Meet Lindsay and her son Finn:She’s got one helluva story about chasing your dreams with ferocity, humility, and curiosity and we think it’s worth telling.
Lindsay is a single-mama to son Finn, double part-time employee, and school bus convertin’ + dwellin’ handy-woman. In her free-time (which means during naps and after bedtime), she’s also working to develop a Bainbridge Island, WA hiking group for moms in collaboration with her local Parks and Rec Department– rad, right?
When Lindsay heard about AMI hosting the first-ever WFR Course for Mamas, she was immediately enthralled at the prospect. A WFR is the professional industry standard, she knew this could be the experience that propelled her towards her goal of empowering and guiding women out on the local trails! And then naturally, reality sunk in and the barriers stacked up: that whole single-mom, double part-time employee sitch hadn’t been especially conducive to cushing out her bank account. There was no way she could make it work and put the course out of her mind.
Fast-forward a few weeks to when AMI published these words: “Instead of ruminating on road blocks, which are totally legitimate and real…dig into potential creative solutions. Give yourself permission to look into your options. So often the difference between those who do and those who don’t, comes down to who decided to say yes and explore solutions…Email us with your roadblocks and we’ll gladly explore solutions alongside you, mama to mama.”
Lindsay took this message to heart, mustered up the courage and humility to develop a GoFundMe page, and reached out to us directly to explore solutions. This power-tool-wielding, strong-willed, single-mama from the PNW was determined.
And so here we are, happily advocating on her behalf and we couldn’t be more inspired by her tenacity and persistence along the way.Lindsay has already navigated many barriers to make this experience a reality (childcare, professional time-off, and social stigmas to name a few) but where she needs our collective help is in financial support. Her goal is to raise $1500 by 2/20 to cover the course costs, travel, lodging, and additional childcare costs. Any leftover or additional funds will be applied towards funding for another mama at a future WFR course. If Lindsay does not raise the full amount by the 2/20 deadline, those funds will be applied towards her course tuition at the next AMI WFR course, tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2019.
So here’s our request: if you are in a position to donate a couple of bucks to help this rad mama chase her dreams, consider donating to Lindsay’s GoFundMe page. Maybe you’re a single mama yourself, maybe you’ve lived paycheck to paycheck with a young child, maybe you’ve worked multiple jobs, maybe you’re a fellow converted bus dweller, maybe you’ve had dreams about being a community organizer, maybe you wanted to make it to this WFR course yourself but some other barrier kept you from it this time around, maybe you’re just downright inspired by Lindsay’s tenacity, humility, and grit… Whatever it is that compels you to support her in this endeavor, we thank you.
We thought you might be curious to learn a little more about this mama so we asked her a couple of questions. Her thoughtful, engaging responses are below. Enjoy.
AMI: Alright mama, tell us a little bit more about you.
LM: First, and most importantly, I am a mother. And I am also a landscaper, employee at REI, tiny-home builder, and online student pursuing my Bachelor’s of Science in Holistic Health. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, a 30 minute ferry ride from Seattle on a small island called Bainbridge Island. After high school I rambled around in California, Hawaii, and Costa Rica for various reasons from school to surfing, but came back to this island to raise my son Finn — it’s where my heart lies.
The mountains are where I am happiest, where I draw the most inspiration. It is where I can breathe and think and feel alive. My best and happiest self is in the outdoors.
AMI: When did you begin adventuring?
LM: I grew up adventuring outside with my mom and sister; my childhood was a mix of playing in the Puget Sound and being up in the Olympic and Cascade mountains, hiking, camping, and skiing. In the summer breaks between school years, my mom would take my sister and I on trips that I truly believed shaped a big part of who I am today. These were low-budget, economy-class, run-out-of-money type trips. I remember coming back to school and talking with my friends about our summer, realizing that we didn’t travel like a lot of other families I grew up with. I specifically remember a trip to England where we hiked the Coast to Coast Walk — a 192-mile trek where we ran out of money and ended up polishing brassware in a local pub to pay for our dinner.
I had a mom who took us traveling during an age when women, let alone those with young children, didn’t travel solo. But my mom listened to her gut and passions and in this was made motherhood look easy. She is a true free spirit.
AMI: What was transitioning into motherhood like for you?
LM: When I found out I was pregnant, I was at an unhappy and low place in my life and dealing with debilitating anxiety.. I didn’t like who I was, the people I surrounded myself with, or my lifestyle. And while those were my decisions, I recognize now that I had just been passively following along. I wanted to get back to the independent, creative, adventurous girl I was in my childhood.
I really didn’t know where to start or who to turn to, so I just did the smallest, simplest thing I could think of — I went outside.
In those months of hiking pregnant, I radically changed my lifestyle and my mindset. I realized that if I was going to bring another human into this world, there was no better time to get my shit together and figure out exactly who I am. I started to feel happy again, and stronger than ever, physically and mentally.
