Ryan Howes

athlete - guide - men’s health coach

My life is dedicated to healthy living, guiding outdoor adventure pursuits and helping men heal.

My process is rooted in intuition, from the food I eat, how much I sleep, and when and how I move my body.

I am passionate about teaching and derive energy from the teaching and learning process, especially when triumph and breakthroughs occur.

So, my lifestyle of wellness and adventure go in tandem with teaching others through experiential methods, like sharing and asking questions, which allows a person to tap into their intuition, prior experiences, and to own the learning experience.

Most people know me as a gifted athlete who has achieved many accolades across multiple sports, in addition to my education and career path. Here is my resume of sorts in no particular order:

  • Ice Climbs to WI6+

  • Mixed Climbs to M10

  • Rock Climbs to 5.13

  • Bouldering to V10

  • First Ascents in Maine up to WI 5+, 5.12 and M8

  • Marathons to 100-Mile Ultra-Marathons

  • Winner of numerous 5Ks

  • American Ninja Warrior Contestant

  • USCAA All-American Collegiate Men’s Soccer Team

  • High School Javelin Toss Record

  • TAO Open Kempo Karate Champion

  • MS in Experiential Education

  • BS in Adventure Therapy & Adventure Education Leadership

  • EMT-B Trained

  • Wilderness First Responder & CPR

  • American Mountain Guides Association Rock and Ice Guide

  • Volunteer Mountain Rescue

  • Guest on multiple podcasts, television and radio shows

  • Motivational Speaker

  • Former Head Climbing Guide of multiple Climbing Schools

  • Former Faculty at Unity College, in Maine

All of these experiences and accomplishments were possible from the support of many wonderful mentors who believed in me. I am lucky and grateful for their incredible support and guidance along the way, which is why I have chosen a purpose-driven career in health, healing and adventure.

Ryan Howes belays his guest while enjoying coastal Maine’s splendid summer environment.  Photo by Michael G. Seamans

Ryan Howes belays his guest while enjoying coastal Maine’s splendid summer environment. Photo by Michael G. Seamans

Northern Vertical guest discovers Acadia National Park’s sea-side rock climbing to be the best he’s ever experienced during summer months.  Photo by Michael G. Seamans

Northern Vertical guest discovers Acadia National Park’s sea-side rock climbing to be the best he’s ever experienced during summer months. Photo by Michael G. Seamans

What most people do not know about me is my troubled past and journey to thrive as an adult after an abusive childhood. All of my accomplishments mentioned above pale in comparison to overcoming the hardships that men like me have faced early on in life. Everyday I see men in the wake of their trauma, unable to be real with themselves and the people around them because the pain is unbearable, or they hide behind the social stigma that it is not manly to talk about emotions and feelings.

I remember going to college with a sense of freedom for the first time in my life. I found rock climbing and immediately immersed myself in the sport in spite of the earth-shaking fear it evoked every time. A voice deep inside me said to do it anyways. With a trusting heart I took the leap over and over again. That leap became my journey to visit the darkness of my early life and discover the light that it contained. What I truly discovered was that I came here to love, to be loved, and to thrive. Quite simply, this is why I am here. Thoreau, my favorite poet said, “My object in living is to unite, my avocation and my vocation, as my two eyes make one in sight”. I am here to help guide you on the journey to love, to be loved, and to thrive.


Take the LEAP!

How many times have you wanted to do something, but made an excuses instead? To LEAP is to immerse yourself in adventure, which involves taking a risk and stretching your comfort zone in the face of uncertainty. Scary yes, but this is the recipe for growth and change. Taking the LEAP to climb, despite the fact that it produced earth-shaking fear, became my journey to know myself, to understand what it means to live, and to fully appreciate this great opportunity I was given - to be a human.

Like most men, I learned how to hide my pain through several clever masks. These masks gave me a sense of control when I felt outside my comfort zone. Like most men, I was good at hiding my pain behind these masks. Then one day I made a realization that I had developed two personas: Public Ryan and Private Ryan. Public Ryan was confident, charismatic, competent, athletic, articulate, courageous and successful, while Private Ryan lived with fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, and felt incompetent in many areas of life.

Climbing provided a vehicle along the healing journey, but it did not remove the masks. Climbing in beautiful places with great people provided the opportunity to see the world, expand into adulthood, and accomplish many amazing things, but the masks were just as strong as ever, especially because they were exposed to my consciousness.

The road to healing the past and feeling free in the present went into overdrive when a man I barely knew, candidly shared his story about abuse and the struggles he faced as an adult. His story inspired me to examine my own story, beliefs and way in which I operated both publicly and privately. I confronted the past, made peace and let go. I got help from various professionals along the way, including therapists, body and energy workers, trainers and nutritionists. The more I could Take the LEAP and put myself in a place of vulnerability, the more I felt free from the feelings and emotions of the Private Ryan persona. Within a couple of years, I learned that Public Ryan skills were not just a mask, they were me at the core, but in the present moment I could chose to center myself with integrity and radical honesty.

My life changed. I got healthier physically, mentally and emotionally. My relationships and career improved as I developed and practiced daily rituals of meditation, writing, reading, yoga, tibetan rites, running, etc. I felt more comfortable and confident in my own skin, with the freedom to be open and vulnerable with all people. This personal journey is like climbing mountains. Given the choice, we can learn every step of the way, using the experience and knowledge to help others along their journeys. The summit experience, which marks a completion, comes with marked feelings of joy and bliss. It is granted to those who are willing to stay in direct contact with challenge, risk and uncertainty - this is the adventure arena. The moment provides incomparable perspective, having sustained hardship to arrive at the vantage point.

The summit is an example of personal success and a platform to vision and dream far and wide. This inspirational moment shows us the earth’s big and bold beauty and future adventures. Although, this moment is short-lived, because life requires us to close old doors and open new ones. Movement, both static and dynamic, is a key aspect of living. The journey down the mountain also has much to teach us. We are here to change and grow.

These three words: LIVE LOVE LEAP serve as a guide to personal transformation.

These three words: LIVE LOVE LEAP serve as a guide to personal transformation.

Eventually, my journey reached a summit that provided a clear view. Only through extreme hardship could I discover my life’s purpose: to guide men on their transformation journey, where they discover their intuitive power, truth and authenticity. I came here too love, to be loved, and to thrive. And with a close connection to Nature and Adventure, my LIVE LOVE LEAP Men’s Coaching Programs, you too can discover what sets you on fire.