Bad-ass Inspiring Women #2

 

There are some amazing, strong, inspiring women out there and we want to feature a few that inspire us everyday!! Meet 7 awesome ladies getting out there, crushing their goals and living their dreams!!

Jen Segger – Expedition racer, triathlete, training coach, mum.

My career as a competitive athlete began fifteen years ago, as the world of adventure racing reached its zenith. In spite of my strengths in many disciplines gain in adventure races, it was my skills as a distance runner that earned the attention of Salomon Running, and ultimately, a spot on the company’s international running team. The opportunity took me around the globe, toeing the line at some of the world’s most challenging ultras amongst the world’s best runners for over ten years.Today, I am a full time endurance coach through my business “Challenge By Choice”.  I am also an online endurance coach for Run Like a Girl. I am a certified endurance coach, strength coach and holistic sport nutritionalist.

In addition to coaching, I run an indoor cycling studio, a project that I started in 2015 in order to cater to the growing number of bikers in Squamish, BC. I continue to race and travel extensively, and when time permits, I assist my husband Norm Hann in a guiding role with his SUP expeditions. Norm and I have one son Kiel, where we play in the coastal mountains of Squamish BC!

Alex – Ultra runner, skier, adventurer, sports dietician, dog mum

My name is Alex and I’m a weekend warrior from Portland, Oregon. I work 50+ hours a week as a sports dietitian in my private practice and as a Buyer for a local ski shop.

I grew up in Ohio and spent my childhood running around the plains of the Midwest, never fully realizing what cool opportunities and amazing mountains were to my west.

I haven’t always been a runner. I started running for fun in high school and completed a number of marathons. At my D1 college in Ohio, I was able to walk on to the cross country team and ran for a couple years before I ended up quitting due to health issues. Even though I had ran for years, I never really loved it until I discovered trail running. I rescued a stray puppy named Peanut and his endless energy forced me to turn our hikes into trail running just so I could wear him out. We still lived in Ohio at this time, so our trails were quite limited. But we spent our time running all the trails we could find, and we loved every second of them.

It wasn’t until I moved out West to Portland in 2014 where I discovered the endless possibilities that trail running could bring. With Forest Park and the Columbia River Gorge in my backyard, I became really passionate about trail and ultra running. I spend a good amount of time training for ultramarathons and try to do a couple races a year. What I really love though is planning ultra adventure runs, such as circumnavigating volcanoes, combining scrambing with running by piecing together peaks in the North Cascades, or running large chunks of the PCT. Ultrarunning has also helped fuel my passion for fastpacking, which allows me to quickly cover a large amount of ground in a couple days, while still being able to camp out in the mountains. It has become one of my favorite things to do. Training for these adventures during the week can sometimes be tricky to manage with work, so I have started running commuting in order to get my training miles in.

When I’m not running, I spend a lot of my time ski mountaineering and alpine climbing. Because I work full time, I don’t always have as much time to spend outside as I’d like, so this has forced me to become creative with my free time. When the snow is good, I’ve been known to climb Mt Hood and ski down all before work. I live for beautiful sunrises and that crisp, cold mountain air. I also try to make the most out of my weekends – whether that means buying plane tickets and flying somewhere on the “Bucket List,” or traveling up north to the North Cascades to complete a climbing or mountaineering route I’ve had my eyes on.  Keeping a work-life balance is important to me so if I’m not at work, you can bet I’ll be on the trails or skiing off a mountain, making up for all the time I lost from living in Ohio my entire life!
Follow her adventures on IG: @alexborsuk

Hilary – Digital Content creator, photographer, ultra-runner, climber. 

I grew up on a little farm in British Columbia. Tomboyish and outdoorsy, sure, but never an athlete or a runner… at least not until 2013, when I decided to run a 50km (the Squamish 50km!) ultra marathon on pretty much a whim. Let’s just say that was a painful intro to the sport. However, it taught me how incredible it feels to push myself to the absolute limit of how far I think I can go, and I officially fell in love with trails and long distance sufferfests.

