What about the 10k project excites you the most?
Sharing my love of hiking with other women in my life, and hopefully their daughters, is my biggest motivation for this project. All too often, we’re told it’s not safe for us to hike, that we need to be in big groups, that we don’t have the right gear, that it’s not safe for our kids … society and our own fears are masters at finding excuses to not get outside and explore what Mother Nature has to offer. I’m excited to help my friends overcome those fears and show them how kid-friendly hiking can be along with exploring some trails *without* our children too.

What role does hiking and the outdoors play in your life? How has it shaped who you are? 
As a kid, family vacations were always camping because my parents enjoyed it and it was most affordable for us as a single-income family of six living in northern California. I was a Girl Scout too, so hiking and camping was just part of my upbringing, even well into my teen years. I grew up believing there was magic in the forest and in the mountains, and I still find myself drawn to that belief.

Once I finished college, moved out, and was adulting full-time, I stopped hiking and camping. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but one that gradually happened as work and a long commute took over my life. Marriage and my first child happened and after a decade of being away from the outdoors, we had an opportunity to move from southern California to Utah and an opportunity for me to become a WAHM. The outdoor playground that Utah has to offer was close by and easily accessible, but I had been so long separated from the outdoors, I found myself afraid to go exploring, especially with a toddler in tow.

When Hike it Baby came into my life, my second baby was an infant and I met new friends who had the same desires and fears as me. We gave each other courage to explore and to push ourselves, both physically and mentally. I hiked in the snow for the first time in my life and explored waterfalls and lakes and panoramic vistas that I might’ve never seen on my own. Once again, the outdoors became a place for me to find balance and peace when my life gets a little hectic or overwhelming, and it’s even more wonderful to share those feelings with my two boys.

Do you have a hiking story you want to share with us? 

On the afternoon of Black Friday last year, I lead a short hike to Buffalo Point on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. I have wanted to photograph the sunset from Antelope Island for years, but timing it right with both of my kids in school has been tricky since it’s an hour away from home. For #optoutside last year, I added it to our Hike it Baby calendar. I was honored that more than a few families joined me and we had fun exploring the craggy landscape that Buffalo Point has to offer. It’s a fantastic hike for kids who love to climb. After we had our snacks, Mother Nature treated us to a pretty epic sunset. It’s not every day that a sunset makes our preschoolers stop to admire its beauty.

We are so excited to welcome Alex and the 99 other Trailblazers who have signed on to help lead us in inspiring women all year! Read about our Trailblazers here

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