REI Member since 2011
Favorite activities: Yoga, running, mountaineering
Meet Mindy, a yoga instructor whose love for the outdoors began at an early age. Now, she and her husband make it a priority to instill the same love in their two children by getting outside as much as possible. When she’s not training for her next big climb or marathon, Mindy enjoys gardening, reading and taking care of her backyard chickens.
Why is “outside” important?
I have been an active person since I was a kid. We always played outside, building forts in the woods or going on hikes as a family. Any and all sports I played were outside sports. Even as an adult I prefer to run in our northwest weather rather than inside on a treadmill. There are endless adventures to be had and beautiful sights to keep me humble and focused on the important things in life “outside.”
Who are you inspired by to get outside? In whom are you fostering a love for the outdoors?
I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a short film celebrating the life of John Muir. The love and commitment he had to the world around us is so inspiring. It was impossible to watch the film and not feel like you needed to get outside! It had me wanting to plan my next attempt at Mt. Rainier! It’s very important to me to begin to build that same love for outside in my two children. In the summers we devote at least one day of the week for a hike. So many great memories already.
What was it like to summit Mt. Rainier? Do you have any other climbs or outdoor endeavors coming up?
Summiting Mt. Rainier was a dream come true. I grew up living in the shadow of the mountain and always dreamed of climbing it. The summer of my 30th birthday my husband, dad and I made two attempts, the second being our summit. It was such a blessing to have that experience with them both and something that we will always cherish. For my husband and I, it brought us even closer. There is something about sharing adventures with others that brings you together and builds a special bond. The next adventure coming up is Mt. St. Helens this summer!
What does being an REI co-op member mean to you?
Being an REI co-op member makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself. Everyone needs to be part of a community of like-minded people! It’s where you grow and are challenged and spurred to find your next adventure. It’s with REI staff the I made my first Rainier attempt, with REI staff that I made my second Rainier summit and an REI staff member that challenged me to run my first marathon.
What is your favorite piece of gear and what’s the story behind it?
Although my crampons make me feel like I could climb anything, my yoga mat is my most trusted and used piece of gear. As a yoga teacher I use it at least 8 to 10 times a week. It’s been on vacation with me and even to the top of a few mountain peaks!
What inspired you to become certified as a yoga instructor? What do you love about practicing and teaching yoga?
I took my first yoga class about 12 years ago and fell in love with it! There is so much strength and beauty in each posture. Our lives are so busy we rarely take the time to stop and breathe. Yoga gave me that opportunity. But it’s not just about being still! There is so much strength and intention. Always more we can challenge ourselves to work toward. I love teaching because I can create an atmosphere for others to find rest but also challenge them beyond what they thought was possible for themselves.
What other adventures are on your bucket list?
I’ve gotten into running over the last four or five years. I’ve finished a few marathons and one half marathon. I would love to train for an ultra marathon…maybe even a 50-miler.
Looking for more inspiration? Read other REI Member Portraits here.
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