Georgina Miranda on Choosing Adventure

Banff, Canada. Happiest outside and visiting a part of Canada that was high on my bucket list.

My story…slowly but surely there is more comfort in telling it. I’ve had more joy in wild places, living in a tent for weeks/months at a time, being cold, having trouble breathing, and being stripped from modern day comforts- than within my city comforts. It’s here, without distractions, and without competition, but the one with myself that I connect to a part of myself that can easily get lost in the day to day.

When I think of fuel, fuel to go after dreams, I always think of my time on big mountains. It’s our inner fuel, fire, grit that keeps us going, that gives us the endurance that releases the smiles, even in times of suffering and discomfort. These mountains have taught me so much; they’ve helped me reveal to myself how strong I can be. They’ve taught me focus. They’ve taught me to block out noise. They’ve validated I do not fit in a box and that I do not need to conform to who I “should be”, but rather encouraged me to “just be.”

These experiences have redefined my reality-the girl that couldn’t run a mile 8 years ago can climb hella big mountains now and ski! Yes, I said hella 🙂 Here I stand today having climbed in 6 of the 7 continents and aiming to complete the Explorer Grand Slam by then end of 2017, a feat that approximately only 50 people have completed globally (7 summits and skiing the last degree of the North and South Pole).

Backcountry skiing in Tahoe, thrill seeking smiles!

I’m your unlikely mountaineer and athlete, but that’s been the best part of the journey. Doing things that are unlikely is part of the fun of the adventure and personal growth.

I grew up in LA and was brought up a “city girl” by my Nicaraguan mother and El Salvadorian father. I am the first in my immediate family to not only graduate from college, but also get a master’s degree. I was taught education was my ticket to a different life, not mountains and nature. In reality both were critical to my ticket to a different life. While I am super grateful that I got my “adventure” side from my dad, “adventure” was not a priority or something that was necessarily encouraged growing up.  It somehow always seemed to find me though, more so in my mid-twenties, thank goodness for that!

I often say adventure changes lives; and, I truly believe it, because it changed mine. I have climbed a lot of other “mountains” in my lifetime, from growing up with a manic depressive mother, surviving a painful divorce, breaking trail in the tech and outdoor industry, and climbing the biggest mountain of all: starting a company. In choosing adventure, I was able to heal from a lot of these experiences and also developed this awesome grit to power through the toughest of challenges in life. My prescription to the blues is a nature dose, which is far better than any antidepressant hands down!

It’s all of these factors that ultimately inspired me to start Altitude Seven, an adventure lifestyle media platform that helps a global community of women adventurers and travelers discover the best outdoor and adventure travel products, experiences, stories, and inspiration all in one place. The company’s brand was created for a new generation of outdoor, adventurous, and globetrotting women, with a mission: To Inspire and Equip Women to Live Adventurous, Bold, and Worldly Lives. It is spreading the global message for women to #ChooseAdventure. Inspiration struck atop of Denali in 2010 and the first iteration of Altitude Seven came to life in 2014.

Mt. Everest 2013 charity climb for International Medical Corps and raising awareness against gender-based violence. It had taken me 6 years to get to this point after a failed attempt in 2011 having to turn around due to hypoxia. Dreams come true if you never give up on them.

While the “shrink it and pink it” struggle is real in the outdoor industry (don’t worry, none of that in our store), there is a bigger issue, which is that the current “face of adventure” is not a true representation of all us badass ladies getting after it out there globally. Guess what? Women make up 50% of outdoor recreation participation and leading the way in terms of solo travel. Yet we still lack visibility across most media channels. When it comes to women of color and diverse body types, our representation is basically invisible. We are changing the face of adventure and committed to elevating the presence and visibility of women in adventure/action sports/travel media.

It’s been a crazy 8 years and my life has done a 180 in more ways than one. I am so grateful to discovering a love for adventure and setting new limits for myself beyond anything I “should have ever been.” It’s my mission now to share that gift with others.

 

“I climb big mountains everyday, just not always in crampons. Changing the face of adventure and tech has been the biggest climb of all!”

Georgina is the Founder of Altitude Seven, an adventure lifestyle media platform that helps a global community of women adventurers and travelers discover the best outdoor and adventure travel products, experiences, stories, and inspiration all in one place. She is a purpose driven entrepreneur, adventurer, speaker, and consultant. She has scaled the highest peak on 6 of the 7 continents and aiming to complete the Explorer Grand Slam in 2017. She’s an advocate for empowering women globally and loves pushing past personal limits and inspiring others to do the same. To learn more about Miranda, visit: GeorginaMiranda.com

 


How Skiing Changed My Relationship with the Outdoors ~ By Monique Limón

 

Growing up, I was surrounded by kids in schools who talked about skiing and going to places with snow. I vividly remember coming back from winter break and sitting in a high school geometry course and having all of my tablemates tell me about their visit to Mammoth over the winter vacation.

I didn’t grow up visiting ski resorts but remembered hearing about them and wondering not only what Mammoth was like…but also what snow was like. As a young first-generation Latina from Southern California, snow was not part of my reality. I do remember making it to Santa’s Village in San Bernardino in the early 80’s and seeing some snow used to decorate the place.

It wasn’t until I became an adult that I had that one “outdoors friend” who encouraged me to take a trip to Tahoe because she knew someone who could get us discounted tickets to go skiing. I was a working adult who could now afford the ticket to go skiing and to see the snow. So I did.

My trip to Tahoe changed my relationship with the outdoors. I took ski lessons the first half of the morning and skied the rest of the day. I didn’t pick up skiing easily and struggled quite a bit. Nonetheless, it put a genuine smile on my face. I loved being on the mountain and challenging myself to get down while gliding through the snow. I liked the snow and learned how much I liked skiing on powder. In addition to the physical joy it brought to me, it also allowed me to temporarily put aside all other worries, concerns, and distractions and simply focus on the skis, the mountain, and me.

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Feeling joy.

That first experience has led to many others. I must admit that while I’m still not the best of skiers, I continue to enjoy skiing as much as I did day one – that hasn’t changed one bit. That experience also motivated me to try other outdoor experiences. So when that one “outdoor friend” invited me to Yosemite, I was happy to say yes to my very first visit to the national park.

My current professional and community commitments keep me very busy and I don’t get to ski as often as I would like (which could explain why my skills as a skier have plateaued). I do however think about what it means to give people the opportunity to experience the outdoors in a meaningful way for the first time. In my role as a School Board Member, I have been thoughtful about what it means to have students live minutes from the beach yet not ever have the opportunity to visit the ocean and hesitate going into the water because they don’t know how to swim. Or, how for some students in the school district, their sixth grade science camp experience is the first and perhaps only camping experience they will ever have.

Skiing changed my relationship with the outdoors and helped me think differently about outdoor experiences. While I may not ski as much as I’d like and still think about the costs associated with the activity, I don’t hesitate to find ways in my life or the life of others to experience the outdoors.

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Skiing in Big Bear, California.

 

 

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Weekend trips with friends has become a favorite past time.

Monique Limón is a School Board Member for Santa Barbara Unified School District. In this capacity, she is part of a governing body that serves over 15,500 students.

Twitter:
@SMoniqueLimon
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