“I find that most people live in fear…and I wasn’t. I didn’t want to be afraid of everything.” ~ Dierdre Wolownick
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Today’s conversation is with Dierdre Wolownick.
While you may not recognize her name, you’ll likely recognize the name of her son – Alex Honnold. In the off chance you don’t know who Alex is, he’s the guy who free solo’d El Capitan and was featured in the movie Free Solo. I won’t go into any more detail than that but, if you haven’t already, you should see the Oscar-winning movie, Free Solo – and Dierdre is in the movie by the way.
So, yeah, Dierdre is Alex’s mom. And that fact might be interesting right there. But Dierdre has her own interesting story to share.
She’s a woman who speaks multiple languages and who only speaks French to her two children. Because she’s passionate about music and saw the need for it in her hometown, she founded an orchestra in West Sacramento, CA.
She began running in her mid-50’s after telling herself all her life that she was not a runner (sound familiar?).
She’s the author of numerous books with another one coming out in May called The Sharp End of Life: A Mother’s Story. If all that wasn’t inspirational enough?
She began climbing when she was 57-years-old so she could better understand what it was that her son was doing. Eventually Alex led her up El Capitan after free solo’ing it himself when Deirdre was 66.
She has a lot more to do and figures she’ll need to live to at least 125 to accomplish these many things.
Dierdre is a fascinating woman. She really lives by her own rules (I mean, how many parents do you know that only speak to their children in a foreign language?). And what living by your own rules means is that you can accomplish a great many things.
I know you’ll be inspired by this conversation with Dierdre Wolownick.
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Mentioned in this Episode
The Sharp End of Life by Dierdre Wolownick (Amazon)
El Cap in a Golden Day (Climbing.com)
Life of Learning by Dierdre Wolownick (Picky Bars website)
A Note from Alex Honnold’s Mom (Climbing Magazine)
Learning to Love the Planet by Dierdre Wolownick (Mountaineers Magazine)
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