“I once climbed ’20 Classics in 20 Days’ from Steck and Roper’s 50 classic climbs of North America. Even on that adventure I had two rest days. The worst kind of goal is a mediocre one. – I’m quite sure Stephen and Stefanie Richert have not set a bad goal here. I find the adventure they have set in front of them nothing short of fantastic. Frankly, the sad part is it makes some of my adventures seem mediocre. The Richert’s are raising the bar. – I love it! I am excited to watch them go through all the challenges that surely will present themselves to them on their 365 days of climbing.”

Wishing them quickness,

Hans Florine

Speed climbing record holder, El Capitan



I’ve been watching the development of Living Vertical: Project 365 for the past couple months. As a Chiropractor who loves to watch people take charge of their own health and someone who loves hiking, camping and living healthy, I thought it was an intriguing concept since Steve has a chronic disease. He has Type 1 Diabetes—according to conventional thought he shouldn’t be climbing mountains, right? Wrong! He is challenging the limits and barriers that society has led us to accept about taking charge of our health and he is sharing it in an exciting and engaging way.

Chronic diseases are exploding due to a large number of factors, some of which are poor diet, bad lifestyle choices and toxicity in our environment. Everyone knows someone who has diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, MS, or cancer. We have to stop masking the symptoms and make some changes in how we live our lives—which is what Project 365 all about! According to the CDC, 1 out of 2 adults have at least one chronic disease.  1 out of 3 adults is obese. 1 out of 5 kids are obese.  The message of this film is more imperative than ever before.

This project sets an example for the next generation—emphasizing the importance of simplicity and fitness. Every step and every climb the Living Vertical team takes this coming year is a challenge that flies in the face of conventional thought; because if they can climb for 365 days straight while managing diabetes, we all can use that as motivation to take steps in our own life to prioritize unprocessed natural foods, outdoor fitness and the reduction of materialism.



Rachael A. Kuperus, DC

Louisville, KY




From the very beginning of my medical training, I have been taught these 4 tenets:


  1. The body is a unit. The person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.
  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and self-maintenance.
  3. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
  4. Rational treatment is based on an understanding of these principles: body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.


Steve and Stefanie Richert have taken these principles and put them into action as their response to Steve’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis and Stefanie’s family history of type 2 diabetes. Steve refuses to let his disease diagnosis define him as a person, but has instead decided to become physically fit, research healthy foods on his own, and really apply that research to try to feed his body the most excellent fuel he knows how in order to allow that body to best accomplish its work of self-regulation.


Steve has found something he really loves to do for regular physical exercise, something that challenges and builds his body, mind, and spirit so he can be the best and healthiest possible Steve Richert. For him, this activity is rock climbing. Now, he and Stefanie are taking it to the next level with their Living Vertical: Project 365. Their goal is to climb every day for 365 consecutive days and document it for the public to empower people living with type 1 diabetes to overcome their condition and not be limited by it. In addition we who witness this feat will be inspired by their accomplishments to set and achieve goals of balance and fitness in our own lives!


Christie Shanafelt, DO

Lewisville, Texas


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