SheJumps at Island Lake Lodge: Why do you go to nature?

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

It can be really important to remember to walk the walk. In my case, that’s pointing skis downhill and turning left, then right.


Skiers: Claire Smallwood, Nat Segal, Ariel Hill and Andrea Byrne


As the Executive Director of SheJumps, I spend a lot of time working on how to make sure other women and girls get outside to enjoy the health benefits of nature and connect with their communities. Sometimes, I forget to prioritize those same experiences for myself. Over the past few years, forgetting was all too easy—mounting pressures of the global pandemic made it a bit too easy to forget who I really was at heart.


You’d think that if SheJumps can help more than 10,000 women and girls experience fun and transformation through outdoor play, I might also be one of those people. But these past couple of years have been really hard. The anxiety over loss of revenue as a nonprofit during the pandemic coupled with keeping our community engaged (despite not hosting in-person events anymore), and a nagging knee injury all cascaded into an internal dialogue that made me feel like I wasn’t sure I had anything to offer or anything to share.


But if I really have learned one thing in my life, it’s that “Nature is where we go to become who we are meant to be.”


Island Lake Lodge is an extension of this character. The old growth forest and storied peaks that rise from the misty and cold Elk Valley are an amazing backdrop for anyone to ‘get their groove back.’


This video is a story of Island Lake Lodge extending an invitation to me and three friends to experience a magical day of skiing in their legendary tenure. It’s a story of nature as a backdrop for reminding us who we are. The athletes in this film are all SheJumps supporters from different backgrounds.


SheJumps at Island Lake Lodge | Why do you go to nature? (Full video)

Filmed on the traditional, unceded territory of the Ktunaxa.


“We go to nature for many reasons. For some, it is an escape. There is no internet, no deadlines. No mother-in-laws, no mirrors. For others, a place to feel humbled and inspired. It is a space for sitting and reflecting, a place to wonder and fill our minds with awe. For many of us, nature offers a place to feel challenged and empowered–digging deep into our abilities, bumping up against our insecurities.” —Sara Boilen, SheJumps Board Member


Nature, of course, is the ‘special sauce’ that makes SheJumps, SheJumps. It’s what has helped SheJumps grow into an organization that impacted more than 10,000 women and girls last year. We dream. We jump. We grow.



We look to nature for the many gifts it offers us. Nature is an escape. Nature has no internet, no deadlines, no mothers-in-law, and no mirrors. Nature provides a place to feel humbled and inspired, offering spaces for reflecting and places to fill our minds with wonder and awe. We feel challenged and empowered in nature, digging deep into our abilities, bumping up against our insecurities, and finding new ways to define ourselves. Why do you go to nature?


Huge thank you to Island Lake Lodge for their invitation to become who we are meant to be.


 

SheJumps is an inclusive organization. We welcome all women and girls (transgender and cisgender) as well as non-binary people who identify with the women’s community. SheJumps strives to be an ally in the fight against racism and acknowledges that our events and programs take place on traditional, unceded Indigenous lands.



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