Podcast: It's Okay to be a Beginner in the Outdoors

Hello! 

I loved this conversation I had with Martha Rosenstein on the Outdoor Explorer Podcast! We highlight overcoming barriers to getting started with outdoor adventuring, remembering what it's like to be a beginner again, and how to build functional strength at home in anticipation of winter sports.

The topics we covered include: 

  • What is a mental health informed fitness trainer?
  • Sarah's journey into mental health and fitness world
  • Anti-Bro Culture
  • How can we do better when it comes to creating an inclusive outdoor rec community?
  • Weakest link syndrome
  • Progression of new skills
  • Functional Strength and Adventuring 
  • Defining Summer Strong and Ski Babes 
  • Getting Started in Backcountry Adventures
  • Self-Awareness in navigating nutrition 

I hope you will have a listen and that you enjoy the conversation! If you have thoughts or any of these topics resonated, I'd love to hear from you

You can find the episode in a couple...

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Podcast: Building a Strong Body & Mind

Hey there! 

I recently had the opportunity to have a chat with on the Connect with Sheila Botelho Podcast. Sheila is a certified health coach,  lifestyle entrepreneur, and mom of two, best known for her online wellness programs, mentoring, and self-love passion. Her podcast focuses on how to connect to your soul's calling and take action on it. 

We covered a lot of ground in this short interview, and I hope you'll enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed chatting with Sheila! 

The title of this podcast episode is: Building a Strong Body & Mind

Topics covered include: 

  • My role models for the active life I now live: 3:57
  • How I combined my passion for the outdoors and mental health and started my business: 5:16
  • Cultivating mental strength: 10:26
  • Luc and mine's traverse of the Western Brooks Range: 17:09
  • Gaining courage to step into new experiences: 18:56
  • How to put the nervous system to work for us: 22:41
  • The evolution of faith in my life: 30:50...
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Arctic Refuge 2020

Luc and I had lots of ideas about potential summer trips for 2020, but when COVID hit and rural villages across Alaska shut down-- with rightful concerns about limited medical infrastructure and intergenerational trauma from the Spanish Flu-- we knew we needed to adapt our recreation plans to keep us self-supported, out of villages & on the road system.

Luc put his trip-planning skills to work and came up with a ~350 mile loop that started & ended on the Haul Road, got us out to the Sadlerochit Mountains (which we'd wanted to explore since we floated past them in our 2017 Arctic Refuge Traverse) and incorporated a food drop that some friends of ours already had planned. We pulled in Will Koeppen (the pics in this post are Will's, & I'd encourage reading the daily journal entries he posted on his Instagram, starting here) and hit the road.

My biggest take-away from this trip was how well the nervous system and mind/body...

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We know how to hunker down

What a world we find ourselves in! At the moment of writing this (March 29, 2020) people around the globe are social distancing, taking shelter in place, and hunkering down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We're isolated, out of our normal routines, and in a time of huge uncertainty in our world.

[Also a huge shout out to those in critical operations who can not work from home and are on the front lines of the pandemic. Thank you for your work.] 

It's a global experience that those of us in the north know a lot about. We know about isolation, spending lots of time inside, not knowing how long the storm will last, and the impact that leaves us with. We know about cabin fever. We just came off a long, dark winter, and survived pretty much intact.

   

Of course it's also true that while similarities exist, this is also very different from a typical winter isolation. For many of us, winter hunkering down involves potlucks, tea with friends, game...

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Nervous System 101

 

I have a webinar coming up on Wednesday 3/11 about how nervous system health impacts our workouts, adventures, relationships, and our daily lives.

This is a topic I've been diving DEEP into in my own study -- & life -- in the last couple of years, and I'm excited to share what I've been learning with you.

Thankfully our nervous system is good at learning too, which is part of what makes it so interesting to work with. We can train our nervous system to work for us -- and teach it a new way if it's been overreacting. Super cool and impactful stuff. I'll share my favorite tools with you and give you an opportunity to experience a couple of them in the training.

