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CHAPTER: Ogden, UT
FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Hiking
DAY JOB: ICU Nurse
Just 8 months ago my husband approached me on a Saturday morning to tell me he was having an affair. I knew we were in a “slump” but this news sent shock waves through me. I had spent the last 21 years married to this man ... raised two children with him ... he was my first boyfriend and the love of my life. After 24 hours of anger and silence I told him we could work through this. Six days later he decided to move out. I felt my life disintegrating. I cried and begged him not to leave, promised to be a better wife and pleaded that he not tell anyone the real reason why. Our daughter was 18 and taken aback at her dad moving out. She seemed to accept the answer we gave her that we had some issues to work on. But the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. She kept asking me why and my answer was always the same: marriage is complicated – I love your dad – we will be ok. I tried so hard to hide my anguished tears. Eventually she confronted me and said she knew he’d had an affair and didn’t appreciate me lying to her. When I reluctantly confirmed her suspicion, she became angry and chastised me for wanting to work it out with him. She judged me. And shortly after, she moved out. Now I was all alone. No husband. No children. Just me and my dog. I had never felt more alone than I did then. In time, I mustered the courage to sell the house and file for divorce. These were two vital steps toward me discovering my strength and independence. But I was still stuck – soothing myself with tears and alcohol. Instead of allowing myself to continue to wallow in self-pity, I joined a CrossFit gym and started hiking. I have never been athletic or outdoorsy, and I’m scared of heights. I’ve never even been camping! Hiking was very scary for me at times, especially as I ventured out on steeper, longer and less populated hikes. This may seem a small feat for some, but for me the fear of being alone, falling, encountering a snake ... it was all very overwhelming. But I continued to push myself and ultimately mustered the courage to hike Lewis Peak solo. I cannot describe the accomplishment I felt – the sense that I can do hard things, it’s ok to be alone and that the strength I need to do well in this life has always been inside of me. I’ve lost a total of 66 pounds, rebuilt my relationship with my daughter, and continued to hike – sometimes alone and sometimes with friends who I have encouraged to take up the activity. My new favorite quote: Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. – Unknown
By Jennifer Davis-Flynn
Next time you’re hiking the trails, mountain biking, paddling, skiing…take a look around. Who do you see? Does everyone look the same?
Outdoor brand catalogs and enthusiast magazines show us countless images of young, white, skinny yoga chicks, ripped female climbers, and a whole lotta dudes. And,...
By Elisa Hindes
Nowadays it pays to be frugal when packing your suitcase for travel. Be it for work or for fun, it’s likely you’re going to be paying for that suitcase and you need to maximize your space. Work related travel is often easier because it’s brief...