When life hands you opportunities, say “yes” like Lucy Westlake— even if it scares you!
What were you up to when you were 19 years old? Probably not climbing up Mount Everest, right? Meet Lucy Westlake, the incredible force of nature who’s rewriting the rules of youth!
Lucy Westlake is a world-class athlete and American mountaineer. She holds an American Record as the youngest woman to summit Mount Everest and a World Record as the youngest female to summit the highest mountain in each of the 50 U.S. states.
But there’s more to Lucy than her impressive accolades.
Join us in this episode of the Success Through Failure podcast as Lucy shares her incredible journey and her unwavering commitment to breaking gender barriers in mountaineering. Because she’s not just climbing mountains; she’s paving the way for a new generation of female adventurers, providing them with the access, training, and support they need to pursue their dreams.
And her mission goes beyond the mountains; she’s also dedicated to ensuring safe water for all. Her firsthand experience in a Ugandan village, where a water system transformed lives, ignited her lifelong dedication to solving the global water crisis. Lucy carries the “Safe Water for All” flag to mountain summits, inspiring others to join the fight.
Lucy’s passion is infectious, and her story is sure to inspire you to turn your ambitions into actions.
After listening to Lucy’s journey, if you’re looking for more inspiring mountaineering stories, don’t miss my interviews with Erik Weihenmayer and Chris Warner.
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
[00:00] Lucy Westlake: So we had just one more day to the summit and we had a plan to leave that night to go to the summit. But unfortunately, our guides had to go on a rescue mission for a man that was stranded high above us. And unfortunately, the man died. They weren't able to rescue him successfully.
[00:19] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Welcome to another episode of success through failure, the show for successful people and for those who want to become.
[00:27] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Successful. The only show that reveals the true nature of success. This is your host, Jim Harshaw, Jr. And today I bring you Lucy Westlake. Lucy is the youngest American woman to ever summit Mount Everest. And she's summited five of the seven continents highest. She's the youngest woman to summit all the tallest mountains in all 50 states, including Denali and Alaska, which is 20, 000 feet.
[00:55] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: She's a record breaking female mountaineer who's just wise beyond her years. And what do I mean beyond her years? She's 19 years old, 19. I've never had anybody. I don't know who the other next youngest person would be on my podcast, but nowhere near the age of 19. I mean, she is just absolutely an incredible, it's fascinating to get inside the mind of somebody like her, who is performing at a level that most.
[01:24] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: People who are elite at what she does or have come before her, you know, took a many, many more years to get there. And she's doing this at the age of 19 now. And she summited or attempted the biggest mountains in the world. She talks about success. She talks about failure. We talk a lot about her failures and how she.
[01:43] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Manages those mindset wise, how, you know, she's gone through these hard time, these dark periods of like, do I ever want to climb a mountain again to doing things that have never been done before ever and oh, by the way, Lucy is also a student athlete at USC. She's on the track and field and cross country teams at the university of Southern California.
[02:04] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So this is an incredible interview with an incredible human being, if you like the mountaineering stuff. Fascinating interview with Chris Warner back in episode 362, Chris Warner. Just an incredible world class mountaineer with some wild, wild stories, not just on the mountain, some of them on the mountain, but also some other ones too there.
[02:25] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So check that one out. Episode 360 2, and then Eric Weiner. Eric Weiner is a mountaineer. He summited Everest. He's also a whitewater kayaker. He whitewater kayaked the Grand Canyon, 277 miles of the Grand Canyon. By the way, he's blind. Episode 96, way back when in episode 96. So those are some other episodes on mountaineering.
[02:46] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Give this episode a share. If you like it, if you enjoy it, if you know somebody who needs to hear what Lucy is sharing here today, please give it a share. This is episode number. 429 of the success through failure podcast. All right, enough talk. Let's get into it. My interview with Lucy Westlake, Lucy, not many young people, let alone girls find their way into a sport like mountaineering.
[03:10] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: What led you down this path?
