Podcast: Building Mind & Body Strength


Wow, I just had the chance to sit down with Kaitlyn Kasso and had a really fun time! Kaitlyn is an awesome photographer that helps women develop their personal brands. You can follow what she's up to on Instagram @kaitlyncassocreations. She also runs the Inspired by HERstory Podcast: Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable.

We talked in detail about my first time in the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic, both of our experiences with imposter syndrome, and what it's like to be a beginner in the outdoors. I really think there is a bit of something for everyone in this episode! 

Topics covered include: 

  • The story of my first Wilderness Classic: 5:50
  • How my business came to be: 19:38
  • When to confront challenges and when to back down: 22:40
  • Workout Perfectionism & Imposter Syndrome: 26:10
  • Building confidence when you're new outdoors (or at anything): 33:10
  • Building a capacity for failure: 38:12
  • Advice on how to deal with Imposter Syndrome: 42:43
  • Advice I wish I could have given myself when I started my business: 46:12

I hope you will have a listen and that you enjoy the conversation! If you have thoughts or any of these topics resonated, I'd love to hear from you

You can find the episode in a couple of places: 

You can also read the full transcription of the interview below! 



Kaitlyn  0:02  

Welcome to the inspired by her story podcast. I'm your host Kaitlyn Casso travel in brand photographer and the founder of Kaitlyn castle creations, where I share other women's stories through my photographs. And now this podcast is Inspired by HERstory, it's a podcast dedicated to inspiring, motivating, encouraging, and empowering women to get out of their comfort zones and follow their dreams. Whether it's owning your own business, experiencing something new, or making a major life change, I want to encourage other women to follow their dreams and live their lives to the fullest. Throughout this podcast, I will be sharing my own stories and those of inspirational women with hopes to let souls connect in adventures to unlined. Follow along as I take you with me during my travels, experiences and encounters with these amazing women.


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Today on inspired by her story, as Sarah Histand. Sarah is a fitness trainer and mental health counselor. Through her business, Mind & Mountain she helps busy folks build mind and body strength so they can feel good in their bodies, manage their stress, prevent injuries and enjoy their time off. Sarah is a lifelong Alaskan with a passion for making fitness, outdoor recreation and mental health accessible to all. When she's not teaching her online training programs, you'll find her in the mountains learning a new dance move or curled up with a cup of tea in a good book. During this episode, Sarah talks more about her experience in Alaska's wilderness classic,


Sarah  2:47  

We were very intimidated, overpacked like brought everything we thought we might need. had really heavy packs, we thought it might take us like nine days to finish and we want to make sure we had enough stuff in case we moved pretty slow. And it was like the most challenging thing I've ever done. Super strenuous on my body and on my like spirit...


Kaitlyn  3:11  

How she had to overcome imposter syndrome during the wilderness classic. 


Sarah  3:15  

Yeah, I would say I like I hadn't seen any women do this. I thought that the people who did it were like in a different category. And I was like, would be an imposter to consider myself part of that category was like this is all stuff that it's just I'm making up in my head...


Kaitlyn  3:31  

And how to push through weakest link syndrome.


Sarah  3:34  

Most concrete example of this is when you're outside and you're with a group of people. And the person who is the has the hardest time keeping up, ends up feeling like they're the weakest link like they're letting the group down. 


Kaitlyn  3:47  

Let's hear more about her journey.


Kaitlyn  3:51  

Welcome to the podcast, Sarah


Sarah  3:53  

Thanks for having me. 


Kaitlyn  3:54  

Yeah. And you're coming all the way from Alaska. So I'm excited for that. Because actually, I don't think I've ever had anybody on this podcast from Alaska. So we're definitely going to be talking about some outdoorsy things and stuff to you. So I'm excited about it. 


Sarah  4:09  

Yeah, that's great. I love Alaska so much. I love sharing about it. So yeah, that'll be fun to talk about.


Kaitlyn  4:14  

Awesome. I'm excited to learn more. Hey, so if you could share with everybody a little bit more about who you are and what you do.


