RyAnn Peverley talks about her journey of finding a community that shares her enthusiasm for the outdoors after her family moved to a new city.
A year ago, I found myself sitting on the couch while my toddler napped, in a new home, in a new city. My older children were all at school and my partner was off at work. I had already picked up around the house, the laundry was done, and I was bored. So, I picked up my phone and started scrolling through Instagram. I don’t quite remember how I came across The Adventure Mamas Initiative, but I saw a picture that immediately grabbed my attention. Switching out my phone for my laptop, I quickly searched for what seemed like a group of badass mamas.
I wanted to be part of a community
It didn’t take long for me to realize this was a community that I wanted to be a part of, so I sent out an email to the founders, Stephanie and Justine, to see how I could get involved. After a quick skype interview about my interests and outdoor lifestyle, they asked me to be a coordinator for the Northwest region. I was super stoked to be a part of a group that shared so many of the same ideals.
Immediately, I set out to build an awesome crew of adventurous like-minded women. Women with whom I could share a day on the trail as much as the trials of breastfeeding and sleepless nights. It was slow-going at first. There were a handful of ladies around the Puget Sound who found the group. We would connect through Facebook and share pictures of hikes we took our children on.
Broadening my community with Hike it Baby
However, I still longed to broaden my community. I had heard about Hike it Baby and looked into it in the past, but had never joined any of the hikes. Feeling as though I needed desperately to get out with other mamas, I loaded the stroller, some snacks and my cranky little man into the car. Not knowing what to expect, I made my way over to the designated meeting spot and introduced myself in the welcome circle. Just five minutes in and I knew I had found what my little man and I had been looking for. We walked together, chatting and sharing stories and laughs.
A couple months later, I decided to join the April Hike it Baby 30 challenge. Two women I had met previously were hosting a weekly hike for the month. I thought this would be a great way to get miles in and possibly build better friendships for myself and my little guy. It’s amazing how much bonding can happen on the trail while sweating and chasing rambunctious toddlers in the woods. As the month came to a close, we decided these weekly hikes needed to continue, and we needed to find time to venture out without kids.
Finding lasting friendships
The summer progressed and we spent more and more time outside as a group. Exploring trails, handing out snacks to each other’s kids, and sharing diapers and wipes supplies. And when time allowed, we left the babes at home and set out on our own. There is something so refreshing about spending time together in nature. Laughing, dancing, using words that otherwise we could not say. It was in these moments that I realized I finally found my community. A group of amazing, badass women to share in the triumphs and trials of motherhood and womanhood.
Initially, I was looking for a group of women whom I could hike with, possibly backpack or expand my climbing skills with. Adventure Mamas Initiative and Hike it Baby are the perfect outlets for socializing my toddler and meeting other families who liked to spend time outside. Never did I imagine that I would find a band of truly inspiring, supportive, stunning women.
As our circle grows, I am thankful for the lasting friendships that formed, for the memories we are creating for our children and ourselves, and for finally finding the place where my son and I belong.
RyAnn Peverley is a mother of four and an Ambassador for the non-profit organization Adventure Mamas Initiative and a Trailblazer for the 10,000 Women Trail Project. She enjoys any activity that will get her outside, but her favorite by far is climbing. For RyAnn, there is nothing like the thrill of leading a 5.9 on a basalt pillar or pulling out her ice axe and summiting a mountain. In her down time, she likes to sew and work on her budding blog. After the kids go to bed, RyAnn can often be found reading mountaineer training guides.
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Photos courtesy of RyAnn Peverley.