The Raw Truth About My Motivation Getting Into The Outdoors

Okay, I’m about to share with you some raw truth behind what has motivated me throughout my journey. I truly hope you feel brave enough to share your story with me. But first, I have a serious question for you:

What has been your biggest motivation to do something epic?

Why in the world have you chosen to hike, climb, rappel, or ride up and down these ridiculously enormous mountains?

Raw, calloused hands; blistered and bleeding feet; frost bit toes; tormenting mosquito bites; a beautiful, weathered face chapped from the windy, harsh elements and glowing bright red from the exposure of the relentless sun. The outdoors is not for the faint of heart.

Mountains, canyons, and deserts can be unforgiving.

Why spend hours, days, and in some cases weeks summitting the tallest mountains and longest trails in the country?

Is it to prove something to yourself? Is it to prove something to your family, an ex-lover, a former coach? Someone that undermined the ability of your body or mind to achieve greatness? Or the value of yourself as a person?

Maybe you just need to be reminded that you are alive. Perhaps you are an adrenaline junkie always looking for that next thrill. Maybe you do it for the gram. Maybe you do it to check another summit, route, or country off the list.

I guess we all have our own reasons why we push ourselves to our ever fading and redefining boundaries.

I can look back at most significant physical feats I have poured myself into and can identify a pain I was fighting to overcome, to heal. I channeled that pain to fuel my fire to not only keep going, but to achieve something great.

Sometimes you’re in such a dark place that the only way to keep going is to declare an objective, put your head down, and work for it. To transform yourself into someone stronger, more confident, and more capable than yesterday.

As a young woman, committing to big goals in the outdoors and in the gym like thru-hiking the John Muir Trail, taking solo trips to developing countries for adventure travel, and competing in Olympic Weightlifting has served as a beautiful & healthy platform for healing and building confidence within myself.

A nasty, life-consuming eating disorder was powerful motivation for me to take my first backpacking trip, a nine week adventure throughout the backcountry of California.

The mountains are no place to restrict and starve. I had mountains to climb.

It’s also no place to binge and purge. I had only a limited quantity of food in my bear canister that needed to be rationed throughout that leg of the trip.

I tried to outsmart my fucked up relationship with food by living in the wild.

Ultimately, that didn’t all play out as I had hoped but it did change something inside of me and I will be forever grateful for that.

A traumatic breakup was a strong, motivating push in my journey to see how physically strong I could get in the gym, which eventually led me into the world of competitive strength sports.

I felt so hurt, so vulnerable, so weak that I needed to remind myself that I am fucking capable.

That I am strong and can do more than I ever thought possible.

Using adventure, travel, and athletic quests to process and heal from a deep pain have been profound, driving forces in my accomplishments. But sometimes it’s purely out of a desire to do more, to be more. To see what the hell I am really capable of.

Where is the limit?

What am I capable of with consistent and strategic training of my body and mind?

Women squat heavy

One of my greatest fears is living a mundane life.

I fear that one day when I’m an old lady, I will look back and wonder how extraordinary my life could have been. I want to look back with a smile and say that I was brave enough to write my own authentic story of love, liberation, and adventure.

So why not try hard?

Why not see what you are capable of?

Whether you are doing it to remind yourself that you can quite literally climb any mountain or obstacle in front of you, or you are seeking to do something legendary in your passion, get after it.

It won’t be easy. It won’t be comfortable. But it will be juicy with courage, with trust, with confidence, and with badass adventures.

Woman rock climbing mount whitney

From kayaking down the Nenana River in Alaska while it’s raining sideways, to rappelling down canyons that I was not as prepared for as I care to admit in Zion National Park, to rock climbing over 1,000 feet on Mount Whitney, I’m always saying yes to bigger and bigger objectives.

Over the years, the trails have gotten longer, the routes have gotten taller, and the commitments have gotten bigger.

I’m sure we all go through similar journeys of pushing for more.

So why choose mountains over Nextflix and chill?

Why spend hours tenaciously training in the gym or on the trails?

Why pour more money than you really want to admit on gear or flights, or sacrifice hours of sleep for hours of online research to figure out the logistics of how to make something big happen?


The motives that drive people to greatness is nothing short of fascinating.

We have more in common than we realize.

What has been your most epic accomplishment and what was your motivation to do such a grueling, tiresome feat?

If you are open and willing, I’d love to hear your story.

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