Maricela Rosales was an unlikely outdoor athlete. But scaling walls became her pathway to joy. (Photo: Antonio Ayala)

Finding Freedom Through Climbing


Growing up in the urban heart of Los Angeles, the only real connection Maricela Rosales had to wilderness were secondhand adventure magazines. She had boundless energy and loved to climb—as a little girl, she often scrambled on piles of old auto parts her dad used to fix cars—but at age seven was diagnosed with scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine that caused her chronic pain and frequently left her bedridden. So when her doctor recommended climbing as part of a treatment plan while she was in college, she wasn’t immediately convinced. But the sport soon became her passion, and it ended up healing much more than her body.

This episode is brought to you by Toyota, a company that wants to help you find joy by exploring America’s scenic byways. No matter what kind of adventure you’re after, there’s a Toyota designed to get you there. Learn more at

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, and have since expanded our show to offer a range of story formats, including reports from our correspondents in the field and interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and the outdoors.