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I started this podcast in 2014, but it wasn't called The Nik Hawks Show. 

My wife Lee and I own the company Paleo Treats, so I called the show the Paleo Treats Podcast and had the company buy the initial equipment, like mics and mixing boards and headphones and software.

Beyond one or two half-hearted attempts at advertising (episodes 32 and 33), the podcast never made Paleo Treats any money, and I always had to take time from the business in order to record these conversations and share ‘em with the world.

Over the course of 50+ episodes it became apparent that the podcast didn’t really have anything to do with Paleo, that I was exploring deeply personal topics, that Paleo Treats’ only purpose was to purchase the initial equipment to get this thing off the ground and pay for ongoing hosting, and that just having the word “Paleo” in the title was enough to stop people from even trying to listen to it.

Sometime around episode 58, based on feedback from listeners and iTunes reviews, I started thinking about how to make this podcast more approachable, how to separate it from Paleo Treats in order to pursue topics that were WAY off the Paleo path, and how to stop leaning on Paleo Treats the business in order to keep the show alive financially.

That brings us up to episode 59, which is the first official episode of The Nik Hawks Show. It took me 58 shows to warm into this, and now I’m psyched to spin off in new directions!

As I keep moving forward I deeply appreciate your harnessing in on the journey in pursuit of excellence, please reach out with any suggestions or questions. 

This show is made for me and YOU, let's make this excellent together! 

If you want to support this show, please visit my Patreon feed at

Thanks for listening!

Nik Hawks

Aug 5, 2018

There are some folks out there who are a little scary in their pursuit of excellence; they have an intensity about them that is damn near palpable.  Randy Leavitt is one of those people.

Randy is known as a climber, one of America's best.  With just a little bit of Googling you'll see just how good he is, but this podcast ain't about climbing, it's about the pursuit of excellence.

When I first heard about Randy it was from Greg Crouch, another guest on the Paleo Treats podcast.  I had told Greg I was looking for more pursuers of excellence and Greg recommended Randy.  When I asked why, Greg simply said, "Four decades of world class performance."  Well, that just piqued my interest.

In this show we skip past a bunch of Randy's climbing history (well covered on episode 18 of Chris Kalous' podcast, The Enormocast) and go deeper into the pursuit of excellence.

Randy talks about what made climbing his first love, how got into and out of BASE jumping (went off El Capitan in 1980!), when he found kite surfing and why he waited a couple of years before he actually started doing it.

Randy attributes a lot of his results to being a "delayed gratification-ist", something that most of us, including myself, need to work on developing.

We got into his passion for flying and some of the surprising things he had to learn as a pilot that he feels all climbers should know, along with why he stuck with motor planes and didn't get into sailplanes.

Of course I had to butt in and start yapping about paragliding, but I'd like to think I kept it to a minimum.  

I took a couple of questions for this show from listeners, so you'll get to hear a bit about the Jumbo Love story, what goes through Randy's head when he's stepping into a true challenge, and of a clarification of his comparison between the best day climbing and the best day surfing.

Enjoy the show!