Dr. Natalie Pritchett.
27, but I am forever 23.
Height / Weight?
5'5'' I haven't weighed myself in like 2 years. 137-140?
What kind of question is this? Not affiliated. If I vote, it's for the green party
or the guy no one has heard of. They always make it out to be like you can only
vote for 2 people-when there are always actually like 5-7. Only 2 get all the
attention, and you're like, "Well I lose either way, so I'll vote for the
lesser evil." Vote for Nader or something! We need serious CHANGE!
Where are you from, Natalie?
Dyersburg, TN. Well, actually Finley
-but no one knows were that is. It's in agriculture/boring land about 10-15 miles
from the Mississippi River. FRB: Natalie, how did you get into climbing?
In under grad. There was a decent wall in our sweet Rec Center. And I took a climbing
class. (We climbed in the gymnastics gym on 2x4 blocks bolted into the cinder
block wall) I took some super classes (yoga, bowling, drawing....) I say I really
started though Jan. 2005 in St. Louis @ Upper Limits. Just decided I was going
to go twice a week-and, well, never stopped.
FRB: First place you
Well, once with our Wilderness Class. Somewhere in middle
TN. One like 5.8 and a rap. But really-I wouldn't count that one. Canoe country
Missouri is where I started.
FRB: How did
you get into Chiropractic?
I was familiar with it from my dad going when I was little. I wrestled in high
school and it totally screwed my back up. Then one day I was in my first home
match and the guy bent me in half backwards. Which is illegal. I finished the
match, f-ing lost by 2 points on a reversal last second. Then the guy had the
nerve to hit on me. Oh yea, back to chiropractic. That's when I started going.
I had volunteered PT., but it was boring. Chiropractic was the only thing that
helped me, so I decided to help others with it, and it has led me into helping
like I never imagined.FRB: Did you say that you used to wrestle in
Yes. 3 years on the guys team. And I was a cheerleader my
first 2 years of high school. I would wear my cheer leading letter jacket to my
matches just to intimidate the guys more. I loved it.
FRB: Why did
I had always wanted to do something rough, like play football. I went to my boyfriends
match when I was a freshman and thought it would be cool, but never thought I
would actually do it. Then when I was a sophomore, a girlfriend of mine asked
me if I wanted to try out with her. I did. There were 3 of us girls that first
year. No one thought we would make it through the first week of practice. (Oh,
and we didn't have a girls soccer team - so I played on the guys team that year
FRB: And you were a cheerleader,
FRB: How long did you cheer?
5th grade -10th grade.FRB: Why did you quit?
It was turning into a bitch fest. Complaining and crying
and not wanting to work hard..... I was sick of all the bitching. By my senior
year, I missed the fun of it and wanted to return-but they made it so we had to
cheer for football and basketball. I didn't like cheering for basketball and it
was during wrestling season. So I stuck with wrestling and played soccer on our
first girls team.
FRB: So would it be safe to say you used
to be a Tomboy?
Uh, yea. Since day 1 in kindergarten, I was beating up on the boys in PE (got
a funny story about that day), riding 4-wheelers and playing tee ball. But I was
girly, too. (More of a balance now, less aggression-and more comfortable with
being girly) I modeled a bit, did beauty revues (that's what we call pageants
in the south), started putting on makeup in 4th grade, and started wearing my
granny's heels when I was 3. Total contradiction, I know.
Let's talk controversy. You don't mind showing some skin. There was an Turban
Climber cover of a girl in a bikini that stirred a lot of emotion. What do you
think about that?
Well, I have always been an advocate of working out without my shirt. The boys
get to-why shouldn't I?! I had a vice principal in high school that told me I
was going to have to start wearing my shirt during soccer practice-bull shit.
And yes I have hot bikini tops that I climb in. Personally, the more I work out-the
less clothes I want to wear. I get pretty skimpy mid-summer. But as for the hate
mail that was sent in to Urban Climber about that-there are many different points
to cover here. I guess a lot of women don't want men oogling their bodies, or
people using women's bodies to sell their product. And I guess they assume that
the rest of us don't either. Maybe they don't really like their bodies. I don't
mind-I oogle the guys. And there are tons of photos in the mags of guys with their
shirts off. Women in bikinis…seems about the same to me. Face it, more guys look
at the mags than women. We get all the eye candy. I guess they should get some
A huge point here though, is that if the pic is of a 'model'- it's not
cool. We don't need or want models 'posing' on rocks. That's not why we buy the
magazine. If the pic is of a hot climber chick climbing-then it's cool.
would like to see more diversity in the body types shown. I advocate more showing
of curvy women (and not all covered up). Of course, because I am one-but to promote
having a 'healthy body' and healthy 'body image.' Not that being skinny is unhealthy-per
say. But if all us girls get to see is super fit/skinny girls in mags-it leads
us to believe we are not good enough the way we are-even if we are healthy and
fit. And I know in the real world-guys like a girl with a butt. Whether they put
us in the mags or not. I just read this to my roommate. She said she is just now
learning this. She grew up thinking that guys only liked tiny girls. So in reality,
that's the kind of image that is getting put across, like it or not.