Sarah  4:22  

Sure, well, so I am a lifelong Alaskan, I was born up here, my parents grew up in like the Midwest and ended up like after their road trip honeymoon ended up living up here. And this is where our family has been for most of my all of my life. I left for a couple years to go to college out of state and lived abroad for a few years and then like gravity pulled me back because I just love the lifestyle up here in the mountains and the way of living. I'm really I like to spend a lot of time outdoors. So that's one of my passions and I'm also a fitness trainer. So I spend a lot of time helping myself and clients like get ready to be outside. So that it's like more fun and not so much of a struggle, and we don't get injured as much and all that stuff. And I'm also a mental health counselor. So I integrate all of that, that like, has been a huge part of my journey, and also supports our time outside and really kind of everything. Anytime we're under challenge, we run up against whatever is going on with mental health. So. So that's kind of those are my three passion areas. And I have like, woven them all together into a life that like supports them for me and for my business. Oh, yeah, sure. All that that


Kaitlyn  5:39  

awesome. I'm so excited to dig in more to each of those two. It's also exciting. And so if you can just share a little bit more about your journey and how you got to where you are today.


Sarah  5:50  

Yeah, so I would say, you know, when I was in my, like, late 20s, early 30s, there was a time in my life where I was like, really kind of floundering and trying to figure out, like, what am I going to do with myself, and I had just gone through a big breakup, and my brother, I have a younger brother, who had also gone through a big breakup right around the same time, and we have these similar interests in being outdoors. And we had kind of both lost our adventure partners through these breakups. And so we were scheming about doing a trip together the winter catch, I don't even know what year it was, it must have been, like close to 10 years ago now. And we had when we were growing up, we heard about this adventure race, that's called the wilderness classic. And it's kind of a under the radar thing. There's a place where you start in a place where you end and then the rest is up to you. There's not a route, you have to make it up as you go and figure out carry all your stuff. There's usually about 200 miles between the two points. And we had this sort of draw this like attraction to it, but also the super intimidation about like, what that might be. This is getting to business, I promise, like, cuz this is just this transformational thing that showed me my capacity. So anyways, we decided we were going to try to do this thing we we did the winter version of it, we were very intimidated, overpacked like, brought everything we thought we might need. had really heavy packs, we thought it might take us like nine days to finish. And we want to make sure we had enough stuff in case we moved pretty slow. And it was like the most challenging thing I've ever done. Super strenuous. On my body and on my like Spirit had to dig really deep to get through it. But we did finish in seven days. And by the time I made it to the end, I had this like, total like, I don't know, awakening or something, something that like I felt like I broke through this glass ceiling of like, my ability to finish something so challenging. And when I had heard about this event growing up, I had heard about these super hardcore adventurers, all guys, I didn't have heard here any women who had done it. And they all seem like this sort of elite athlete type. And I shouldn't consider myself in that own category, which was why it was so hard to imagine if it was going to be possible or not. And then I went so then we finished we were like, Oh my gosh, we did it. Can you believe it? And then we like spent the whole next year being like, what if we tweaked a couple of things, I wonder if we could like make it a little bit easier. And, and I started training for it. I started teaching these bodyweight fitness classes and in the gym that I was working at. And I started to see how directly they were helping me in my training for this thing. And we went back the next year. And we liked touched up some things that we brought, we didn't need, we knew we could get by with a little bit less, our backpacks were a little lighter. And our skills were improved. Our bodies have learned a ton. And we went back that second year. And it was the same course. And we finished it in five days. And we ended up being at the front of the group. We finished with a couple other teams all at the same time. And we all like, quote unquote, won this thing, which was another like total mind blower of what my capacity was and like how I thought of myself and I just started like I remember driving home from that and just being like, Oh my gosh, if like these things that I didn't think were possible are true are possible for me with a little bit of like, training and patience and learning. Like it's true for all of us in different ways like and it just doesn't necessarily have to be a crazy big wilderness race. But like everybody's goals are like out there. Everybody has big goals or maybe we're afraid to make big goals because we're don't think we're Capable of it. And this journey from, like, wanting to do it to, like, experimenting with trying it to maybe achieving something on that scale is so fun and exciting to me and I, like started in this path of thinking about how I could help other people have that same sort of experience with their, their own version of that wilderness classic. So that's where that's like the genesis of where things came from. For me, yeah, I


Kaitlyn  10:29  

love that. That's such a cool experience, too. And then to also be, like, see, like the improvements you were able to make the second time that you did also like taking two whole days off, I feel like that is just like crazy in itself. That is so awesome. And then also, like, you know, ending it with, like, other people who are also at like, the top of the leaderboard, to say, you know, like, that is so cool. And, you know, it can end up being like, as you mentioned, you know, such like a, like a mindset thing, like, feeling like you can hold yourself back, right? When you're trying to like do things like this. So do you feel like by like participating in this race, especially the first one because doing something the first time is always the hardest, right? So do you feel like by you know, participating in this race, did it shift your mindset on like, what you can actually do? Like, do you feel like beforehand, you kind of had a case of imposter syndrome?


