Erin is co-founder of @albertaadventuregirls and lives in Calgary just a short drive away from the Rockies in one direction and the Badlands in the other. She tries to spend as much of her free time as possible outside exploring the beautiful province of Alberta. Read our full interview with her below.
Please share a little about your background. Where do you live and what do you do?
I live in Calgary, AB just an hour drive away from the Rocky Mountains! I’m currently an Office Manager at a Denture Clinic Monday to Friday, so I’m a Weekend Warrior and try to get out to the mountains to hike as much as possible.
What is one of your earliest memories in the outdoors?
From a young age, my parents took me hiking and camping. My first outdoor memory was to a rocky landscape with multiple waterfalls. Later in life, I realized this memory is from Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park.
What do you currently feel the most proud of and why?
I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking through and graduating college. It took me about 5 years to finish a 2 year diploma. I was first diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder when I was in College and it was a huge struggle for me to finish. Procrastination often seems the easier route when you have anxiety.
You co-founded an organization called Alberta Adventure Girls. Please share a little more about this. Why did you want to start this business and what do you hope to achieve?
About 3 years ago, 10 or so girls came together and wanted to create a Facebook group where friends of friends could share hikes they were going on and connect with likeminded ladies who might want to join them. It grew very quickly into a nice little community of women ranging from highly skilled in the outdoors, to those who are just looking to get started. I co-run it with my girlfriend @amandamcnally_ and we try to plan at least 1 group event per month. The events are usually hikes, but we’ve also gone ax throwing, done archery, and played at a Ninja Warrior obstacle course.
If your 18 year old self was sitting in front of you right now, what advice what you give her?
DON’T PROCRASTINATE! Take the initiative to get things done. Don’t be so worried all the time. Everything will always be alright.
How has nature helped you in your personal life, or moments of struggle?
Getting outside for a hike has always helped to calm me. It’s really hard to feel anxious or uneasy when you’re out in the mountains surrounded by nature. The fresh air and scenery really help to ground me.
How do you integrate balance into your everyday life? Share some of your "rituals" with us.
I recently started meditating every morning as soon as I wake up, I find it helps to keep me calm throughout the day. I don’t have too many routines that I do throughout the day, I kind of just take things day by day! But every night I have a bath while listening to a podcast to help me unwind from the day.
Self confidence and self belief can sometimes be really challenging for so many women. Do you have any advice for someone struggling with these issues?
It sounds cliché, but I really think everyone is capable of anything they set their mind to. If you want something bad enough, you will be able to achieve it. Get rid of the self-doubt and jump into everything you do with both feet! I know its easier said than done, and it’s something I struggle with as well, but no one ever regretted having a go at their dreams.
What are some of your top tips you would you give someone just beginning to venture in the outdoors?
ALWAYS, always read trail reports. Know what to expect before heading out. Make sure your prepared for the terrain and different types of weather. Make sure you have enough water, layers, proper foot ware, and bear spray. Know how to use your bear spray. Educate yourself on what to do if you encounter different types of wildlife. Let someone know where you will be and what time you’re expected back. Don’t every feel ashamed to turn back. If you feel a trail is becoming too hard, or the weather is changing quickly, its okay to turn back! The trail will always be there next time.
What does it mean to you, to Howl Often?
To Howl Often means to speak your truth and go after what you want. It’s about pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. It’s about making whatever changes you require to be happy. It’s about you doing you, regardless of what other people may think. At the end of the day, you are your own Number 1 and no one else can be that for you. To Howl Often is to do whatever you need to do to be healthy and happy.