Sanni McCandless is an entrepreneur, rock climber, fitness enthusiast, as well as a life and transition coach. She is the co-founder of ‘Outwild’ – an annual event aimed at helping individuals to lead and live a more outdoor and value-driven lifestyle. Besides her many achievements, Sanni is also popular for being the girlfriend of ‘Free Solo’ Star Alex Honnold. The couple lives together in a van most times and their home is also in Vegas.
Sanni McCandless’ Early Life and Career Beginnings
Born Cassandra McCandless on the 30th of June 1992, she came to be called Sanni by her childhood friend who had difficulty pronouncing her name and the nickname has stuck since then. Sanni grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Seattle, Washington State. She believes the process of growing up, blending in and rediscovering herself in a place with two different cultures might have influenced the person she has grown up to be.
Her parents were Jay McCandless (father) and Lesley Marijke McCandless (mother), both of whom attended UCLA. While her father holds a Masters in Electromagnetic Engineering and works as an innovative microwave engineer, her mother is a specialist in corporate communications and a published writer who has worked as a communication conflict resolution and mediator with various companies. Her parents founded and run Suncastle Microwave, LLC, California.
Besides the frequent travelling she did in her childhood, Sanni attended ‘East Chapel Hill High School between 2006 and 2010. She proceeded to the University of North Carolina where she bagged a BA in Psychology with a minor in Spanish, graduating in 2014. During her college days, she was the Spanish student leader and had to teach Spanish at an elementary level. In 2012, Sanni also travelled to Mexico for a Spanish language immersion program. She spent some months working as a hospitality assistant in Cordoba.
While she had a childhood that can be described as privileged, she also had a semblance of normality, working odd jobs, participating in different clubs and societies. Sanni McCandless enjoyed travelling and discovering other cultures while growing up. Before the start of her career, she travelled through Europe in two months and vowed to continue to explore travelling throughout her adult life.
Sanni began working as an Events and Marketing Coordinator with EnergySavvy, a position she took up between August 2014 and June 2016. In the process, she was able to learn about business and event management as she managed logistics for more than 150 conferences, synthesized customer testimonial with marketing materials, facilitated and executed 10 marketing campaigns amongst other achievements.
Her life long dream has always been travelling, helping people live better, and also living her life to the fullest. She left her job to pursue this dream and after her savings began to deplete, she decided to pursue the career (life coaching) she had always dreamt about. Sanni didn’t stumble on life coaching. She got certified as a Professional Life Coach with IPEX Coaching in 2017. Sanni began her practice officially in Las Vegas with her company Sanni McCandless Coaching in March 2017. She has revealed in series of interviews that she doesn’t tell her clients what to do and how to run their lives. She just asks them hard and targeted questions that help them come to the realization of what they need to do.
Sanni has been described as being wiser than her years and is one to live by what she teaches. During her years of life coaching, she discovered that people were hungry for a more meaningful lifestyle and the outdoors. She also wanted to impact in groups, what she was doing for individuals. In 2018, she co-founded Outwild, alongside Courtney Sanford and Jeremy Jansen.
The Outwild annual festival has been successful with lots of people showing up and trying to figure out how to live a more purposeful life.
Other Interesting Facts About Alex Honnold’s Girlfriend
- 1. Boyfriend/Partner
Sanni McCandless met her boyfriend Alex Honnold at his book signing event and made the first move on him. Having just sworn off online dating, she decided to try dating the traditional way by slipping guys her number. Sanni slipped Alex a note with her phone number and they went on a few dates before going climbing together in Switzerland, 6 months after their first date.
Sanni has been very supportive of Alex, especially during his famous ‘El Capitan climb’ in June 2017 that has pushed him to the pinnacle of his career.
- 2. How She Learned Climbing
Having a professional climber as a boyfriend, it is easy to assume that he taught her to climb but Sanni has revealed that she was taught and introduced to climbing by her sister when she moved back to Seattle as an adult.
- 3. Physical Attributes
Sanni is passionate about fitness and how she looks. She weighs about 55 kg and stands at a height of about 5 feet 6 inches.