Worth the Breaking For

There’s nothing to writing. You just sit down and bleed. – Earnest Hemingway

I had a story published a few weeks ago that broke me to write. I’ve never had a story impact me like that.

I went for a walk after I finally submitted it, after I cried and bled and lost hours to the flow state of writing to lift my head and realize it was dark out, after reading it and understanding it was good, and I thought: sometimes we’re lucky enough to tell those stories that push our limits, and the fact that this one shattered me is why it’s so good. And maybe that’s how you know it’s an important story to tell in this era of so much noise, that it’s worth the breaking for. Continue reading

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The Mythical Hierarchy of Outdoor Women

“I can’t believe you’re putting on mascara right now,” the woman said to me in the bathroom of the eco-resort in Patagonia. I was fresh from my first shower in a week. I’d just finished backpacking the O Circuit in Torres del Paine with my friend Ellyse, who swiped gloss over her lips next to me. “We’re in the mountains. Who cares what you look like? I’ll see you when you’re done primping,” the woman sneered as she walked out the door. Continue reading

The Pull of the Yellow Zone

When you go into the uncharted sea, there is fear, immense fear, because one never knows what is going to happen. You are leaving the shore of safety. You were perfectly okay, in a way; only one thing was missing—adventure. Going into the unknown gives you a thrill. The heart starts pulsating again; again you are alive, fully alive. Every fiber of your being is alive because you have accepted the challenge of the unknown.
Osho

A few weeks ago, I stepped way outside my comfort zone to ride a sled for the first time. Learning to manage the old heavy snowmobile, surrounded by experienced sledders who knew what they were doing, and working to keep my ego in check at being the graceless newbie, I was completely wiped by the end of the day. Continue reading

Fear

Last winter I broke my ankle in a high-speed crash on Revelstoke Mountain Resort. My ski season effectively ended on February 3 at 2:02pm (you better believe I marked the time). It was a soul-crushing blow as the winter of 2016-17 evolved into the most epic snowpocalypse in recent memory.

But the bigger blow wouldn’t come until the start of this winter. Continue reading

We the Millions

“It’s just the new normal,” someone said to me recently.

It was the day I broke down in tears on the phone to one of my Senator’s offices, calling to ask him to finally do something about the assault weapons killings hundreds of people in this country, to step up to help the people in Puerto Rico quickly running out of water and food, and to reinstate funding to provide millions of low-income children with health care. Continue reading

Airplane Mode: the Connection in Disconnecting

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the sacrifices I make to feed my adventure lifestyle, in particular about giving up depth of relationship in one place to move on to somewhere new. I’m incredibly lucky to have so many friends who are like family literally all over the globe—so lucky sometimes it takes my breath away. It runs deepest in Montana, the place I called home for ten years before landing in Revelstoke. Continue reading

It’s All Enough

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. That’s just human nature, and in my case, my severe level of FOMO can paint the grass across the way in hypercolor. The trick is learning to appreciate the shade of grass on your side of the fence. Sometimes it’s worth exploring the other side, which takes some guts. Sometimes it takes leaving to realize you actually loved where you were.

I wrote those words almost a year ago, at the peak of what I like to call my restless phase. I recalled them as I realized that right now—finally, for once—the grass was greenest exactly where I am. Continue reading

Waiting for Denali

In early May, I felt the itch for a long backcountry trip far away from cell reception and computers. My slowly-healing broken ankle had kept me out of the mountains for any sustained period of time, and I needed the simplicity of slow coffee mornings, trails, and long sunsets. I wanted to wake up with no one around for miles. Continue reading