Climber, adventurer, mental coach – and transperson.
Lor Sabourin is more than just a climber. Lor is an adventurer, searching for the true self in the heights and depths of their passion. Each route, each expedition is a chapter in Lor Sabourin's personal book of self-discovery.
Lor Sabourin discovered their love for climbing at the age of 12 in a climbing gym in Detroit, Michigan, and has been pursuing the climbing dream ever since. In between competitive climbing and exploring sandstone crags in the Southeast, Lor earned a degree from Northern Michigan University in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. And the journey is paying off: Lor Sabourin is the first non-binary climber to conquer a 5.14a route. Today, Lor Sabourin guides in Arizona and works as a training leader for Warrior's Way, an organization that specializes in mental training.
Sabourin identifies as a transperson and uses the pronouns "they/them". Patagonia's powerful documentary "They/Them" follows Lor on their captivating journey through the sandstone canyons of Arizona. Moments are captured as they struggle with challenging rock passages, reflects on their identity, and revisits memories from childhood.
It gives you courage to have role models who do things before you and pave the way. But in the climbing world, there are few people who share the same experience as Sabourin. For them, this had good and bad sides: even though it gave Lor a lot of freedom to explore their own identity, loneliness was also a constant companion. There were also often challenges when traveling as a visible transperson. Travel is a great part of the climbing experience, but it is often difficult for Lor to feel safe when they is traveling in areas that are not accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. The question of "social safety" also often arises among other climbers. After all, climbing is a social sport where well-being is paramount.
And despite these numerous challenges, Lor Sabourin pursues their dreams! With success: Sabourin was the first transperson to successfully climb Sedona's East Coast Fist Bump (5.14a). Lor Sabourin is the role model that has been missing in the climbing world for a long time!
Climbing is much more than just a sporting activity for Lor Sabourin. It's a way to explore their identity, realizing that self-acceptance is the key to growth. By going far outside their comfort zone and mastering routes that require both mental and physical strength, Lor has the opportunity to reflect on and overcome the challenges in their life. For Lor Sabourin, it is this vulnerability on the mountain that they love about the sport.
"I think it's really hard to hide from the stress of climbing. When you go out, you really choose to be vulnerable."
The Warrior's Way uses climbing as a foundation for the development of consciousness, the conscious overcoming of challenges and the building of individual strength. Lor Sabourin works here as a training leader and mental coach. There they give courses against fear of falling, on risk assessment and on engagement in challenging climbs. In addition to coaching, Lor Sabourin also works behind the scenes at Warrior's Way. Sabourin helps train new coaches* for the organization, design new programs, and maintains the network of existing coaches*.
|Climber, mountain guide, trainer
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