As we connect through She Ascends, we form what She Ascends is. Our stories create our legacy. Meet Jennifer Myaeng and Mariah Ostlie. Both women joined the hike looking to connect. This is their She Ascends story.
After Mariah Ostlie and her husband hiked Banff she was hooked on getting outside. Their once in a lifetime trip included 80 miles of amazing views - on foot in one week.
“ There are literally no words to describe the beauty we saw as we took in the awe-inspiring mountaintop views after our hard work to reach the summit.”
After Mariah's family was complete and her breastfeeding days were ending with her second child, she was looking to find herself again. With her love of hiking and nature, she was eager to find women who shared her passion. It was time to begin a new chapter in her life.
"Adult time is precious as a busy mama; thus, I wanted to find something that filled my cup. I wanted to meet others and be active."
Unknown to Mariah, Jennifer Myaeng was also looking to connect. Jennifer and her husband are avid hikers and she, just like Mariah, had a passion for nature and getting outside. Jennifer however was in a different stage in her life. She and her husband were trying to start a family and Infertility was delaying them. It was a stage that Mariah could relate with.
“I came to She Ascends to meet other women who were interested in hiking and enjoyed the outdoors but by speaking with other women who have been through a variety of life’s difficulties, I was able to feel I am not alone.”
Mariah and Jen met on their first She Ascends hike. They connected on the many things they found they had in common, from their love to be outdoors and travel age, and they both worked in the medical field. They also bonded on their desires to become mothers.
“It was a three year process to have our first child. My husband and I went through two miscarriages and infertility issues prior to having our first child, our precious rainbow daughter.”
“I was going through infertility, I know everyone experiences hardship, but by talking to others I actually understood that meaning.”
Our female connections help us lovingly embrace the experience we are facing and make us stronger as we find solutions to overcome difficult and emotional obstacles that come our way.
“Lucky for us, we connected instantly. We bonded with our mutual love for hiking, national parks, foodie experiences, working in the medical field, and husbands who shared similar interests. And, ironically, we are less than two months apart in age. Not only have we attended She Ascends hikes/winter adventure together, we've also gotten together several times on a personal level: double date with husbands, lunch/shopping date, visiting me and the kids and much more.”
“We were both very open with each other from the start, which is why we connected very well. After we met, Mariah reached out to me and we began to stay in touch regularly. We also made an effort to go to the same She Ascends hikes.”
Connection. This is the power of The Hike. It is the foundation of the She Ascends mission and it is what connects so many members to nature and each other. It is actually what connects all members of She Ascends. It is the cornerstone of the story we are writing together.
Mariah and Jennifer came for a hike, but the "hike" gave them much more than they expected. They created a bond, a friendship, and a connection through a shared experience.
Remember The Hike is there for us all, it is a trail leading into the woods, a prairie with a gentle wind, the mountain that begs to be climbed - it is our journey -.The hike connects us to nature and in doing so connects us to self and others.
Many hear the call on the trail, embrace “the hike”, and now see the importance of sharing the hike with others. We think many of you are seeing it and we want to hear your stories.
What is your connection to nature? Have you made a connection to a friend through She Ascends? Have you found a renewed sense of connection and wellness to yourself? We would like to share YOUR story and how it fits into our She Ascends story.
“Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.”― Lorraine Anderson (freelance editor, writer, and teacher whose work focuses on encouraging a reciprocal relationship with nature)
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"We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light." ~Mary Dunbar