[03:12] Lucy Westlake: You know, I always have just loved the outdoors and been drawn to the adventure that it holds and mountains were just the ultimate kind of manifestation of that when I was really young, my family was always has been really adventurous and love to do road trips all around the country and just get out, get outside, give my brother, I have a younger brother and I just opportunities to really like find what we love and our place in the outdoors.
[03:41] Lucy Westlake: So we just kind of happened upon this thing called high pointing, which is climbing to the top of every state in the U S and we just happened upon the first one and we were like, wow, this is so awesome. So we started to kind of rack up and start doing some of these high points. And me and my brother were homeschooled.
[04:00] Lucy Westlake: I was homeschooled until like sixth grade. So that kind of gave us the opportunity to travel throughout the year, which was really fun, just go all around the country. Hitting these high points and that's when I really fell in love with mountaineering is doing those.
[04:16] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So now you're, you're out there breaking records and doing things that nobody has ever done before.
[04:22] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Many of your clients have done exactly that. They've broken records, but you say they're really not about breaking records for you. It's about pushing your limits. Like you started when you were really young doing this. Talk to us about that transition from high pointing to, I mean, high pointing the highest.
[04:39] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Mountain on Earth, you know, is it about breaking records? Is it about pushing your limits? And talk to us about that journey.
[04:46] Lucy Westlake: It's definitely kind of changed. Like my purpose in mountaineering has changed a lot throughout the years and it really continues to change almost with, you know, not with every mountain I do, but it changes a lot.
[04:57] Lucy Westlake: Every mountain teaches me so much. So when I was little, I was just doing it because of that, like love for adventure. And I just, you know, love nature and just being outside. And then, and I honestly, when I was little, I had no intention of doing all 50. I was just kind of going along with it. You know, I was like seven, eight, nine years old, like no future plans.
[05:18] Lucy Westlake: But then eventually when I did Mount Rainier, when I was 11 years old, after that mountain, I was like. I think I could do all 50. And then that's when I kind of was like, wow, the youngest girl to do all 50 was 17 and I was 11 at the time. So I was like, I have a lot of time to maybe become the youngest. So that's when I really kind of got that passion and goal to, to try to break that record.
[05:43] Lucy Westlake: And that was definitely my motivation for a lot of like my high pointing. But then after that. My focus after breaking that record, it was an amazing experience. It was really cool. But I realized like, you know, record breaking is not all that's out there, you know, and it's not all about just breaking records.
[06:00] Lucy Westlake: And if it was like, I don't know, I feel like I wouldn't love it as much as I do. So my reasons for climbing have definitely developed recently into more of what really wanting to push my limits and not just only going for the summit, but just going to see. You know what I can do physically and mentally and emotionally because the mountains test all of those things to your very limits.
[06:23] Lucy Westlake: So that's kind of how that's developed. And I think just maturing and getting older is kind of given me that mindset switch.
[06:31] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: It's interesting. You see a lot of world class performers who have that mindset, this mindset of let's see how well I can do, right? Let's, let's push my limit. And obviously, you know, it goes without saying that there's a summit that you want to.
[06:45] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Achieve for the Olympic athlete, there's an Olympic gold medal that they want to win. We know that is out there, but really it's about maximizing potential and pushing and doing as well as you can possibly do. And it's kind of this dual mindset of this conundrum, but like, but if you can kind of let go of the outcome and focus on the process, I see that world class performers really Kind of embrace that mindset.
[07:09] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And it sounds like you're doing that already at such a young age and with such a, an amazing career still ahead of you, Lucy, you have this mantra limits are perceived, what do you mean by that? And how did you come to believe that?
[07:22] Lucy Westlake: I've come to believe that just through personal experience in the mountains.
[07:26] Lucy Westlake: When I look back on some of these mountains. And kind of just think about all I went through, like days and days of carrying, you know, super heavy packs, like, how did I do that? Like, I look back and I'm like, there's no way I did that. But then in the moment, it's just, it's just one foot in front of the other, just like taking it moment by moment and.
[07:46] Lucy Westlake: Looking back, I'm like, wow, like, if someone were to tell me, oh, you'd climb Everest at age 18, I'd be like, no way. Personally, I would put a limit on myself and be like, oh, I don't think I could do that. But then in the moment, I'm like, well, I could do it. I did do it. So I feel like, or I definitely believe.
