Level 1

If we sat face-to-face and I shared with you that I’m passionate about survivalism, primal movement, paleo nutrition, you’d look me up and down and think I was joking. You’d laugh, I’d laugh reflexively, and then the heavy awkwardness would set in as it became painfully obvious that I really meant it.

To paint a clear picture, I’m an overweight, long-haired woman who just hit thirty years old last fall and has a lot of feelings about it. On a good day, I consider myself an artist in acrylic and oil paints. I’m experimental in the kitchen, and I go overboard on the eyeliner every single time. I have a deep love for role-playing games, both tabletop and online… and sometimes the roleplaying that involves a costume and being one’s gloriously dorky self, too. I have a bad knee, and I’ve had asthma since I was seven years old.

Perfect image of a rugged survivalist, am I right?

To say the least, I’m not exactly what most people would imagine when they think of someone who enjoys learning how to survive in the wild. I’ve spent years reading books and blogs, watching movies, and enjoying survival-based video games (with and without zombies). I get really excited at the idea of having to be resourceful in a disaster or survival situation. But what have I done beyond consuming the entertainment side of things? When I realized that I’d rather take a guided adventure weekend than a weekend in Vegas*, I knew I had to make some real changes to my body. This flesh machine determines whether I’ll feel pain going up the stairs, or be able to trek 20 miles, set up camp, and start a fire.

This is the beginning of an incredible journey.


*Try telling your friends that you want to take a girls’ weekend trip to Colorado with no tent, limited water and rations, and a guide who is ready to teach you how to forage and build emergency shelters, and get back to me with how that conversation went.