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Heather 'Anish' Anderson on Overcoming Fears, Pursuing the Impossible, and Setting the Fastest Known Time on the PCT

Heather Anderson, known as Anish on trail, is an absolute hiking legend.

In 2018 she simultaneously became the first female Triple Triple Crowner (which means that she has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and Appalachian Trail three times each) and the first female Calendar Year Triple Crowner (which means she hiked all three of those trails in one March-November season).

She also holds the overall self-supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail—hiking it in 60 days, 17 hours, and 12 min, which broke the previous men's record by four days.

Additionally, she holds the female self-supported FKT on both the Appalachian Trail and the Arizona Trail, and has hiked nearly 30,000 miles since 2003.

When she's not out in the wilderness, Anish speaks regularly about her adventures, and her first book Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home (chronicling her PCT record) was published earlier this year. I bought two copies of this book, one for myself on my Kindle when it first came out (which I loved!) and one autographed copy that I'm giving away on the podcast Instagram account right now, and our Instagram handle is @realtalkradiopod.

In this episode, Heather tells the thrilling story of her record-breaking PCT hike. We talk about fear, self-doubt, and the universally relatable process of searching for answers inside yourself. Heather takes us through why she set out on the hike in the first place, how unprepared she was, what she was hoping to find, and what ultimately happened for her in the end. This is a conversation about hope, overcoming obstacles, and choosing your own path, and as someone who has looked up to Anish for years it was an absolute joy to have this conversation with her.

The audio quality isn't quite as good as what you're used to on this show—she called in on her cell phone—but it doesn't take away from the wonderful things she has to share with us.

(Lastly, I just wanted to give a quick heads up that this episode starts with a conversation about trail food, including some specific calorie consumption numbers for our hikes, so if that's the type of topic you find triggering and would prefer to avoid for any reason you can skip ahead a few minutes.)

Okay, let's go!

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Website // Book // Instagram // Twitter // Facebook

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Music & Audio Editing by ADAM DAY

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