In the past few years, my running has taken me to some incredible places around the world, and I’ve continued to push my mountain skills in order to explore more remote areas, adding rock climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing to the list of things I’d rather be doing at any given moment. I’ve also made some pretty awesome friends through running, and I’m lucky to do most of my training with a strong, badass group of “unicorns”, who all believe that when women build each other up instead of competing and trying to tear each other down, we are all better for it.

I ran my first 100 miler last year (well actually 120miler, but when you get to that distance who’s counting??), and it was a pretty powerful experience and certainly something that I never dreamed I could accomplish several years ago. I am running running another one this year. I also recently quit my job of almost eight years to go back to school full time, and I’m currently studying graphic design and absolutely loving it.

Looking at my life now and four short years ago, I can’t believe where I am now. Life is full of little moments where we can change our course and pursue happiness, so don’t ever let yourself feel stuck where you presently are. We are always evolving, and you can’t keep a badass woman down!
Follow Hilary’s Adventures on IG: @thehilaryann

Laura – Cycler, swimmer, runner, yoga teacher, interior designer, teacher. 

Me and running go way back, so much so to walk sometimes feels a little awkward?! it’s always been my constant through the bad times and my motivator in the good.  Having gone from Irish national level sprinter in my youth to endurance running and biking, to me, it’s not about the distance but the ability to get out there, smile and get lost in the moment (although sometimes I take “getting lost” a little too literally…).

Having qualified for the world 70.3 ironman champs in 2012, a nasty car accident sidelined me. Training regressed to aqua-jogging, progressed to stationary bike upright, to elliptical trainer, yawn!! It was then yoga snuck in, initially I’ll admit as a physical fix but slowly the mental benefits started to seep through. I managed to compete in the worlds, a year later, nowhere near how I’d have liked to but I realized that there were more important things in life and that sometimes it takes slowing down to realize this. I hung up my tri bike and ego (not saying I’ll never take the bike down, but hopefully the ego stays up there!)

Since then I fell into what I really love. I did my yoga teacher training in India, followed by a mountain biking epic in the Himalayas, a couple of years teaching woodwork and design in Australia, running every trail I could find, I finally made my way Squamish BC, where I was inspired by so many amazingly strong ladies (sorry men too, but seriously these ladies are so bad ass!!) where I pushed distances that I was told my knee would never handle again.

Family illness brought me back to Ireland and since returning I realize that once we have the important things in our lives, to me, family, friends, headspace and mountain trails, it really doesn’t matter where life takes us.  I’ve gone back to school to do a masters in architecture in Tiny home living – another inspiration from my BC friends  , working in design and running, biking and yogi-ing . A friend recently said to me that sometimes the best decisions in life are the ones that are made for us – never a truer word. Bring on the next life adventures whatever they might be…

Jami Savage, Family Travel Writer, Canada 

“We’re not going to be friends if you’re going to sit there and pretend that you’re happy.” My friend said. While it had been years since we talked, she could see through my façade. “The Jami I know LOVES the outdoors… why are you giving all that up?”

It was October 2014 and I was in a slump. I had given up everything I was passionate about in order to be a Mom. No more hiking or biking, snowboarding or wakeboarding. Those days were replaced by house cleaning, playdates, PAC meetings, and domestic duties I tried so hard to love. I found myself wearing a lot of hats, but underneath all of it had completely lost myself.

That rude and yet honest comment from my well intentioned friend was exactly the push I needed to evaluate life. I decided that I needed to follow the activities that I was most passionate about, being outdoors, and travelling. And I wanted to it all with my kids. And with that, my blog, Adventure Awaits was born!

For the first time in my life I launched myself with reckless abandonment into a field I knew nothing about, hoping for the best that I would find my path along the way. I quickly became a Blogger, and later refined it into being a Travel Writer. I hit the pavement hard, working 5 am – 11pm every night to grow my business. I worked for free for pretty much the first two years. But with the support of my community as well as a whole bunch of strangers who wanted to share in our journey, we quickly grew into something amazing!

