How I got Outdoorsy?

So I have been asked a lot recently and figured it was time to make this post. 

I didn't grow up camping, hiking, downhill skiing or mountain biking; these are all passion that I have developed over the years beginning in college. I was a kid who was introduced to nature, spent countless hours at the beach playing in the sand and on the rocks and then encouraged to run amok in the woods doing everything from "taking naps" to building forts. We also took a yearly week long vacation to "the woods" of New Hampshire where I learned to Nordic ski and ice skate. When I was going into middle school my family moved to suburban New Jersey and I pursued Irish Step dancing followed by a high school career in running cross country and track year-round. But I guess I knew in the back of my mind that, that careless sense of adventure and freedom in the woods was missing. So when it became time to look for colleges I searched for 2 things: a journalism program and an outdoors program where I could learn to downhill ski. I discovered St. Michael's College in Vermont and the rest seems to be like history. 

I like to research especially for things like college. So when I got to St. Mike's I knew that I wanted to join their Wilderness Program, I got lucky and was accepted as a new instructor program and from there the learning began. It started with camping, rock climbing, sea kayaking, and telemark skiing. I wasn't that good at any of them but they had faith and I persisted. By the end of my freshman year I was chasing professional certifications in rock climbing and sea kayaking plus obtained my Wilderness First Responder! Every trip was an adventure in learning, it was all new, fresh and exciting. From there I started learning as much as possible by the time I graduated form college I had been: Sport Climbing in Mexico, Sea Kayaking in South Carolina and off the coast of Maine and Rhode Island, learned to telemark and alpine ski, Thru Hiked Vermont's Long Trail (274 miles), led incoming freshman's WOW weekends leading introductory trips, white water rafted, etc. It was a great start to a passion and career.

From there I continued working within the outdoor industry and was a Summer Camp Counselor at a Climbing Gym, Ski Instructor at Stowe Mountain Resort,  and I have worked every bit of jobs within the industry. I have worked retail, shipping & receiving, sales, customer service, warranty, athlete management, ski technician (tuning and mounting), events, marketing, writing, photography, etc. 

I fell in love and have not stopped. While the work is not always been easy- it's is my drive and passion to remain active and connected to those who share similar interests that keeps me going. 

As for current activities I mostly mountain bike, hike and go car camping when there isn't snow on the ground- and once the snow starts you will find me skiing at the resort or in the backcountry, and if a high pressure system moves in you will see me flailing on telemark gear, because I am still convinced I will be good at it one day! 

I hope this helps and if you ever have any questions- don't hesitate to ask, I am open book. And love to talk! 

Can You Hold This so I can take a picture?

Excuse me, excuse me please, Can you hold this? Thanks; I need to get this picture! Have you ever held something for someone while they took a picture? Yup, it happens to all of us, we are all guilty of doing it.  But what is really worth taking photos of?

There was once a time when photography was an art form. You found something beautiful, or something representative of a time in your life – be it a few blades of grass or an endless forest, a skyline or mountain – and you would snap your Polaroid and cherish it forever. Now we have a phenomenon that’s become one of the biggest crazes of the 21st century, and that is taking photos of EVERYTHING important or not. Not that I don't love Instagram...

But here is the biggest exception, while in the outdoors, you are typically doing really cool stuff and you want everyone else to see. In order to continue in this is by having the proper etiquette while staging these photo shoots and being quick, efficient, and do a good job! No one will want to go out with you if you are trying to set up elaborate setups that occupy more time than the actual activity. But if you can be fast people love getting their picture taken, especially when it looks cool, to know how badass you are! Trust me I have done it. Done what you might be thinking? Staged a photo shoot while skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking etc.  Because when you upload those photos and post them people notice and comment and it makes you feel good about yourself. Why shouldn’t you? You just spend the day climbing awesome routes or launching off huge drops in the woods or a booter in the park.

So, get outside, continue to have fun and stage great photo shoots, just don’t take too long and burn out your friends on taking photo shoots; you want them to keep going on an epic adventure with you and ruining an outdoor friendship over photographs is not worth it. 