I love my body so I don't mind showing it off or people looking at it. A bunch
of us (guys and girls) are going to do some thong shots this year. I think it
will be pretty funny.
FRB: What other
sports do you like to do?
Snowboarding, rugby, golf, mountain. biking, racquet ball, frisbee golf, ultimate
frisbee, soccer (goalie).
FRB: Natalie, what brings you to Boulder,
I knew I had to move to CO for years, but didn't know where. I got a job with
an awesome Dr. in Longmont (Mike Vidmar) and he taught me this technique I do
that has changed the way I look at everything.FRB: Who do you climb
with in town?
Mostly Travis Kaman & Sasha Cherry (with the Fink's).
But also, Melissa Marshall, Adrian Robert, & Scott Bouldien. And Amy McKellar
when her ass gets back from NZ.
FRB: Where do you like to
RIFLE! Boulder Canyon, Clear Creek, Eldorado, Shelf. Will be hitting up The Park
more this year.
FRB: What have you sent
Uh, my injuries and the weather have left me not sending for a while. Finally
got The Clipboard 5.11c in Avalon last summer. Working on (all in Avalon) Chairman
of the Board 5.11d, Strange Science 5.11c and Free Fall 5.12a. Which may be my
first 5.12 red point lead, which is my goal for this year.
have you not climbed that you want to go?
Hueco, Joe's, Penitente, Swissco (Waderland).FRB: What about bouldering?
I had only bouldered once (Elephant Rocks in Missouri) before
I moved here a year and a half ago. I bouldered in the gym with the "boulderers"
in St. Louis the last day before I moved here. They gave me so much shit. I spend
a lot of time at The Spot. It's good to me for many reasons. Only got to RMNP
twice last year (lame, I know). I want to work on Revenge and The Kind this year.
I'm much stronger now -we'll see how it goes.
FRB: Where do
you want to go with your climbing, Natalie?
Up. And across. Under and over. Bottom to top. In and out.
You climb a lot and train hard.
does this drive to excel come from?
I'm not entirely sure. Well, I like to do everything, so I haven't had the attention
span to spend the time to get good at something. I guess I picked climbing. I
fell in love. The feeling of hitting a move or toping out a problem/route that
is a step up from what you had been doing or thought you could do is so satisfying,
and yet just makes you want to keep stepping a little higher.
Let's talk about Chiropractics.
can people/patients expect in an office visit?
A good cracking (if that's what they want), an adjustment on the first visit,
(most chiro's don't do that), and expect me to start asking you personal questions.
People you are having/have had problems with, current/past stressors in your life,
past traumatic events, things you are worried about.... Some people are a little
taken aback at first when I start asking all these personal questions. Most people
take on quick though. Some people will be like "Nobody.", or, "I don't think there
is anything." First of all, I know that's bullshit. Second of all-they usually
all of a sudden start spewing all sorts of things.
you ask "Why all the personal questions?" First of all, I am realizing, the more
I work on people, that everything-and I mean EVERYTHING, is in your head. Even
when you have an 'accident', like breaking/spraining an ankle, car wreck... Twas
no accident. And I know that first hand. Second of all, my technique consists
of me resetting your sensory nervous system to traumas and stressors. You basically
shut yourself off, sensorily, when you don't like the way you feel about something.
