Outdoor Adventure Empowers Me Because _______

“Outdoor adventure empowers me because ______.” We’re working with Outdoor Women’s Alliance on Instagram this week to explore the relationship between outdoor adventure and empowerment. To get things started, we provided seven photos and quotes by OR Athlete Ambassadors. Each day in each post the community will be invited to chime in and give their own answers to the question. We’ll be hand picking and highlighting some standout responses at the end of the week and awarding Echo Hoodies ($59) to the authors.

Definition of empower - make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

If you’ve ever felt empowered by outdoor adventure, we strongly encourage participating! Give OWA a follow, pick any day and contribute. There’s no wrong answer. Looking for inspiration? We present these seven awesome answers by OR Athlete Ambassadors.

Jessica Baker (@SkiDiva) writes, “Outdoor adventure empowers me because it allows me to utilize all my senses and hard skills to make critical decisions in the mountains and wild spaces. Through this heightened awareness and connection to the environment, I tap into my most confident yet humble self.  Outdoor adventure nurtures the leadership and strength within me to help empower and inspire others as well.”  Pictured - (@skidiva) on an early morning ski tour near Icefall Lodge, BC. Photo by Doug Marshall (@elphotogrande)

Regan Kennedy (@ReganMKennedy) writes, "Outdoor adventure empowers me because I see things I never thought existed. It humbles me to the point where I have nothing left to do but push my boundaries. When I reach my goals, I realize anything is possible. Then I reach higher. It’s my playground and it is limitless". Pictured - @ReganMKennedy on The Shark (V10) in Rocklands, South Africa. Photo by Nathan Gehardt

Sheldon Kerr (@SheldonKerr) writes, “Outdoor adventure empowers me because it shows us that we are so much more than the sum of our parts. The gals I adventure with bring out capacities in me that only true partnerships in extreme environments can. Execute a 48-hour foodless ski traverse through the Glacier Bay wilds to escape a storm?  Lead a rock pitch a full number grade above my ability...in the dark? These feats are only possible because of the company I keep and the high stakes of our chosen adventures.” Pictured - @SheldonKerr reporting for duty in front of the day’s objective; an unskied line on Super Cub Peak in Alaska’s Wrangell St. Elias Park. Photo by Krystle Wright (@KrystleJWright)

Sarah Hueniken @Huens writes, “Outdoor Adventure empowers me because it teaches me to trust my decisions and my judgment. The direct consequences and rewards from my actions are the most enthralling and committed form of learning.” Pictured - @Huens belaying the first pitch on Whiteman Falls (WI 6) in the Canadian Rockies. Photo by Forest Woodward (@Forest_Woodward)

Beth Rodden (@BethRodden) writes, “Outdoor Adventure empowers me because it allows me to pursue my passion of climbing. I've always loved sports, but my small stature limited my progression with them. When I found climbing, I found an activity that I not only loved, but didn't matter what size I was. Climbing has taken me all over the world and introduced me to people and cultures I never would have encountered otherwise. My love for the mountains and the outdoors allows me to live my life to the fullest.” Pictured - @BethRodden on Moby Dick (5.9) at the base of El Cap in Yosemite. Photo by Corey Rich (@CoreyRichProduction)

Jewell Lund @Jewell_Lund writes, “Outdoor adventure empowers me because success is not guaranteed. Weather, conditions, terrain; we must align ourselves with our environment, and everything outside the moment falls away.” Pictured @Jewell_Lund on a wandering climb of Sundial Peak in the Wasatch Mountains, UT. Photo by Matt Hage (@HagePhoto)

Madaleine Sorkin (@madaleinesorkin) writes, “Outdoor adventure empowers me because I get to practice being a capable, confident person with feelings (excitement, apathy, sadness, fear, calm) interacting deliberately with unknown outcomes. I like to choose powerful, physical landscapes that intimidate and yet inspire me toward connection with myself, the place and the people I’m adventuring with. Climbing reminds me how to choose appropriate challenges, be honest and push my perceived limits. Each time I move, I practice staying focused and present on the task at hand. I learn to open to an experience and be responsible for my own and my partner’s wellbeing. An adventure always holds a question and I always aim to fiercely and compassionately engage with it. Pictured - @MadaleineSorkin on Excommunication (5.13a) on the Priest Formation in Castle Valley UT.Photo by Jeremiah Watt. (@MiahWatt)