[08:03] Lucy Westlake: Your limits are what you tell yourself they are. They're a lot of the times you can do so much more than you think you can do. And that's just like the human way. Like your, your mind will give out before physically you will in almost all cases. So just having that mindset of I'm not going to let my mind limit me.
[08:21] Lucy Westlake: I'm going to just see the best and do as much as I can in this moment is kind of how I have accomplished a lot of what I've accomplished.
[08:31] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Quick interruption. Hey, if you like what you're hearing, be sure to get the notes, quotes, and links in the action plan from this episode. Just go to Jim Harshaw, jr.
[08:39] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: com slash action. That's Jim Harshaw, jr. com slash action to get your free copy of the action plan. Now back to the show. There's putting one foot in front of another when you're on the mountain, but you decided to put yourself in this situation long before that, like you had to make a logical conscious decision with a lot of time and planning in front of you to actually, you know, attempt a Denali or, you know, a K2 or an Everest.
[09:09] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Describe like the decision making or the process that you go through. I mean, to have the level of confidence to be able to say, yes, I know nobody has ever done this before. Nobody has ever, you know, high pointed every single high point in the United States before, until a certain age, I think I can do it.
[09:28] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: What makes you think that you could do it?
[09:30] Lucy Westlake: Honestly, it's just belief and saying yes. Like sometimes I'm kind of proud of being a little bit crazy. I think like sometimes you just have to say yes and have no idea if you could actually do it or not. But if the opportunity presents itself, that's one of the, another mantra I live by is like, say yes to the opportunities that present itself, because I mean, I'm a really strong Christian and I believe, you know, that God puts things in your life for a reason.
[09:56] Lucy Westlake: So like, if you let opportunities pass you up, it doesn't matter if you're a Christian or not. Like that's just a wasted opportunity. So I didn't know if I could do Everest. I didn't know if I could do Denali, but when those opportunities arose, well, I got to believe in myself and try at least.
[10:13] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And you've tried and you've not always succeeded, right?
[10:16] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I mean, there's been failures along the way, right? I mean, I think, was it 2017 when you attempted Denali and failed? Talk to us about that experience.
[10:25] Lucy Westlake: Yeah. I mean, going along with like saying yes to everything and like putting yourself in those situations where you don't know if you're going to succeed or not, there's always going to be times where you don't.
[10:35] Lucy Westlake: And that's what happened when I was 13 years old on Denali. I went up, made it to high camp and it was a situation I had never done a mountain like Denali.
[10:45] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And you're 13 years old, you're on Denali. And by the way, for the, for the listener, this is the highest point in the United States. It's in Alaska, also known as Mount McKinley.
[10:55] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And you're, you're 13 years old. How old was the youngest female to summit Denali before you?
[11:02] Lucy Westlake: I think it was around my age for, for the youngest female to summit, but the youngest female, my goal was to become the youngest female to do all 50 state high points and that the youngest woman ever do that was 17.
[11:15] Lucy Westlake: So I going to break that record by a good amount. The one I was going. Denali is a three week expedition where you literally fly straight onto the glacier and you don't see green for three weeks. It's literally just the glacier and some rocks and that's about it. And you're carrying, you know, the 40, 50 pound backpack on your back.
[11:36] Lucy Westlake: Also another like 50 pounds behind you in a sled. They say it's about a hundred pounds in total between your backpack and your sled, and you're all roped up on a team the whole time, you know, connected to other people. It's a super serious mountain and. Before that, the longest climb I'd done was like four days.
[11:55] Lucy Westlake: I'd never, you know, flown straight onto a glacier. I'd never been in that situation before. I had to carry that much weight. So it was very out of my comfort zone. And when I got on there, I was like, Oh my gosh, I might be a little unprepared for this.
[12:08] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And you're 13 years old. I mean, was it, did everybody on the expedition look at you?
[12:11] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Like, ah, geez, we got this weak link here. I mean, how did you feel as a 13 year old girl on this trip, you know, in a male dominated sport?