Today our family is established as Family Travel Writers and every day you can see us out exploring our local area, either hiking, biking, snowboarding, or by some other means of adventure! Our blog has taken us across Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, and this year we’ve been able to add Kauai and the East Coast to our list! One of my most treasured blog experiences was my Run Like a Girl Costa Rica retreat that I enjoyed with my Mom! I regularly have to stop and pinch myself as I can’t believe what my new life is like, where I get to go and the things we get to experience. It’s been proof that amazing things can happen when you work hard, follow your dreams, and stay true to yourself!

If you’re looking for inspiring outdoor family travel, including trips and tricks, adventure guides, and places to go, I welcome you to follow us on our Facebook Page or on Instagram. (@FamTravelWriter)

So I ask you this… If a good friend was to ask you, “Are you truly happy” What would your answer be?

Kate- Mom, Wife, Skier, Yoga lover, Runner, Adventure Specialist and Wilderness Badass:)

My name is Kate Wannan and my biggest passion is adventure.  Nothing feels more empowering than facing my fears with a smile on my face and a trembling in my legs. When I go into the wilderness to connect with nature and myself, well…nothing makes me feel more alive.

I have been part of the adventure tourism industry for twenty-one years as a guide in Northern Ontario, British Columbia and all of South America. I operated my own sustainable tourism company for seven years and also managed ecolodges and tour operations in Ecuador and Brazil.  I now work for Wild Woman Expeditions (one of RLAG’s adventure retreat partners) and I will be one of the guides on the upcoming Peru Adventure!

I have just gotten back from the Run Like A Girl Adventure Retreat in Costa Rica and WOW I am feeling inspired.  My physical limits were tested on the 33 km Ena Summit and while climbing this mountain I REALLY got connected with myself, my health, and the present moment. I faced myself head on.  I have always liked to workout and be active but now I have a stronger commitment to my health and I am working hard to be stronger so that I can continue to climb mountains, surf, and climb trees for many more years to come…

I have some pretty big goals for the future. I would like to hike Kilimanjaro, surf the world with my children, and build an Ecolodge in the Brazilian Mat Atlantic Rainforest.  Wish me luck:

IG: Adventurewomankate

Tara Holland – Ultra runner, PhD, Environmental Science professor 

I’ve been running for a loooooong time! I started in high school cross-country and have pretty much never stopped; my distances just kept getting longer and longer. I spent about 10 years training for and running marathons, before moving to BC and falling madly in love with trail and ultra running. I run a lot, but always in balance with my busy job as an Environmental Science professor, which I love. I have always felt a very strong connection with nature – I grew up playing in the forest every day, and that certainly inspired both my career path and my love of running in wild places for hours at a time. I do research into the impacts of climate change on natural and human systems, and also on how we can best educate people about environmental science. I think that trail and mountain running is an incredible gateway for people to experience the natural world in an intimate and personal way, and don’t think it’s a coincidence that our community of runners tends to be, on the whole, environmentally-minded. When you care about something, you are more likely to want to protect it, and this is one of the core principles I use when teaching students about the environment issues facing our society. I even regularly use my running pictures as examples in my classes (Learning about volcanoes today? Here’s a picture from the time my girlfriends and I ran 70k around Mount Hood!). Every day, I’m grateful that my passions for play and work merge together so well.

I also know that running makes me better at my job: aside from the benefits to physical and mental well-being, the side-effects of endurance running include mental strength, confidence, and determination – all of which help me to excel in the sometimes daunting world of academic science, which, like many others, is still largely a male-dominated field. As women, we have so much to gain from gifting ourselves the time to run; to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and know that we will be stronger for it. I love all kinds of running, but there is something really special for me about running for hours in the forest and up and down mountains, especially with girlfriends who inspire, support, and motivate me. I’m a firm believer that what we gain from having a positive relationship with physical exertion, the natural world, and other women can spill over into every aspect of our lives.

To me, that’s what it means to Run Like a Girl. xo

 

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