I think if there is one thing I can do right in the millions of mistakes I will inevitably make as a mother, it is to teach Finn that a life well lived is a life outdoors. AMI: Give us the scoop about your school bus conversion!
LM: When Finn was 3-months-old, I bought a school bus and spent the next six months converting it into a 106 sq. ft home for us. I gave away or sold everything that wouldn’t fit in the space, didn’t serve a purpose, or didn’t have meaning to us. I wanted the items we did keep to be a part of the bigger intention I had set for our lives during my self-discovery while pregnant.
Buying this bus and building it out shocked a lot of people. It was something the “old” me would never have done and honestly, I did it just to see if I could. I gave myself what I thought was the most outlandish goal just to see if I could do it. And along the way, I created an alternative lifestyle I actually believed in.
Before my bus, I had barely picked up a hammer and knew next to nothing about construction, cars, plumbing or electrical work. I stayed up at night after Finn was asleep, reading blogs and forums. It took 6 months of living in my mom’s apartment with a baby and working every spare hour outside of my day-job landscaping, to get it done. I cried a lot, made mistakes, had to re-do things 2 or 3 times, and even threw my power drill out the bus doors one particularly long day in frustration. I also had a ton of fun through the process.I learned so much in those months. By the end I was just so happy and felt so empowered; I had built a home for my little family with my own two hands. AMI: Why do you think it’s important to pursue your own goals as a mama?
LM: Being a single mom is not easy — it’s the hardest thing I have ever done…But I feel so incredibly capable and continue to push myself. Making space for my passions, what drives me to be the best version of myself — this is what makes me a better mama to Finn. He sees me out chasing my dreams, however unattainable and crazy to others, and he sees me fail a lot. But he also sees how happy I am being outdoors, doing the things I love.
I have a lot of moms on social media and in person ask me how I did the bus thing or how I go out and hike with Finn. They want to make some changes, get outside, and feel safe while doing it. To help empower more women, I decided to start a mother’s hiking group with my local Parks & Recreation. Department. on Bainbridge Island called “Wild Mothers Hiking Group.”
It’s a slow process, this growing into who you are thing. I’m trying to live in the moment, slow down a bit, and enjoy the ride. AMI: Why do you want to attend the AMI WFR Course?
LM: I am trying to build up a mother’s hiking group in my area so when I saw that AMI was hosting a Wilderness First Responder course, that spoke to me! It was one of those “AHA” moments. I got really inspired and excited all at once. Since WFR certification is the industry standard, I want the women I lead on our hikes to feel confident that I am capable of administering first aid and have the ability to keep us having fun as safely as possible in the outdoors.
As often as I am outside with my son Finn; whether it’s hiking or camping, rock climbing, surfing or skiing, I would like to continue to adventure in the safest manner possible, as well as empower other women to do the same.
A few of my friends are WFR certified and I always thought it seemed like such great knowledge to have. But until recently it was nothing I personally considered doing. Only once I realized how many women are nervous to be outside alone, especially with their kids, did I want to get certified. I want to show women that if you want something, go after it, fearlessly. I like that this particular course is taught with the lens of motherhood in mind; it’s such a unique and powerful way to participate in this certification.
AMI: What do you think is unique about this community?
LM: I love the community surrounding AMI: a bunch of badass mamas who root for each other, inspire each other, and empower one another not only online, but through courses and meet-ups. A lot of online communities exist only on social media. They can be really inspirational but often it seems to stop there — I love that AMI is a non-profit that has local reach, holds real events and has a goal to educate and connect mamas who all have a mutual love for MOVING outside whether that’s through rock climbing, running, hiking, or mountain biking; it’s all welcome in this space.
It’s so important for us moms to feel ok with balance in our lives. Our kids are everything and can be all-consuming. As much as we love them, I really believe creating some time to go after your passions, with or without your kids in tow, is so vital for your happiness and in turn your kid’s happiness.
AMI: What message do you want to send to other mamas through this process?
LM: There are a lot of single moms, like me, who are not in a position to do something they are passionate about — like taking this 10-day course. Whether it be purely financial or a mix of other roadblocks like childcare, jobs, etc, it can seem overwhelming so why even try? I had those thoughts and then decided to move through them.
If I stayed in that place of doubt and fear, I would not have built a school bus tiny-home or any of the other things I am really proud of in my life. I think by supporting one mama in need, it encourages others to make something they are passionate about a reality. It is hard to ask for help sometimes, for me it goes against my nature. But I love that I can lean on a community of like-minded women who really care about seeing one another succeed. We are all in the same boat at the end of the day — trying to live happy, fulfilling, and meaningful lives out in the wild. Might as well support each other along the way.
To support Lindsay’s goal of attending the first-ever WFR course for mamas hosted by AMI, please donate to her GoFundMe. If you are interested in learning more about the course itself, check out: adventuremamas.wordpress.com/wfr2019
If you have other questions, suggestions, or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out: email@example.com
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