[12:21] Lucy Westlake: Yeah, actually just to get on Denali was. Such a difficult time. I had to go all the way to Kilimanjaro and climb the tallest mountain, which is in Tanzania and Africa and the climb that which is 19, 000 feet to prove my body could handle altitude because every single guide company we reached out to, to, you know, like say we want to climb Denali wouldn't let me on, wouldn't take me because I was too young.
[12:44] Lucy Westlake: And then finally, after a lot of convincing, this one guide company said if you prove that your body can handle altitude, that climb a mountain over 18, 000 feet, which is there's no mountains in the continental U. S. It's a difficult thing to do, find a mountain over 18, 000. And then also I had to make my own team.
[13:02] Lucy Westlake: So they wouldn't put me on a pre planned team. I had to reach out and find people that were willing to climb with me. So luckily we found three other people that were willing to climb with me and my dad. So they knew what they were getting themselves into. But yeah, I definitely felt like it's been hard, you know, being like a young woman in the mountains and like a really young girl at that time.
[13:23] Lucy Westlake: So it's just like, you're underestimated a lot. Even when you get on a team, even when you're on the mountain. You know, you're just kind of, you are seen as the weak link for sure. And it takes just so much more effort to prove it. Like you have to, you know, I always would like volunteer for jobs and no one wanted to do and try to like work extra hard to really prove myself as an equal member of the team, because that was something that's really important to me.
[13:46] Lucy Westlake: One of the things I never want to like. Be seen as that person that other people have to like compensate for, or like pull up the mountain, you know, I want to do it on my own and be an equal member.
[13:56] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And that's going to happen to any mountaineer as it is. I mean, there are, you know, elite mountaineers who become the weak link for whatever reason, right?
[14:05] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Whether it's altitude or injury or something else, your body just reacts at different times, different ways. So, so that kind of thing is going to happen. But I imagine you have this mindset of like, I just have to. Do the extra approve myself. And for the listener, I want you to think about this in your own life.
[14:20] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Like think about Lucy's mindset, putting yourself out there as a 13 year old girl to do this, this amazing feat and think about yourself, like whether it's, you're feeling some, maybe some insecurity around being in a certain level in your company or attempting a certain, you know, setting a certain goal that you have in your life, whether it's in your business life or your, or hobbies or whatever else it might be.
[14:41] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Like. Like you can do this, like you can, you can take this mindset of like Lucy talked about saying, yes, even if you have no idea. Whether or not you can do it because listen, failure is just part of the journey. I mean, especially in mountaineering. So this was an expedition that did not succeed. Am I right?
[14:58] Lucy Westlake: Yeah, so we made it all the way up to high camp. Honestly, every day I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do the next day. It was absolutely exhausting, but we ended up, you know, 19 days later, we were at high camp, which is around 17, 000 feet. And the top of Denali is 20, 300. So we had just one more day to the summit and we had a plan to leave that night to go to the summit.
[15:23] Lucy Westlake: But unfortunately, our. Guides had to go on a rescue mission for a man that was stranded high above us. And unfortunately the man died. They weren't able to rescue him successfully. But after that, you know, everyone went down, there was a big storm coming in the day after. So we didn't even, you know, get to attempt to go to the summit, which was really heartbreaking for me.
[15:43] Lucy Westlake: Cause you know, I'd put. So much energy and effort like my parents had invested money and time It was pretty devastating, especially not to be even able to try, you know, it's like one thing if it's in your control, like you're the one who has to turn around, but if it's something like out of your control, it almost makes it a little bit worse.
[16:02] Lucy Westlake: Oh man, maybe I could have done that, but I, I didn't get to do it. So I definitely went through a bit of a crisis after Denali. Like I wasn't sure if I wanted to mountaineer anymore because you know, you can give everything you have. And just, there's so many uncontrollables in the mountains, you could do everything right, and you could still not really reach that summit.
[16:21] Lucy Westlake: So it was a difficult time for me. And I didn't know if I wanted to mountaineer anymore. And I took kind of a year to think about it, but then I just, the mountains just started calling me again. You know, like when you really find your purpose, some, I don't think anything can really keep you from that. So I just felt like called to the mountains again and just needed to go back.
