Getting outside is amazing and usually its own reward but SHARING that fun with others always tends to make an experience better. It also helps with motivation when you’re feeling lazy, tired, overwhelmed…or perhaps just down right grumpy; a state of mind many of my local friends are feeling at the moment with this utter lack of winter.
It’s a pretty obvious statement but one that should be mentioned: surround yourself with supportive, active people if you want to be more active! It’s truly the easiest way to become – and stay – active. When your friends and family want to get outside it sure makes it easier to get out there. Having that network of active friends who understand and appreciate the benefits of getting outdoors helps create that focus of making outdoor activity a priority, especially for social events. Knowing that even if your little mountain town is presently facing a depressingly low amount of snow, you still have friends that just want to get outside and make the best of it, in whatever means are possible.
I think one of the best attributes we have as women is our ability to be supportive and encouraging to others in a positive environment. Women learn differently and we respond to stress and experiences differently then men (that doesn’t mean we can’t have amazing and supportive active men in our lives, it just means that having a supportive network of female friends can be an incredible tool). Making new friends with those similar interests and priorities means you don’t have to “convince” people to get out; in fact, you’ll likely already have an invitation to get out and do something fun. And once you make a couple of really great active friends, that network seems to grow exponentially.
This past weekend was a friend’s stagette. It could have been the typical party of staying in and playing ridiculous games or perhaps organizing a pub crawl but that is just not the style of this bride-to-be. The stagette was booked at a (rustic) backcountry cabin which required those who could attend to own a backcountry ski or snowboarding touring set-up along with relevant camping gear. At one point, during the busiest time on Saturday, it was pointed out that there were 14 women present who all owned a touring set-up. It was actually quite incredible to realize. Included in this group were a number of moms, truly blowing away the myth that when you have kids your active life has to end. Not all of the moms could take the 2 nights away (and there were definitely many comments on sore and swollen boobs!), but it was great to see them make the effort to come out for the day. It also speaks to the supportive people they have in their lives (husbands, family, friends). I was so stoked to be surrounded by a large number of Awesome Active Women. The greatest part about this group of women was the wide range of physical and technical skill, and yet, we all managed to have a blast. It wasn’t about shredding the gnarliest line, it was about being outside, in the sun, having fun.
If you follow #activewomencanada on Instagram, you’ll notice my photo from Sunday evening was actually a little acknowledgement from my husband (he thinks active women rock). His support and interest in outdoor activity means our vacations are typically focused around active trips and our “dates” tend to be about doing something active. His support and encouragement gave me the confidence to begin this website. Your friends and family should be supportive and, if they’re not, it may be time to ask yourself why they are still in your life. The people you surround yourself with should bring you up, encourage you, and make you feel great…especially when embarking on something new (such as trying a new sport!).
So take a look at your network and really see who’s involved. There are tons of in-person groups/classes/training, both informal and formal, that are available for almost any type of activity you may have an interest in. And if you can’t find a physical group within your community, you can definitely find an online forum to support you (here’s my shout out to the Facebook Group Outdoor Women).
**Content Update: Just a little note about the interviews for Awesome Active Women. I’m just having some technical or logistical issues with the format I’ll be posting them in. At the moment, I’m committing to doing one feature Awesome Active Woman per month, unless time permits more .