This is a traumatic result of the infamous Fight or Flight (and Freeze). When
a stressor occurs, small or large, your body reacts in one of these ways. A surge
of energy comes so that you can fight or fly, and if it is too overwhelming-you
freeze. If you don't fight or fly, like in daily work/relationship/traffic stress
etc., this energy stays in your nervous system. Animals 'discharge' this energy
after the threat is gone, a convulsion of sorts. Humans don't do this, and this
causes dis-ease. You dissociate from your body, and thus it quits working for
you in various ways-just like you told it to. I am actually working with Marcus
Kurek-who was working with Dr. Bob Scaer. a neurologist(recently retired), who
wrote a couple of books on this phenomenon-his main example of study was whiplash
in which people who get whiplash from lets say, snowboarding, recover in about
a week or two. But a car accident, these people end up with a whole array of symptoms
and syndromes. Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, digestive problems,
and so on. Obviously, when you get hit by a car, it is a more traumatic event
(not to mention the victimization you feel-very important in the equation) than
when you catch an edge and slam your head back.
here's my famous example (and very frequent): A woman comes in with low back pain
and sore hips. I find out that her partner snores. Even though she's not necessarily
hearing this, her brain does, all night (not to mention the affected sleep). The
nerve you hear with (CN 8 vestibulocochlear-one of the 12 Cranial Nerves) is like
"Ahhhh! I can't take it any more!" and shuts down. This dissociation
shuts off your TFL muscle/ITB band (runs from your knee to your hip) and your
gluteus minimus and medius(Butt) These are obviously large supporters of the low
back. If they are not firing properly, they will be sore and the low back will
go 'out' as a result of lack of support. (I have found the TFL to be one of the
most sensitive muscles to stress-important for runners, bikers...) SO, instead
of adjusting you over and over and over hoping your low back will eventually realign
without the proper support, I reset the nerve, the muscles work again, and you
need less adjustments.
FRB: How can you help climbers?
OK. So what I want to stress, is that if you have muscles that are not firing
properly, lets say your latissimus dorsalis (LAT), that's a huge shoulder/core
muscle. And you keep climbing on it(at a lower performance without it working
properly, by the way), and one day you are doing a gaston and your shoulder pops/goes
out/dislocates.. And you're like, "WTF! What did I do different!?" Maybe
nothing. The other muscles that were compensating for the lat just couldn't do
all the work anymore, or the ligaments/tendons couldn't handle the extra stress
anymore. And 'POP', there it goes and you are in a mess and out for a while. And
believe me-that probably wasn't the only muscle not working properly. Just your
cervicals being 'out of place' can irritate the nerve that supplies the info for
the muscle to fire and that can cause it too. Going to the Chiro is like (but
way more important in my opinion-and thats by experience) going to the dentist
for a check up. But instead of checking up your teeth-you are checking up your
nervous, skeletal, and muscular system. And especially important is your nervous
system, because it controls EVERYTHING in your body. The way your digestive system
works, the way your immune system works, your blood pressure, the way your detox
system works... And all this, not to mention increasing your performance. Obviously
you will be able to perform at a higher level if ALL your muscles are working
properly, especially the big ones.FRB: How do you decide who needs what?
I have a friend who is a really good climber.
One day I checked his lat-just for the hell of it. It was not firing. Can you
imagine how much better he'd be if it was? I mean, your lat! That's one of the
main climbing muscles!
Good question. Everybody is different. And that's how I
will treat you. The cause of your problem may be totally different from someone
else who has the same problem. The medical community should treat more people
that way. I do cranial nerve scans and past history of everything medical and
stressful in your life (surgeries, bad experiences, large events like job changes,
moving, having a kid, breakups, fights, car accidents...)
a side note - I also do Applied Kinesiology (muscle testing), which is a diagnosic
technique and a treatment technique.
FRB: There's a lot of
chiro.'s in Boulder.
makes you different or better than
of the others?
Dr. Mike Vidmar developed this technique and I worked under him for a while. We
are about the only 2 who do this specifically. Also, like I mentioned, it takes
less adjusting to fix your problem (If you have had the problem for a long time,
it will take longer to fix than if it is acute. Also if you are older and/or have
had a lot of stressful/traumatic situations in your past, there will be a lot
of layers to get through) so in the long run, it should cost less. And I try and
find the CORE REASON for your problem. I'm not just symptom fixing here. Even
though chiropractic preaches that we fix the causes-not the symptoms, I am finding
that chiro's are still treating a lot of symptoms. Granted on a deeper level than
drugs-we work WITH the body's processes-not AGAINST them. This technique has just
given me a lot of hope for figuring out the cause, and therefore the solution
to people's pains and issues. It makes the whole process SO much easier. I have
the hope of being able to help someone when other methods-even other chiropractors
couldn't. I even use it on myself often. I broke my right ankle and severely sprained
my left and was bouldering again 5 weeks later. (Not just climbing-bouldering)
When I get a weird pain in my knee, or elbow, or start to feel a cough coming
on, I reset myself immediately and am usually totally better within a week.
Thanks for the interview, Natalie.
You're welcome. Thank you.