[16:41] Lucy Westlake: And I. Finally kind of like got that mindset switch where I'm like, okay. The summit is, you know, amazing. Like ultimately, of course you want to get to the summit, but the goal isn't just the summit it's to, you know, to push those limits and just to do what you can do, to control the things that you can control and do as much as you can with that.
[17:02] Lucy Westlake: And then, you know, the rest is not in your hands and you have to accept that.
[17:08] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And so again, for the listener, think about this in your life. Think about something that you've attempted, that you've failed, and it was stolen from you. It was taken from you just by something that you have no control over.
[17:21] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Whether it's the, you know, in your job, it's the economy or your boss or something else in life, like that you don't have control over Lucy's a human being with real feelings, even though she's achieved all these world class accomplishments and set all these, these records, like real human being experiences, failure experiences it in the same way that you and I do.
[17:41] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: She got up, eventually got herself back up. And went out there and attacked things again. So everything from there on out, it's been easy and success and no failures from there on out. Is that right, Lucy?
[17:53] Lucy Westlake: No, not true. Definitely not true. And I mean, it definitely depends on the way you define failure as well.
[18:00] Lucy Westlake: Honestly, after Denali, even though there's been mountains that I haven't reached the top of. Like K2 this past summer, I didn't reach the top of K2, but
[18:10] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And just, sorry, for reference real quick to interrupt, like for the listener, K2 is the second highest mountain in the world. It's widely considered the hardest mountain in the world to summit.
[18:21] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So this is the hardest mountain in the world to summit. You attempted it. And can you talk to us a little bit about that expedition?
[18:28] Lucy Westlake: Yeah, so I was on the mountain for about 40 days, and for most of those days, I was just sitting at base camp because the weather was absolutely horrible. It was a really difficult climbing season for K2.
[18:40] Lucy Westlake: I made it up to base camp, you know, it was like an eight day trek up to base camp, and then... Basically, to climb these mountains, you have to wait for this team of that sets the fixed ropes up to the summit. So that's, you know, safe enough for you to climb up those ropes. And that didn't happen because of the weather till the very, very end of the climbing season.
[18:59] Lucy Westlake: So everyone that was on the mountain was like going for the summit at the same time. And it was just. Some pretty awful conditions. There was, I mean, we were right behind the fixed rope team and they thought like every day, they're like, we might not, we might have to turn around. And then if they turn around, like your expeditions over, you can't, you can't continue.
[19:16] Lucy Westlake: So every day it was like, we didn't know if we were going to be able to continue or not. The expedition was over. But by the end on summit day, they went up and were able to make it to the summit. But unfortunately, because there's so many people up there at that time, and the snow conditions were really dangerous because there was a lot of snow, which means that there's a lot of avalanche danger.
[19:39] Lucy Westlake: So, unfortunately, someone died on the way up. There's a big kind of scandal around it. Lots of controversy in the mountaineering world around this man's death. Because so many people walked over him on their way to the summit while he was still alive. It was a very complicated situation. So, on summit day, I was going up, and because of all the people ahead of me, I was in a pretty big avalanche, which was definitely, you know, very scary.
[20:06] Lucy Westlake: luckily it wasn't big enough to bury me completely. I was only buried up like mid thigh.
[20:11] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Wow. So an avalanche hit you like you, did you get tumbled or did tell, I mean, tell us about that moment.
[20:18] Lucy Westlake: Yeah, it was really scary. There's a lot of different types of avalanches. So like, some of the main concerns is there's like ice chunks in the avalanche.
[20:25] Lucy Westlake: Luckily, this one was just like a powder avalanche and not super like thick, heavy powder that can bury you. It was, you know, we were really lucky that it wasn't bigger and luckily I didn't tumble or anything. Like we saw it coming down just this huge white cloud. Um, and we like ducked, covered our necks and heads as best we could.