Sarah  11:26  

Yeah, absolutely. I feel like imposter syndrome captures that really well. And that hasn't gone away from me to be honest. Like, that's still a thing that I bump up into. And I'm now now a lot of my stretching happens in my business. And I for sure run into that. But yeah, I would say I like I hadn't seen any women do this, I thought that the people who did it were like in a different category. And I was like, would be an imposter to consider myself part of that category with like, this is all stuff that is just, I'm making up in my head to like, make sense of who does this and who doesn't. But I for sure was like, and and you know, with outdoor recreation, there are some like real safety concerns, too. So it's like, I like don't want to put myself in a situation that's like, hazardous or like, where I'm really outside of like, my skill set also so, so differentiating, which of those concerns are like real safety concerns, and which of them are mindset and imposter syndrome, and self doubt, and all these other things is a little bit tricky when it comes to outdoor rec, sometimes, but but for sure, you know, so. So what we did is we made a bunch of backup plans for that first race, we like, had a bunch of points where we could fail if we needed to, if things started to go wrong. And we knew we could turn around or we could get a flight out, like we had a bunch of options. And we overpack you know, so we had extra stuff. So we we tried to like take care of as many of the safety concerns as possible. And then the rest ended up being this this like, ongoing effort for sure ahead of time. But even when I was out there, and like, at the end of the long days when my energy was really dragging, and I start to feel like like I can't keep going or it's like too much to work with my mind to stay really present with the experience. And I actually I came up with this mantra that I started using pretty early on in that race that is moving is winning. And that just like came out as part of on one of those days, we were like skiing up this long river valley that was just like flat and white and like, endless. And we were I felt like I was skiing so slow, with a couple of people skiing along. And it just felt like I was plotting, I was real tired. And like we were barely moving. It couldn't like the landscape so big that you can't tell if you're actually making progress, you know. And so I ended up I need to stop and get a snack and take a bathroom break and that other people I was skiing with kept going. And I looked up from just like taking a really quick break. But people that I had been skiing with were like tiny little dots out in the like distance. And I was like what the heck, I know, they were moving very slow, but they just kept moving. Whereas I stopped and took a little break. And that was such a cool, like, visceral experience of like, if you're moving slow, even if it's very slow. If you just keep going. Progress happens. And so I've been carrying that one on into all sorts of aspects of life, to realize that like, even when, like the big goal feels really big and I might feel like I'm not up to the challenge. If I can just stay with like what's happening right now and just keep moving. Even if it's very slow and it doesn't feel like it's enough. Then it does end up adding up. Exactly. It's


Kaitlyn  14:55  

like baby steps, right? Like how everyone was like take baby steps in order to get there. It's just been You can actually see it, you know, you you visually you were able to see like, okay, now I get it like, as long as you're moving like you're still moving forward, which is the most important part. So that is so awesome. I'd actually love to hear like, maybe a little bit more detailed, like what's actually included in the challenge. So you mentioned like skiing. So what other kind of things would you entail? Because I instantly think of, you know, like obstacle courses or something like that when it's like a race of some sort. So I'd love to hear a little bit more and like what it actually some of the things that maybe you had to do.


Sarah  15:35  

Yeah, well, so on this winter wilderness classic, we started in McCarthy, Alaska, so that little town out in the wrangell Mountains. And then the endpoint was up at this other town on the opposite side of the mountains. And, and like I said, there's no trail. So there's some people that went like straight up and over this mountain range, it did like a technical mountaineering climbing route to get up and over. And my brother and I had chosen this route that kind of looped around, so it was a little bit longer, but it didn't involve quite as much technical stuff, and, and has exposure to hazards in the mountaineering side of things. So we were doing a lot of like, skiing, like Nordic skiing, so kind of flat classics, walking, like walking, like with your skis side by side, up and down river valleys, and then, like you're crossing 200 miles of terrain. So you kind of run into all different kinds of things like that. on that first year, the first night, it got super windy and, and just like there was this big windstorm, that set for us that first night in the second day. And so we were like, there were these times where we were trying to ski, we had the feet into the wind. And we were going flat on flat terrain. And so typically, you can put wax on the bottom of your skis and get enough traction to move forward. But the wind was blowing us back so hard that we had to put there's these other these like sticky they're called skins that you put on the bottom of your skis that stick into this now, you typically use them when you're climbing uphill. But because of the when we had to put those on our skis just to go flat, which was really demoralizing and slow. But again, like it did work. And then we got to some sections where those snow was all blown away, and it was rocks, we had to take our skis off and walk, carry our skis and walk on the rocks. And then there are some sections where the river valley was like, iced over so like the river had kind of flooded and then free frozen. So the valley like you couldn't really ski on it. And so we had some like grippers to put on our ski boots if we wanted to walk and then we did some like very adventurous skiing on ice down some of that stuff. So it was like it is this multi terrain. And some of the game was gauging like, is it fast enough and fast enough at this to keep going even though this, like, my skis aren't working super well? Or is it worth stopping and changing around my system to make progress in a different way, maybe walking, even if walking isn't so slow, but you're just kind of always gauging the what tool you have for the job, what's gonna work best, which is divided, like demands all this kind of curiosity and like experimentation along the way, which, again, like I feel like these skills like they carry over so well to all of the, especially like building a business out of nothing. Like it's always this experimentation process.


