The Boulder formula: weed and fitness

Kyle Berkompas

Weed and physical fitness are essential parts of the Boulderite identity, which is good news for me, considering toking up before a long run is my favorite training ritual. For me, there is nothing better than vaping until I’m stupid high, throwing on a pair of headphones and running around the woods for hours. I feel like it gives me a burst of energy and helps me turn my brain off while my body finds its rhythm. It turns out, I’m not alone. Supplementing your exercise routine with marijuana helps all sorts of athletes with motivation and recovery. This week, I chatted with professional climber and my BFF Courtney Sanders because she’s one of the fittest people I know and she smokes just as much as I do. Seriously, her body is insane, so I wanted to find out how she utilizes cannabis in her training. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

Sidni West: When did you start smoking weed?

Courtney Sanders: When I was 13. You can write that, I don’t care. But I didn’t start consuming marijuana on a regular basis until I was like 24. Actually, I smoked all through college because my boyfriend sold weed so I just always had it. Just say 18.

SW: How is it part of your lifestyle today?

CS: I’ve used it with getting out of my head with certain projects and stuff. I would say I use it more to unwind at night. Or if I’m outside climbing all day. Climbing can be kind of slow and there’s a lot of waiting around, so weed helps me embrace that downtime.

SW: What do you mean by getting out of your head?

CS: When I project with friends, we usually work the moves sober and then smoke right before trying to give it a send burn. It just helps you really be present and get more into a focused mindstate. Otherwise, you’re just scatterbrained. That’s like the purest meditative point. When you’re projecting, you’re trying to learn and think and take it in. But when you smoke and give it a send burn, you don’t think. You just perform and feel it and you’re in the moment.

SW: What’s your favorite way to get stoned?

CS: It just depends. Lately, I’ve been into vape pens just because it’s easy to take on the go and they don’t hurt my lungs. I have a pretty fancy dab rig. That’s my baby. But sometimes I just like smoking a joint, you know? Actually no wait, my favorite is smoking out of a volcano. It just gives you a really nice high.

SW: How did you get your body to be so strong and hot?

CS: When I’m in serious training mode, I do two-a-days. So I’m campusing and bouldering in the morning and then I do endurance, which are like circuits or routes or maybe deadhangs, after work. On the weekends, I try to get outside.

SW: How do you use weed with recovery today?

CS: I’m constantly gaining the benefits of it every day. I also eat really well, so it’s kind of like a holistic thing. I eat non-inflammatory foods ’cause I’m a vegan. On top of that, salves and smoking, it all reduces inflammation, it lowers your stress levels, you know what I mean? That helps you recover faster.

SW: What’s your end-of-the-day routine?

CS: A steam shower and then stretching with the lights off and just relaxing, and that’s when I’ll smoke and do massage creams and stuff on my back and lats. After a steam shower, your pores are open and that’s when you put the cream on. Specifically on my traps, neck, back.