[20:43] Lucy Westlake: And then when we realized there's no ice chunks, you start to try to swim to like stay on the surface because like, if it tries to bury you, but luckily it wasn't big enough, we never actually had to swim or tumbled or anything. We were just buried up to like mid thigh, but dug ourselves out. And, but after that we decided, you know, once there's one avalanche, it's pretty easy to have more avalanches, especially in those conditions.
[21:04] Lucy Westlake: So we decided to turn around that it wasn't safe enough for us.
[21:10] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So Lucy, we've heard about some of your failures and there's, there's a lot of, you know, uncertainty in the mountains. Um, this is not something where there's uncertainty, like for most of us going about our jobs where the uncertainty might be, maybe we don't get the deal or we don't get the promotion.
[21:25] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I mean, this is life and death on the line here, but can you tell us about summiting summiting Everest? You became the youngest female to summit Everest.
[21:33] Lucy Westlake: Yeah, there's so many highs and lows in the mountains and that was definitely one of the big highs that was just the whole expedition went so smoothly.
[21:42] Lucy Westlake: The weather was great. My body felt great reacting to the altitude really well. Um, I never used oxygen before that. So that was definitely something that was new, but I handled that well as well. And yeah, I mean, we got up, it was a total 27 days that we were on the mountain, me and my Sherpa. And we made it to the summit.
[22:03] Lucy Westlake: It was absolutely beautiful summit day and yeah, it was, everything just went so smoothly and it was probably the most beautiful climate I've ever done and definitely just the most significant, I mean, getting to the top of the world, it's a feeling like no other, it was amazing. I don't even like have the words to describe it.
[22:21] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Yeah. For the listener, we'll have a link to Lucy's Instagram and the action plan. But on her Instagram, there's a, she has a little selfie video of her. When she summited Everest on the top of the world, it's just, it'll give you chills to watch it. It's just fascinating. Lucy, you know, you have to go through so many of these hard times and the failures and face the uncertainty to have this great experience, like to have this, you know, relatively easy summit day and clear and the weather was great and everything was perfect.
[22:51] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: but you have to go through so many of those failures to get there. And it's the same for you. The listener is to understand that going to go through a lot of failures. To get the breaks, to have things actually go your way. And to, you know, he's put it all the training and the preparation, et cetera. Do you have any strategies or how do you approach the pain and suffering that goes into something like mountaineering?
[23:11] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I mean, you talk about the eight day track. I mean, an eight day track just to get the base camp, right? You're, you're talking about 40, 40 days waiting on K2. You talk about. Well, I mean, we didn't really talk about the journey up Everest step by step. You know, you've got threat of avalanches. I mean, are there mindset strategies here that you've learned or that you use or frameworks that you approach things like when you feel like, like you said at one point, I didn't know if I could make it the next day.
[23:40] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Like, how do you, how do you deal with that? How do you manage that? How do you, do you have, do you have self talk that you do or mindset strategies?
[23:48] Lucy Westlake: There's definitely self talk for sure. I mean, when you're on these mountains, you're pretty, a lot of solitude because, I mean, sometimes you're roped up and the next person is, you know, 10 to 20 feet away from you.
[24:00] Lucy Westlake: Or sometimes it's just because, you know, you don't have the breath to even talk. I mean, you have lots of layers on, it's hard to hear, usually the wind, the elements keep that. So it's, you're in your mind all the time, sitting in your tent, climbing up the mountain, you're always in your mind. So your mindset is.
[24:18] Lucy Westlake: I always say like mountaineering is 90 percent just mental and you just have to tell yourself that you can do it. Like I'm such a, like the definition of an optimist for sure. And that's helped me so much. Like just, you know, always saying like, you know, I can do this, I can do this. You know, not thinking about, you know, if you can do it the next day, thinking about, you know, I can do this next step, breaking into those small little steps is very, very helpful.
[24:47] Lucy Westlake: And then, you know, when you're sitting at base camp. That's one of the most difficult times for me because I'm used to just go go go with my life Especially like being in college being a student athlete, you know, that's just always going and then you know on all my vacations I'm usually trying to climb a mountain or two, you know, so it's very it's a busy life But I'm trying to be thankful for wherever I am.
