I am very excited to introduce RWF’s very first Chasing Challenges interview (drum roll inserted here). Meet Jennifer McAmis! An all-around inspiring, talented, and friendly girl.
I met Jennifer through Sweat Pink (you’ll likely see a lot more interviews from its members), and have enjoyed seeing her take on even more challenges since she first did this interview. Jennifer is an outdoor enthusiast–she rock climbs, canyoneers, hikes, slacklines, goes camping under the stars and so much more.
Her belief in the magic of the outdoors is so strong, she recently joined Explorer Chick Co. as their Chief Marketing Officer.
But today our interview is on a different challenge. Read on to learn about Jennifer, and her 30 by 30 Challenge.
What is your name?
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
JM: I’m originally from Maryville, Tennessee but now live in Tucson, Arizona.
How old are you?
Tell us a little about yourself. What are your interests and what do you do for a living?
JM: I’m an adventurer, outdoor-addict and rescue dog mom that lives to go climbing, hiking, canyoneering, slacklining and any and everything else that lets me move in nature. Being a personal trainer and fitness professional is what pays the bills!
What is your challenge?
JM: 30 crazy adventures before I turn 30!
Is this an official challenge?
JM: Nope, just something I made up as part of my quarter-life crisis. 😉
When did you start this Challenge and when will you finish this challenge?
JM: I kicked off the idea of the challenge on my 27th birthday, August 6, 2015. The goal was to finish everything by my 30th birthday, however thanks to some injuries that have really set me back, it might be more realistic to say I’m going to finish them by the end of my 30th year (aka my 31st birthday!). I haven’t officially made that change yet, but we’ll see how it goes!
What made you decide to do this specific challenge?
JM: I wanted something big to train for and get excited about. I’d been doing lots of adventures, but wanted a push for even more. I also couldn’t pick just one thing to challenge myself with – it’s so hard to pick between the many activities! So I just went for the vague anything goes challenge!
What are some of the challenges you have so far on your 30 list?
JM: Some of the big ones I’m really excited about are running rim-to-rim-to-rim of the Grand Canyon, doing Heaps and Imlay canyons in Zion National Park and my first triathlon! I realized that being so vague makes it hard to figure out what counts and doesn’t, but it’s also kind of fun too!
Have you completed any of your challenges?
JM: I didn’t think of it as one of my challenges when I was doing it, but I climbed my first (and second and third!) multi-pitch climbs this winter. It was something I had always wanted to do and I was so excited to finally have tried it. I think climbing over 1,000 feet counts as an adventure and a challenge, right?!
Sometimes things don’t always go as planned. Have you been unsuccessful at any of the challenges towards your 30?
JM: As soon as I had decided to do this challenge, I was canyoneering in Zion National Park and really hurt my ankle. 8 months later and it still has some limitations! That meant I had to push back my original date to run rim-to-rim-to-rim twice (both October and April). It’s definitely a bummer to feel behind, but you have to listen to your body and trust that things will happen when they can!
What do you think you have learned about yourself or in general from being in this challenge?
JM: I’ve definitely realized that I’m way too hard on myself as I’ve tried to work through this challenge. I originally wasn’t going to count my first multi-pitch climb because it was “only a 5.7.
I also didn’t think I could count a shorter triathlon (even though I’ve never done one and absolutely hate and suck at swimming), because it wasn’t “extreme” enough.
It’s taken a lot of reframing on what I can do and what there is to be proud of and excited for, which is a lot!! I celebrate even the tiniest victory of my clients, but get lost when it comes to myself. I’m working on it though .;)
What do you feel constitutes something as a challenge?
JM: I think a challenge is anything that pushes you outside of your comfort zone and encourages you to do things that you might have hesitated to try.
What motivates you to pursue challenges in general in your life, and why do you think other people also pursue them?
JM: I’m constantly trying to find ways to add more into my world. More adventure. More strength. More fun! Challenges are ways for me to give myself even more of an organized push in those directions. People I’ve talked to see them the same way. It’s harder to be too tired to get outside or train for something when you’ve put it out there that you’re going to do it! The accountability factor is huge.
Do you think a challenge has to be completed to be successful?
JM: Not at all!! If you decide to do the 52 hike challenge and get in 4 and then life or injuries happen, those are 4 days of hiking you might not done without the challenge and that’s amazing!! If you do a water drinking challenge and don’t keep up the super high amounts, but still get in the habit of drinking more than you did before, that’s a huge improvement!
I am 100% for celebrating small and partial victories, even if it’s not quite the goal you had in mind when you started. Reframing is never a bad thing.
Any words of wisdom for other people inspired to attempt something challenging?
JM: What’s the quote about if your goals don’t terrify you they aren’t big enough? That’s it. There is so much world outside of your comfort zone to get out and explore and try new things.Be realistic and don’t be afraid to reframe your goals, but dream big and take steps to get there.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help in training for something you want to try. People who love what they do love to help you and see you succeed. If you want it enough, there’s always a way to make it happen.
Where can we follow you?
Do you have a website, and if so explain what you do?
I have an online training program to get you outside more and challenge your comfort zone.
Do you have a challenge and would like to be featured? Head on over to the Contact page or comment below and let’s chat!