“Picture walking through a parking lot with a ski mask rolled up on your head and a pistol in your pocket. You’re getting closer to the bank, your heart’s beating faster, adrenaline’s starting to rush through your head, and you can’t believe you’re about to do what you’re about to do,” says Roland Thompson. “When you’re climbing a route you’ve never done before, it’s a grade or two above what you’re comfortable with, you’re a few feet above that bolt and you’ve got a dynamic move coming up–that adrenaline is definitely the same intensity, it’s just cleaner.”

After serving 10-years in state and federal prisons, Roland discovered that he could satisfy his adrenaline craving and use his ability to stay calm in high-intensity situations by rock-climbing and snowboarding–instead of robbing banks. The outdoors also gave him what he had really been looking for all along: a sense of acceptance and community.


Roland is currently writing a book and doing public speaking events. Learn more at Iam081.com


Music: That Hill It Has Already Gone Away by adcBicycle    •    If Walls Could Talk by Jacob Bain & Nis Kotto    •    Conviction by Little Glass Men    •    Open Your Eyes! (To The World) by MC Cullah    •    Somnolence by Kai Engel    •    Belly of the Whale by Jason Tyler Burton    •    Realness by Kai Engel    •    Shame by My Monthly Date    •    Passages by Kai Engel    •    The Pouring Rain by MC Cullah    •    Save My Soul by MC Cullah    •    Today’s Reflection by Roland Thompson

Tracks provided by Free Music Archive and with permission from the artists.



7 Comments on “081

  1.  by  very.vandecar@gmail.com

    Great episode. It’s so sad that there are many people like him doing time deserving of a second and even a third chance of life.

  2.  by  Jim Meyer

    WOW!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!! One of the best episodes in all my years of listening

  3.  by  Andrew S Stiff

    A really great and moving episode. I liked the content, and it was very well done. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

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