Posted on March 7, 2022 by Reed Naliboff
We believe everyone who carries one of our paddle boards is special and brings something different to the table. As publications come out with headlines about the “top women this year,” we want to celebrate all the women who may not be on a national headline today, but who no doubt inspire us to redefine what time outdoors looks like.
As we enter Women’s History Month, we want to celebrate the resilience and spirit of adventure that women bring to the outdoors, which is why we spoke with some very inspiring women on their adventures outdoors, and what that looks like. Breaking barriers and stereotypes starts here.
Brooke is an outdoor adventurer who inspires us and co-founder of Wildkind, an organization geared toward helping families level up their sense of adventure outdoors. Something we find powerful and inspiring about Brooke is her perspective on the outdoors, and how much we need it as human beings.
When we asked Brooke what her favorite part about paddle boarding was, she said:
“SUP has helped me fall in love with being on the water, and look at adventure through a new lens. I love exploring alpine lakes with my kids, and spending a meaningful afternoon doing “nothing”. We love to use the Scout because it’s so stable! I love having a kiddo or two on my board and “searching for dragons” on the lake.”
If we all took the time to slow down and “look for dragons” in our own unique way, we could learn a thing or two about redefining time outdoors. Maybe your next adventure is hiking a new mountaintop, or maybe it’s a calm paddle on the water, but whatever it is, it’s an adventure nonetheless.
When we asked Brooke when she feels the most empowered, she told us it’s when she learns a new skill, adding that she hopes to take a Wilderness First Responder training course in the next couple of years. We think the key here is trying something new. It’s what keeps us feeling alive, and reminds of the grandeur of our humanity. Again: we’re more capable than we think.
For Brooke, her biggest accomplishment to date has been raising her three kids and bonding with them through playtime outdoors. She says it takes a lot of mental and physical energy, such as when she takes her kids skiing, but she’s proud of herself, and we are too. Passing on the art of adventure to children is something beautiful and the gift that keeps on giving.
To other women who are just starting to venture outdoors, or who are seeking to level up their spirit of adventure, Brooke says: “Just get outside and find that love for fresh air. Being “outdoorsy” can be as simple as reading a book under a tree, walking your dog on a beautiful mellow path, or visiting your local pond/reservoir and having a picnic. Just spend some time outside and let yourself get curious about somewhere or something new you’d like to explore!”
As for her advice to moms and the value of spending time outdoors, she says:
“I’m the very best version of myself as a mother when I’m outside. I’m more patient, playful, and creative. Research shows that unstructured time playing outside is wildly beneficial to children—I believe it’s just as important for mamas too!”
Another outdoor adventurer we look up to is Sarah, who left the city life and her office job behind to follow a dream to live a more wholesome life on a sailboat. Traveling the world with her husband and their dog since 2015, she’s partnered with ISLE ever since and has taken her inflatable paddle boards on her travels all around the world.
As an empowered woman, Sarah leads a life that redefines what time on the water looks like, daring to follow her dreams by taking big risks. She cites her biggest accomplishment to date the decision to quit her job, buy a boat, learn to sail, and travel the world, recognizing that it truly is scary to leave your comfort zone to chase a dream. We also recognize that following your dreams or trying new activities can be scary, so we asked her what her best piece of advice was for finding motivation:
Like everyone else I also go through moments of struggling to get motivated. I find that arranging with a friend to do an activity together helps me find the energy and make sure I actually get up and go do it. Like when I say I’m going to do yoga with a friend the next morning, I feel bad not getting out of bed since I know there’s someone expecting to see me. The hardest part is getting up, once I’m up and ready it just gets easier. Also, the hardest part is to start, once you manage to do anything for 3-5 days in a row it becomes a habit and it’s easier to find the motivation.”
That sense of motivational practice has led her to try daring adventures such as swimming with humpback whales in Tahiti and Mo’orea, French Polynesia! She says that she once had an encounter where a mom and calf swam inside the bay they were anchored in, so she put her SUP in the water, placed her dog on it, and they paddled towards them: “Both came out of the water to breathe and check us out. I could almost touch them. It was magical!”
It’s this same sense of magic that keeps us inspired to try new things and new destinations, especially on a paddle board. As for what makes Sarah feel empowered, is how comfortable she feels in the water now. Having guests and friends visit Sarah and her husband on their sailboat, they’re able to share the art of adventure with everyone who comes to visit. They do activities such as snorkeling, diving, and going for a paddle to see marine life up close.
As for her favorite part about paddle boarding, Sarah says that a paddle board allows her to see so many little corners of different anchorages that are too shallow for the dinghy. She also talked about the experience of getting to see marine life up close, without having the noise of the engine to scare the animals away.
“My favorite is def any of the inflatable ones, super light and easy for me to put in the water and back on the boat. I also find it much more stable, especially if I’m taking our dog on a paddle with me. Sometimes my husband jokes and makes the comparison that the dinghy is now our car and the SUP is our bike. So when we wanna feel healthy and feel like we’ve done something active we go out on our SUPs instead of the dinghy to do anything that we need to do, be it go for dinner on another friend’s boat, take our dog to run at the beach, run errands, etc.”
Living in the beautiful state of Washington, is Sasha Washut, an outdoor enthusiast, mom, and adventurer. When we asked Sasha a few questions about what her time outdoors looks like, we were left nothing short of inspired of what women can achieve if they set their mind to it.
Although Sasha loves paddle boarding, skiing, running, and biking, she says hiking is her favorite outdoor activity to do, having started 10 years ago. Hiking, as many may know, often means scaling new heights, overcoming new fears, and realizing you really are capable of more. For women who are just starting to venture outdoors or who don’t feel as adventurous anymore, Sasha’s biggest piece of advice is that it’s okay to ask questions! Surrounded by community, and having found some of her greatest travel friends through social media, she encourages women to connect with people who are also willing to go out and venture outdoors.
Beyond that, Sasha has hiked Mt. Rainier and has even gone snorkeling and hiking in the Virgin Islands (St. John), but we wanted to know, what makes her feel empowered? Sasha notes that she feels most empowered when standing on top of a mountain with other women, or people that she loves—as it helps keep her motivated, and makes hiking even more fun. It’s safe to say that when women partner together, hand in hand, to conquer new dreams, goals, and mountaintops (in a metaphorical and literal sense) it redefines what adventure looks like to each person.
Nonetheless, Sasha cites her greatest accomplishment as a woman has been becoming a mother, and to other mothers, Sasha offers this piece of advice:
“If being outdoors is something you love doing, keep doing it! Don’t give it up just because you have kids. Bring them along (yes it will look very different!!) and make outdoor memories with them. But also be okay with leaving them behind and being outdoors for yourself—you need it.”
Sasha’s advice inspires us to never give up on catering to our sense of adventure, whether that’s on a mountaintop, or on a paddle board (her favorite is the Pioneer). She says there’s something magical about being on the water, and we couldn’t agree more.
As these women have shown us throughout the years and continue to do so: anything is possible. We hope every woman out there knows just how much she is capable of, and just how much she inspires us to redefine time outdoors, with a renewed sense of adventure.
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