Crooked Thumb

Crooked Thumb is the spectacular skyline pinnacle of Teewinot Mountain in the Teton Range, Wyoming. This quirky summit is seldom climbed.

Welcome to Crooked Thumb! Created by Steve Markusen, Crooked-Thumb is designed to inspire and inform.  Dedicated to health, fitness and adventure, our site connects you with articles and resources to enlighten your mind, body and soul. We offer personal training and nutrition plans for recreational and competitive athletes; adventure sport athletes and travelers; and for those with interested in improving their health, fitness, body weight and composition.

For over 50 years, Steve has been pursuing high risk adventures. He is a competitive cyclist, expert rock & ice climber, ski mountaineer, and paraglider pilot.  In addition to being a published writer, Steve is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and cycling coach.


The Longest Day

The dog days of August 1974 had found us at our local crag. Perched on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin, Taylors Falls is a narrow gorge of billion-year-old basalt, 40-foot cliffs carved 10,000 years ago by the meltwaters of retreating glaciers. The gorge hosts over a hundred trad- and sport-climbing routes. Relatively flat ground above…


ADELAIDE LITERARY AWARD ANTHOLOGY 2020 Steven Markusen Julian “Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.” —Pema Chodron, The Pocket Pema Chodron Julian sits across from me in a Spartan classroom in the education department of the Duluth Federal Prison Camp. A bundle of barely restrained kinetic…


When Muscles Lock: Understanding and Preventing Muscle Cramps

Featured photo: Fertile ground for muscle cramps… high intensity criterium racing. Bent over our handlebars, hearts pounding, the spectators on the shoulders are a blur. There are four of us in the lead breakaway pack; our bicycles inches apart. Seven hundred yards ahead is the finish line for the 2020 Minnesota Senior Games Men’s 40…

The Long Way Back: Recovering From Traumatic Injury or Major Surgery

Featured photo: Teton Rescue Ranger Nick Armitage airlifting his “package” Steve Markusen. The rest of the rescue team (lower left corner) remain on the Exum Ridge, Grand Teton, August 8, 2014. Credit Brian Carver “What is your name? Where are you?” My eyes opened to see a chiseled face with furrowed brow. Pain stabbed my…


A Question of Balance: Staying Upright as You Age.

Featured Photo: Balance traverse on the East ridge of Wolfs Tooth, Wind river Range, Wyoming. Photo Credit: Paul Gardner I balance on the balls of my feet pressing the sticky rubber soles of my climbing shoes to the narrow ledge. The heels of my shoes stick out over five hundred feet of big air. I…

What I Learned: Training for Hiking and Backpacking

Featured photo: Escalante wilderness at sunset. The names on the map tell stories: Scorpion Gulch, Deadman Ridge, Carcass Canyon, Fifty Mile Cliffs, Rattlesnake Bench and Little Death Hollow. This is the Escalante, three million acres of National Monument and National Recreation Area in Southern Utah. One of the most remote wilderness areas in the country,…

Resources that enlighten
mind, body, soul.

Ready to thrive? Crooked Thumb now offers virtual training sessions, in addition to at-home and in-studio classes.

Schedule a conversation about your health and fitness strategy today.