  • Michael Jackson

Places Mentioned

  •  Cardiff-by-Sea
  • Solana Beach
  • Ventura
  • San Diego
  • Washington DC
  • South Africa
  • Atlanta
  • Georgia
  • Fiji
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Colorado
  • Breckenridge
  • Costa Rica
  • Indonesia
  • Hawaii
  • Maldives

Companies, brands and organisations mentioned

  • Vitamin Joy
  • Vans
  • REI Co-op Journal
  • Wild Ideas Worth Living
  • McKinsey
  • CNN
  • MTV
  • The LA Times
  • The Biff America Show
  • Resorts Sport Network
  • Budweiser
  • Pacific Sun-ware
  • The Cars
  • Nike
  • Prana
  • Body Glove
  • Outside Magazine
  • Shop Eat Surf
  • University of California San Diego
  • Whole Foods
  • Wild Oats
  • Surfer Magazine
  • Stand Up Paddle Journal
  • Emory University