Kaitlyn  18:38  

Yeah, exactly. I was just thinking of that, as you were saying, it's like, you're always have to like, sit back and think like, okay, these are the tools that I have. So what can I use? Like, what what can I pull out of my toolbox in order to like, get something done, you know, or showcase myself in this sort of way? Or it's so interesting to see how, like, those skills that you use outside of nature can also be used for so many different ways, and especially when it comes to creating your own business too.


Sarah  19:07  

Yeah, yeah, exactly. I feel like the overlap. So it's so clear. It's like, there were like, well, I'm skiing on rocks right now. So I guess it's worth stopping and like re evaluating taking my skis off and walking the section even though walking in my ski boots on the rocks is really gonna suck for a while. And then in your business, it's like, well, I've been doing this thing one way for a while, and it's not really working. It sucks to actually stop and like go and learn a different way. But like, it's gonna get me there eventually, if I do that, so


Kaitlyn  19:38  

Exactly. It is so true. And I'd love to hear more about like your coaching and everything that your business entails as well if you could share with us.


Sarah  19:47  

Yeah, so the brief story on that, you know, so just like these outdoor skills apply to business, the things that we do with our bodies in our even in our living room, so I'm teaching bodyweight fitness classes in our in our living rooms or office or like our backyard or like wherever you can do it, but videos that are streamed. So those we practice a bunch of the movements that you end up using when you're outdoors. So that your body gets like some muscle memory for that in a controlled environment. And you can like practice alignment and practice, like getting to muscle fatigue, and then still staying in alignment in an environment that's like, pretty controlled. And then like, also, we do this mindset work during the workout so that, like we're bumping up against a challenging experience, I'm like, inviting people to do an interval, but where you get your heart rate up, and you experience the feeling of challenge in your body, and then tracking what happens with your nervous system in your mind when you're up against challenge. Because those are clues to like, what happens in it for us in that experience when we're in other situations. And because it's a little bit more like there's a little bit less going on in a workout, you have an easier way of noticing it for most people. And then we can we like it's how you work with that, that makes the difference, right? So like, you can catch one of those self demoralizing thoughts where it's like, I can't do this or like, this is too hard. Which of course shows up when you were like asking a lot of ourselves, and then experiment with like, well, do I need to dial it down a notch today? Or can I like, show up a little more with them myself, and build a little bit more capacity today, and then really track the after effects of that. So it's like tinkering around with all that stuff in workouts is really fun. And I feel like builds our ability to be with those sorts of challenges in different parts of life.


Kaitlyn  21:50  

Yeah, definitely. Because something I always think about too, is like, once I got through something that might be like a little more difficult, whether it's something physical or even mental. Also, once I have gotten through that, then if something else comes across my lap, I feel like then I have that to use to say, Okay, I can get through this too, you know, and it could be a difficult workout. You know, maybe you did like one like, really difficult workout. And then the next time you have one, then you're like, instead of wanting to give up or or actually giving up and you know, you can push through it, because you've made it before in the past. So and that can be used for so many other things, right? Just that mindset in general, it could be like, Oh, I'm really having this difficult part, like in my business right now. But I know that I've gotten through it in the past. So I will get through it right now also.


