Thank you so much and happy birthday!
Doug Robinson set us up.
In 2011, I was air lifted out of the back country with a scorching fever and blood pressure verging on comatose; two and a half weeks later I was confined to a hospital bed when Doug came to visit. “I’m losing an entire Sierra season,” I whined, still unable to stand unsupported. “What am I gonna do?”
“Write about it, of course.” He smiled and sent an email introducing me to the editors of Adventure Sports Journal.
I wrote my first piece, High Sierra Fever, before I left the hospital. I think I’ve written at least one piece for every issue since then. Over the past decade, ASJ has helped me grow as a writer, a wilderness athlete and a person.
Cathy, Matt and Peter have allowed me the freedom to explore my passions and the guidance to tackle unfamiliar topics. Together we have influenced legislation, broken environmental stories and amplified BIPOC voices, stitching together a love of human-powered adventure in wild nature with a commitment to environmental and social justice.
I started out writing about my ridiculous adventures in the back-country, and having a monthly assignment forced me to explore deeper and engage in ever wilder adventures. As a female wilderness rat, I rarely felt respected for my exploits until I started broadcasting about them in the ASJ’s pages. Readers’ responses and recognition gave me confidence in my own abilities and helped me move beyond self-centered stories.
My curiosity blossomed with ASJ’s encouragement and I started including natural history and native perspectives in stories, seeking to expand the voices ASJ represents and the topics we cover. Matt and Cathy were with me every step of the way, even paying me to drive to South Dakota and write about the Standing Rock encampment. My articles began to incorporate the spiritual dimension of our connection to, love for, and adventures in wild places. Each issue I profile the work of people and organizations who are working to preserve and protect what we all love.
Now as I write about the wild lands I love and the activities that have brought me solace and excitement there, I explore what I can do to give back to these places that have given me so much. I hope to inspire readers to do the same.
If you’ve found a fraction of the inspiration and growth from ASJ that I have, please take a moment at their 20th birthday and ponder the fragility and value of the written word in this age of instagram influencers. Consider passing your copy to a friend, buying a subscription for an out-of-state family member, making a donation or encouraging your favorite outdoor business to advertise. Together we can enjoy another 20 years of Adventure Sports Journal.