“I don’t think you’re good enough.” That’s what my (former) partner told me years ago when I shared with him my goal to snowboard Tuckerman Ravine, the most technical backcountry alpine destination on the East Coast. I had started snowboarding about five years earlier and was ready to start exploring beyond resorts, and to push my skills further.
That brief statement had a lasting impact on me. I know that the intention was from a place of care and concern for my safety, but coming from him, it was unknowingly charged with the invisible weight of exclusivity. What came across to me in that moment was that I did not belong there.
It’s a universal feeling that most women and girls, especially Women of Color will experience at some point in their lives. That difficult interaction was a big part of what led me to SheJumps. I needed a safe space to set lofty goals and to develop the skills and confidence to reach them. I needed a community that would provide the unconditional support I needed to overcome the internalized insecurity and imposter syndrome I felt in the activities I was pursuing. I needed a place where I could form deep connections to sustain my personal growth and nurture it in others. I needed belonging and I found it in SheJumps.
Powered by the passion of over 160 volunteers who all have their own stories, SheJumps is making sure that all women and girls know they belong in nature. SheJumps believes that the key to growth is through deepening connection—to our environment, to ourselves, and to each other. When it comes to belonging and growth, connection is the secret sauce and I see it at every event I have ever hosted. There are always women who come alone and leave with new friends.
Thanks to experiences with SheJumps I know that fear of failure is just a stepping stone on the path to growth.
I hope you will consider joining me in making a monthly gift to SheJumps so that we can continue building an outdoor community that includes and empowers everyone. Setting up a monthly donation is easy, and it is a powerful way to show up and provide stability to an organization that provides so much for the women and girls it serves. It’s amazing what a difference we can make together.