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Jimmy Chin's Morning Routine

Climber, photographer, and filmmaker Jimmy Chin may have ascended the Shark’s Fin on Meru (“Mount Impossible”) and skied down Mount Everest, but he gets up in the morning just like the rest of us. 

Chin teamed up with Hana, the supplement company, to share his daily drill at home in Jackson Hole. Turns out, it is pretty, well, routine. 

First, we see Chin rustle himself out of bed and make his way to the bathroom — no alarm clock, which is just the way he likes it. “I usually wake up on my own without an alarm unless I have a mission that day or I’m going out skiing early in the morning,” Chin says. “But if there’s no mission for the day, I just wake up whenever I wake up.”

He then makes his way to the bathroom, where he proceeds to wipe the sleep from his eyes, brushes his teeth drowsily, and sits down for his morning bathroom break (to get that going, he might want to take a page from Laird Hamilton’s routine and down a glass of warm water with lemon juice and salt first). After that, he sits down for his daily meditation session. “My meditation is a rogue form of TM (transcendental mediation) that I learned from Tom Knowles — who studied under the I think he study under the Maharishi and then went his own way,” Chin explains. “I think he’s amazing and I’ve been practicing this way for five or six years. It’s always 20 minutes in the morning and about twenty minutes at night.” And he doesn’t log his sessions or use an app. “It’s pretty informal,” he says.

After 15–20 minutes if meditation, he’ll make a smoothie, read the Times online, and start firing emails and making calls.

Chin’s smoothie looks like it has the power to fuel a giant — which is exactly the type of breakfast he needs, and sticks by. “Diet is definitely key…” he says. “I generally pick up some berries, yogurt, bananas, and almond milk wherever I am and make a fat smoothie in the morning. That keeps me going for a good part of the day and feeling good.”

After meditation, emails, and breakfast, it’s time to get outdoors. In the video, Chin scouts lines across the southeastern faces of the Tetons outside of Jackson Hole to ski. “In the winter, a lot of skiers are obsessed with the forecast and looking at avi conditions. It gets pretty granular — you’re looking at a lot of different details,” he says. “And this winter, I was looking up the forecast not only so I could see what days I was obligated to get out there when there was a certain amount of powder, but I was also trying to figure out when I was going to get a break so I could actually get some work done. This winter was insane — we had so much snow.”

Snow’s falling? Plans made. After that, more emails and more research into snow conditions. Then it’s time to get moving. But like many of us, Chin has to warm up to get going, which he does with a long foam-roller session. “I grew up studying martial arts, so I’ve always known the importance of stretching, but as I get older I’m more in tune with injury prevention and the dangers of overuse injuries that plague all athletes if you don’t take care of yourself,” he says. “I use a regular roller and these rubber balls called MobilityWODs so I can get into my glutes and other areas besides the quads. It’s preventative, it feels good, and it breaks up the fascia so your muscles can breathe and recover — it’s how you tune your body every morning.”

ALSO: The Distracted Man’s Guide to Meditation

The video closes with a shot of Chin ripping down an untouched ski run. “It’s a real morning,” he says. “You’ll notice that there’s no music in the video — it’s all natural sound. It’s what my mornings look like and it’s accurate to my time this winter in Jackson.”

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