We believe in the power of grassroots leadership. This means we strive to empower local women to step up and become leaders within their communities. If you want a life of adventure, don’t wait for someone else to create it for you. In our opinion, you don’t need a fancy title to bring people together, you need passion and initiative. Our hope is that you will use the AMI platform as a starting point to connect with local woman and begin planning your own events. And if the local community hasn’t developed yet, build it! It only takes one stoked mama to create a community that could have a profound and lasting impact.
Take Seattle-based mama, RyAnn Peverley, for instance… Over the past two years, this mama has gone above and beyond to build a beautiful, strong community of adventure-loving mamas. Because of her continued dedication, she was made a 2017 AMI Ambassador. This summer RyAnn helped to coordinate a mama’s weekend hut trip. RyAnn, along with Ashley Scheider, Taryn Barnes, Deanna Curry, Madi Bacon, and Alison Dietz, met at the trail head and embarked on a 4 mile hike up to a cabin sitting atop a small peak. For some of the women, it was their first time backpacking and for many, it was the first time away from their families since becoming mothers. They shared lots of laughs, napped in the sun, took boss pictures, and dubbed ‘FUCK’ the official word of the weekend.
We were so inspired by their experience. It was a beautiful example of how grassroots leadership looks at its best. Our hope is that in sharing their story, more women will feel empowered to step up and find their own leadership voices. All it takes is a little passion and initiative.
PC: Ashley Scheider
How did you prepare to be away from your family?
Deanna: I had to do a little planning to make the trip work. My husband had plans on one of the days I would be gone so we had to make sure grandma could take over. Other than that I was so ready for this trip. I didn’t feel any mom guilt for being away for a night. Those guilty feelings quickly went away earlier this year when I began to realize how important self-care is and how bad I need it to be a better mom.
Tell us about a funny/memorable moment during the trip.
Alison: The whole weekend was wonderful, but the most memorable moment for me was our evening photo session. Ashely is such a talented photographer and her excitement over the nighttime stars + Mt Rainier pictures was contagious.The funniest moments were when we were trying to capture the light word pics.
PC: Ashley Scheider
FUCK: Known to be covered up with frick, fack, friggen, fuuuuuh…dge, frog, duck, fart, and many other fun words when you have kids.
I didn’t really start using ‘fuck’ much until I was in labor with my second child. The word rang through that hospital like church bells on a Sunday. Then from there on, it just continued to be the most appropriate word for our crazy life.
‘Fuck’ can be used in all sorts of situations. It’s a wonderful word.
‘Fuck’ is used when you forget to lay your clothes out the night before a hike, or forget to switch the laundry over and have to resort to swimsuit bottoms. ‘Fuck’ is muttered when your kids dump an entire bin full of rice all over the floor then spread it around the house. ‘Fuck’ is used when you realize midway through your hike that you forgot to shut the garage door. ‘Fuck’ is appropriate when the kids are wild, jumping off furniture, and climbing tables when you’re trying to make them lunch, then someone does a faceplant.
On our trip to high hut, with just the mamas, I let out all my pent up use of the word ‘fuck’. There were no kids, no little ears, no copy cats, and no 3 year olds there to rat me out…
Because of all these reasons, ‘fuck’ was dubbed the word of the weekend… So we spelled it out, because we could. And we killed it. –Ashley Scheider
Were there any especially challenging moments or points during the weekend?
Taryn: There were personal challenges and personal celebrations. On the trip, I was 10 weeks pregnant with our current baby, but… previously I was 10 weeks along when we lost our baby in an earlier pregnancy. I was hopeful, but also so nervous. The trip was a great distraction and separation from everyday life. It was good to get out and adventure with other mamas.
What advice do you have for a new mama who is unsure about how to blend motherhood and adventure?
RyAnn:– I think there is a misconception that once you become a mom, your whole world must now be centered on your family. And while that is true to some degree, your health and care is part of that world. How can you
fully focus and give what your family and child need of you if don’t take the time to give some back to yourself? It is totally possible to blend adventure and motherhood, it just looks a little different now. Just remember, you have a great new adventure buddy to share in all the fun!
What made you want to join in on this experience?
Alison: I wanted to join this experience for 2 reasons. First, I wanted to meet like-minded women in the area. Second, I wanted to learn of new hikes/hut trips to bring my family to.
What does self-care mean to you as a mother?
Deanna: This year I began the journey to find myself again. Not as a mother or wife, but just me. I started making time for myself to work out, eat healthy, and go to the spa and get my hair done. Fulfilling these basic needs made me feel so much better about myself. I’ve also been finding new hobbies that interest me and make me feel alive and happy. Every month I go out for girl’s nights or hikes and being able to connect with friends and talk about life and our crazy toddlers helps. I feel less stressed and recharged when I can take a moment to breath and just be me.
PC: Deanna Curry
Why is adventure a good way to pursue self-care?
Madi: Adventure is great medicine for cleansing the soul! When I’m in the middle of the forest and all I can hear is the sounds of the birds, and the wind rustling the trees, I feel so at peace in the moment. Stresses of deadlines and responsibilities melt away. I gain new perspective and come out feeling refreshed. That’s the kind of self care that helps me become a better me.
How does pursuing adventure translate into motherhood?
Madi: As a mother, I continually strive to teach my daughter the values I believe are important in making a good person. On the days I feel like I’m failing, we go on an adventure. Nature can teach us both. We learn a sense of wonderment, a way to be quiet listeners, and a way to explore and ask questions. Even on a hard day, I can turn around and feel like a good mommy after a nice hike in the woods.
Is there anything about motherhood that gave you a ‘leg-up’ for this sort of trip?
RyAnn: I think the planning aspect was helped by my need for lists when I’m getting ready to head out with the kids. When planning this event, I tried to think of all the helpful tips I could share and, of course, created a packing list and set up a potluck to ease any stress that the other ladies might be having.
How did the group dynamic change from beginning to end?
Taryn: In the beginning, people sorta stuck with who they knew but by the end of the hike up everyone was in conversation with one another and building and growing relationships. It was fun to be a part of and witness.
PC: Ashley Scheider
From photographer Ashley Scheider:
Tell me more about your photography style? What are you trying to capture?
My photography is very adventure-lifestyle. I have been a Hike it Baby photographer for about 3 years, and I like to capture families and kids in nature doing their thing, whether that be discovering new things in nature, hugging a tree, or hiking to their favorite waterfall or mountain view. I try to shoot subtly while hiking because I don’t want the camera to interfere with my own time spent with nature.
Why do you pursue photography?
I pursue photography because I enjoy looking back on the memories I made with my kids, family, and friends. I love to capture their emotions when they’ve accomplished something tremendous themselves. Say a summit they’d never thought they’d be able to reach or their first set of family photos. Being able to provide them that, having fun while doing it, and seeing their faces light up brings me so much joy.
Why do you enjoy photographing nature-based activities?
I enjoy photographing nature because being outside has significantly helped in my recovery as a co-dependent and was an incredible outlet when I suffered from post partum depression after both of my kids. My camera is heavy… but it’s been so worth it in the end. [I love that my kids will be able to] look at photos and remember all of the adventures we’ve had together.