[25:11] Lucy Westlake: Like when I'm sitting on the mountain, I'm like, you know I'm going to be wishing that I had all this free time a month from now. So I just try to be thankful and see the good in, in wherever I am. And sometimes the good is the pain, you know, it's, you know, that's one of the big reasons I climb is to push myself.
[25:29] Lucy Westlake: And for that pain, because I mean the mountains, you'll experience pain, like, like nowhere else. You know, that's the place to be. If you're, if you want to. Push yourself and experience that. And I just, every time I try to handle it a little bit better, that's really my goal in it.
[25:47] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And for the listener that may or may not be your default mindset.
[25:51] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I mean, certainly Lucy is an optimist and if your default is negative self talk, you have to override it. You have to actually have words and mantras and things that you can say to yourself in those moments. And you, you actually have to be aware in those moments. Like if you're not aware. Yes, your mind is going to drift to the negatives.
[26:08] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: All the things that are going wrong, have gone wrong, could go wrong. How tired you are, how much this is, how painful this is. You have to override, you have to consciously make the effort to override this. It doesn't always just happen. So considering all of the training, all of the planning, all of the, you know, investment that goes into.
[26:33] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: An expedition, your why has grown over the years, you know, it's not just about high pointing and checking off summits, you know, you talked about how it's about pushing yourself and there's even more behind this now, right? You're, you're on a mission to inspire the next generation to fight for gender equity.
[26:51] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: You're, you're fighting for clean water. There are bigger things driving you now behind this. Is that right?
[26:56] Lucy Westlake: Yeah, that's become a big part of my purpose, especially in recent years, before and since Everest. And kind of growing up, I definitely realized, you know, the gender gap in the mountains. I realized that more and more.
[27:09] Lucy Westlake: And recently it's changing a lot, which is really a positive thing to see, but it's still something that there is a big gap. So just fighting for that through my climbing. What I think is that it's much easier to, you know, pursue a path like mountaineering when you see that other. Women and people like you or whoever is like you have done it before, you know, it's a lot easier once that path is set.
[27:33] Lucy Westlake: So that's, you know, what I'm trying to do with my mountaineering is set the path for young women, especially young women, because there's definitely more women in the mountains now, but I still haven't met really any, I haven't met anyone on these big mountains. That's my age and also a girl doing this.
[27:49] Lucy Westlake: So it would just be amazing to be able to see, you know, the next generation and. My generation to just be able to be in the high mountains and there's a lot of barriers to it for sure, you know, money and just not having the right path, but I believe that that could happen and I hopefully I hope my story, you know, not only inspires other people to pursue that, but.
[28:13] Lucy Westlake: Um, but also kind of, you know, breaks those barriers and like stereotypes of, Oh, you have to be like some big strong man to be able to climb because because you don't.
[28:24] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And tell us about your your mission to provide clean water.
[28:28] Lucy Westlake: I've been passionate about the water crisis from a really young age. I've had a pen pal that lives in Uganda since I was I actually got in touch with her when I was two, but it was just our parents writing back and forth that we're so young, but I became really good friends with this girl and her family didn't have access to clean water.
[28:49] Lucy Westlake: So when I was 10, I kind of learned about this whole crisis, which was really eyeopening, especially at that age, because, you know, as. A 10 year old living in the U. S. I thought everyone had like a sink and faucet and water just at their fingertips like we do, but learning that they don't was just really distressing.
[29:10] Lucy Westlake: I was scared for her and her family. And then ever since then, I have been involved with this nonprofit organization called water step that makes floration devices that can clean water in any place that that doesn't have safe water. So I've been able. To go to fundraise through my mountaineering. And go and just use that platform and I've been able to go to Uganda twice now, Kenya also twice, and be able to do some water projects over there like a fish pond, putting in water step chlorinators, providing bleach makers, just working on that water and sanitation, which is.
[29:47] Lucy Westlake: So pivotal over there. So it's been amazing. And I started a brand around my mountaineering and around the water cause. And it's just, it's so cool to see how that has grown and really impacted a lot of people's lives. So hoping to continue to expand that for sure.