Find more about the Wednesday training here

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Are you at risk for an ACL Injury?

injury prevention knees Feb 10, 2020
 

How are your knees these days?

I've got a couple friends who are struggling with knee injuries at the moment, so the subject of healthy knees has been heavy on my mind. I know how devastating it can be to have a knee injury - or an injury of any kind, for that matter - so I'm hoping today's video will help you assess the health of your knees and more specifically assess if you're at risk for an ACL injury. 

This is a personal passion topic for me, because when I was in High School, I tore BOTH of my ACLs with a couple months of each other. ‍ 

It was a low point for me, for sure (Read: I was heartbroken). But luckily my surgeries went well, I was able to rehab and re-strengthen successfully, and I've been able to be as active as I want (including playing rugby, running, skiing, backpacking, etc.) with no issues ever since.

My experience has made me super passionate about helping other people PREVENT injuries like mine, though, which is what the video I...

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Western Brooks Range Traverse

In June 2019, my husband Luc Mehl, our friend Josh Mumm, and I set off on a three-week traverse across the Western third of Alaska's Brooks Range. Luc and I had traversed the two other thirds of the Brooks Range in previous summer trips, and were curious to see what we'd find on this final and most remote section.

We started on the Ambler River, on a drainage we'd floated past on a previous trip and had wanted to check out at the time. Then it was raining, cold, and the Ambler was a flooded muddy brown color, so even though we were tempted to stop we didn't. This time it was pretty different! 

 

Luc & I had done some walking along the Noatak River a few years back in the worst tussocks we'd ever seen, so we were mentally prepared for slow and tricky travel. Incredibly we found the opposite -- lots of nice hard, flat-ish ground, and much brush. 

But the best part was that the further west we traveled the more caribou trails we ran into. By the...

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Warmup & Mobility for Pregnancy

 

Pregnant folks, this one's for you~ 

Finding the right kinds of movement for your body as it adjust throughout pregnancy can be a moving target. That's why I recommend that all of my pregnant clients develop a daily mobility routine that feels good in their body and can act as a bit of a barometer to check-in with yourself. How are my hips today? Can I connect to my pelvic floor? Any new aches or pains? What's feeling good?

Notes about pelvic floor work: pregnancy is a beautiful opportunity to learn to contract & relax your pelvic floor muscles, though I'm a firm believer that there are huge benefits for everyone, especially women, in connecting with their pelvic floor. Pelvic floor work can help with anxiety (when we relax it, we send a relaxation signals through the whole nervous system), trauma recovery, insomnia, and digestive health, among other things.

Now that you're building a baby, though, it's extra important that you start solidifying your...

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Sore Hips from Backpacking?

 

Hip soreness during and after a long day backpacking can be a real bummer! It's a very normal occurrence, though, due to the stress we put our hips under when carrying our camping gear & food weight around in our backpacks, all while hiking around the mountains.

With a heavy pack, the weight's got to go somewhere... and in the process of trying to save our shoulders, we might be passing on the problem to our hips. The good thing is that our hips, more than our shoulders, are designed to carry weight. But sometimes after long days of this kind of thing, the hips also get tired, achy, and sore.

I've been personally having problems with sore hips after long backpacking days, and when I mentioned the issue to my friend & Physical Therapist Shasta Hood, he said to try thinking about it as an IT band issue. When we tighten our backpack's hip belt, we're  also pressing at the area that the IT band moves through, in effect shortening the IT band.

...

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Four Common Summer Training Mistakes

 

This video is based on the super-common things I hear from people that send little red flags up in my brain every time. I'd love for you to check it out and let me know if you've been guilty of any of them! 

Summer Strong is one of the ways to nip all of the issues in the above video, in one fell swoop... and since we're starting up tomorrow I'm here to remind you one last time that it's awesome and I'd love to have you in the group. 

Learn about Summer Strong & get yourself signed up here!

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