Greetings

Hey- Megan here and long time no talking. I've taken some time to do some soul searching and well, I realized I started this blog to tell stories and share advice and I don't do enough of that.

And after several conversations with people I realized that maybe I have learned something working and playing in the outdoor industry for the last 10+ years!  So I've gotten some perspective and stay tuned for some article to my thoughts and opinions. I love a good conversation so feel free to reach out at any point in time!

I recognize that having the ability to own every piece of gear for adventures is unrealistic, and I feel very fortunate to have lots of opportunities to get out and test new gear and put it through the wringer. What stands out to me is quality over fast fashion and companies that have a conscious conscience.  And I've spend a lot of time researching and learning because not every company is shouting it from the rooftops and even I am surprised on a regular basis! 

Let me know what you think about all my work and always if you have any questions ASK! I love to talk! 

Resolutions

With the new year comes an opportunity to reflect and focus on opportunities ahead. This year, something feels different. We are entering into a new political era where emotions are raw and positive change is uncertain. Nowhere is it more pronounced then within the subject of climate change and environmental degradation. As tough as it may be to remain positive, lots people who are positive and hopeful speaking out and taking a more active role into the future. 

For me being compassionate and moving forward into the new year is having a broad understanding and awareness to see the world holistically. One of my goals is to get involved in local efforts. in October 2016, I moved to a new state, Utah, and have learned that I need to become more active on the local levels.  What I have learned is when you see a wrong doing speak out, do not let people, corporations, or governments get away with unconscious living. Tell people around you what you are doing to lead a more conscious life and be a role model within a community. We need more leaders and less followers, it is the only way we are every going to see a significant shift of consciousness and change in this world. The worst thing you could do is cling to the expression that you are just one person and that you have no significance, because history books have taught us one thing …. And that is all it ever really took was for one person to stand up and speak when no one else would. That is where everything begins.

Anyone that thinks we can have infinite growth on a finite planet is either a madman or an economist.
— Kenneth Bouldering

So we cheers into the new year and look forward to new adventures and challenges. I've been working hard and have BIG plans for this year!

Balance

There’s a side to me that needs it to stay focused on work. During the winter months I become more of a homebody and trying to maintain a ritual is a top priority. Black Tea is the key ingredient, to my success. Every morning I wake up, sit with my cup of tea and relax. Some days I write and others I just get ready for work. I try to take the time every morning to relax, I am tired of feeling stressed out and anxious with the leftover shit from the day before. I don’t want to be weighed down by this and trying to create a routine is one method in which I am trying to break this habit. Life throws you lots of punches that some days I don’t know how to relax but we are all learning to find this balance, because there is no perfect formula.

Everyone I meet in life has a story to tell and something for me to learn from, no matter their age or background. It takes a lot of hard work and patience before things ever seem to begin to work out. There is no skimping or minimal work; hard work and dedication are what get you places. I try to always do what I love and live in the moment all while working my ass off.  

Sometimes I get so hung up on what others might have to say about me, and what I'm doing that I am afraid to write. It goes through phases but in the end, I write for me, this is my personal blog. When I am unedited I get some of the most inspiring responses. Just the other day I got a message from a friend who is going to be driving cross country solo and camping alone! I was so excited to be able to share some advice/ stories with her that I figured and know she is not the only one so I wanted to share what I have learned. 

I have spent a lot of time in my head. Working things out. Figuring out who I am, what drives me. What I’m passionate about. Thinking about the best way to say something, the most efficient way to act or do or make. I get so far into my head. I get stuck there. It takes me a long time, longer than most people I think, to move from thought into action. Sometimes we need to knock the wind out of ourselves and we need to  push ourselves past the deliberation of the mind in order to do them. The line between letting an idea marinate and choosing to procrastinate on something is a very, very thin one. Waiting can be helpful– it can be the germination time you need. But we get away too often with putting off our great ideas by saying we’re not ready.

 

 

Embarking on a new project, idea or chapter is exciting and there isn’t a reason to wait. Get out of your head and go for it! We all are searching for this perfect balance, and it does not really exist. Trust- Trust is what you need to GO BIG. Trust yourself and you will find successes, this is what I am slowly learning.