[30:04] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Lucy, how are you again?
[30:06] Lucy Westlake: I'm 19.
[30:07] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: 19, inspiring everything that you're doing, that you've done the mission that you have, like the bigger vision that you have is absolutely incredible for anybody, let alone a 19 year old.
[30:20] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So kudos to you. It's absolutely fascinating getting inside of your head for a little bit in, in learning from you for the listener that wants to take action on, in their own life, any. Action items that you can recommend. Maybe they have big goals or big dreams, but they put them on a shelf or maybe they have fear or uncertainty about, about chasing something.
[30:39] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I mean, what action items can you recommend? They could take in the next, say, just 24 to 48 hours.
[30:45] Lucy Westlake: I'd say the first thing, definitely start with mindset. Like you were saying, that mindset is key. And honestly, since Denali, like even on K2, I haven't seen not reaching the summit as a failure at all, because.
[30:58] Lucy Westlake: In that moment, I was when that moment I had to turn around. I was not sad. I was happy because I knew I had pushed myself so much. I was so proud of the work I put in. It was an absolutely beautiful scene, just all around with the sun rising. Like I had accomplished everything that, I mean, not everything, the summit was definitely, you know, part of the goal, but like.
[31:20] Lucy Westlake: In that moment, I was just so proud of myself. And when you can take that mindset where it's like, this is my goal. But if I do all these things to get to it, if I do everything I can do, I'm going to be happy, no matter what the outcomes, like I'm going to be proud of myself, that it just eliminates that fear of the unknown.
[31:39] Lucy Westlake: And that's something that. Has helped me in running as well, like going into races, I used to get very bad anxiety before races, but just being like, you know, I'm just going to do everything I can do. And, you know, the outcome that's not something I can control is the ultimate outcome. So I think having that mindset, just working on that, and it's something you can consciously start working on, but it does take a while to actually get, but trying to like make that flip and start thinking like that.
[32:05] Lucy Westlake: I'd say that's first. And then I'm a very, like, I don't know. I like to write things down. Like, if I just think of things, it'll be gone the next day for me. So I think physically, like, writing down your top goals, your priorities, because there's only so much time in a day, you know? So writing down those top priorities that you have right now, and then the failures that you're scared will happen with those and then how you'd overcome those are key.
[32:30] Lucy Westlake: Just, yeah. Thinking about that failure aspect though, because there will definitely be failures and just knowing how you're going to overcome those even beforehand would be a great thing. I try to do that before I go into mountains. So, yeah.
[32:43] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Incredible Lucy, where can people find you, follow you, et cetera.
[32:48] Lucy Westlake: I'm most active on my Instagram. So what's next Lucy is my Instagram that I use a lot. I also have a tick tock, which I'm not as active on, but it's also called what's next Lucy. And I have a website also that, you know, list all my social media is. I also have an Etsy shop, which I'm going to be like rebranding, redesigning soon.
[33:07] Lucy Westlake: So there's going to be some new sweatshirt designs out there. And t shirts and different items like that. So, um, lucyclimbs. com is my website. If you want to learn more about my story or find me on any social medias.
[33:20] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Excellent. Excellent. Thank you so much, Lucy, for making time to come on the show and sharing your story.
[33:25] Lucy Westlake: Of course. Thank you.
[33:29] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Thanks for listening. If you want to apply these principles into your life, let's talk. You can see the limited spaces that are open on my calendar at jimharshajr. com slash apply where you can sign up for a free one time coaching call directly with me. And don't forget to grab your action plan.
[33:45] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Just go to jimharshajr. com slash action. And lastly, iTunes tends to suggest podcasts with more ratings and reviews more often. You would totally make my day. If you give me a rating and review, those go a long way in helping me grow the podcast audience. Just open up your podcast app. If you have an iPhone, do a search for success through failure, select it, and then scroll the whole way to the bottom where you can leave the podcast, a rating and a review.
[34:13] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Now, I hope this isn't just another podcast episode for you. I hope you take action on what you learned here today. Good luck and thanks for listening.
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