Unknown Speaker  22:40  

Yeah, yeah, exactly. They really are. It's like just like, we think about muscle memory, like with our muscles, like, you know, I ride a bike and I take some time off riding a bike, I still know how to ride a bike, it's the same thing happens with these neural pathways where like, if we've faced a challenge, that where we were able to like rise to the occasion and get through it, then we really can return to that experience of accomplishment and capacity. The next time we we hit it. So yeah, I think that's really applicable. And I've really found that, you know, we talk a lot about the the ability to like, run into something hard and then confront it and overcome it. But just as important to that process is the ability to like recognize when you hit a challenge, and it's time to back down from it. Because not every challenge is one that we need to like push through and like conquer. There are times when our system like our nervous system is not up to the challenge that day or body needs a day off or like maybe that particular issue in your business isn't one that's worth your energy right now. And there are times so so that feels like one of the things that is so important to hone in on is what are the days for pushing and what are the days for resting and like letting that be okay, too. There's so much in our culture that says Like, we have to be pushing through to be like worthy, or to get to where we want to go. And that's really not the case. 


Unknown Speaker  24:09  

Right? You have to listen to yourself to right like listen to your body. Listen to your mind, if you're having a day where it's like you're really sore and like maybe you you need to take that day off. Or maybe if you are feeling if you're you know emotions or something, it's just feeling a little off and maybe you just need to like take a step back from something right and then like, go back to it the next day. And then you feel rejuvenated, a little bit more recharged and you can think more clearly versus maybe making rash decisions on a day that you weren't feeling that great.


Unknown Speaker  24:43  

Yeah, exactly. Absolutely. So in my training programs, we do a six week training cycle. So you and we do the two, two weeks are the same. So it's like really forgiving and it's it's like designed to allow for like if you miss a day If you can't show, you know, things just aren't there for you that day, or we really highly encourage like these like calm like meh workouts where you're just like I just showed up, I did a meh workout like, wasn't amazing, but like I did it, those kind of work that like, it all fits into this like six week pro series where like, some days, you're amazing, and you have a great workout. And it's just like, like, we kind of think every workout should be, but other days are not that. And it all fits into this growth process over the course of six weeks. And then we tack three of those on together to build up that each, they each increase in difficulty. So over the course of the season, we get this really nice growth process that that allows for rest, or allows for off days. So I do each have a summer version of that, and a winter version of that. 


Unknown Speaker  25:49  

Awesome. That makes total sense. I think like that. I'm sure it helps people feel like they can, you know, do these workouts also and not feel super maybe intimidated by also knowing that they kind of have that variety that they can, you know, I guess you'd say utilize or go to as well.


Sarah  26:10  

Yeah, well, I think maybe we talked about imposter syndrome and the bias that shows up in our fitness and in our bodies quite a lot too. And also, I call it workout perfectionism, this idea that like, it has to be like, we have to do all of them. And they all have to be amazing for it to count. And it's of course life isn't like that, like in our human existence. So it's so easy to get thrown off by you know, things that an imperfect workout or admist day, and like some of this work really feels like unlearning all of those, like, think of them as one of my teachers, Kelly deals calls these cultural injuries where we've just been taught that it like we need to be perfect, we need to be like, like showing up 100% all the time to be good enough. Which comes from patriarchy, and white supremacy and all this stuff, but the like impact on our daily lives is that like, we really do have to unlearn how, how to not be that and how to be okay with the mess and still moving forward and trusting that that is going to get us where we want to go.


Kaitlyn  27:10  

Yeah, I would love that. And I remember when we first talked, I remember you mentioned about the weakest link syndrome also speaking of syndromes. So I love if you can explain what that is, because I remember when you were talking about it, I was like, I can totally relate to this. And I had my own personal story. So I'd love for you to share more about it.


Sarah  27:33  

 Cool. Okay, so weakest link syndrome. This is another term I got from my husband, Luc. So we could This is when we noticed this a lot in the mountains, but it applies in other places, too. But the most concrete example of this is when you're outside, and you're with a group of people, and the person who is the has the hardest time keeping up, ends up feeling like they're the weakest link, like they're letting the group down. And it is really, really hard to enjoy your time outside, if you're the weakest link. You know, I've been the slowest one in a group of friends multiple times on multiple occasions. And I for sure struggle with that position. It's and and so as I built out this like concept of the weakest link, I like think about all of the different ways that shows up. But I also start thinking about it from like, for one, what can we do about it, because being the weakest link is such an uncomfortable place to be, but it doesn't need to be. Because when you're when you're in the part of the group that's like, a bit faster, and you know, there's someone behind, like, most of us are not going to be mad at that person, you know, we're going to be understanding and encouraging and supportive and just like wanting them to have a good experience. So there really isn't so much pressure. From most groups, you know, if you're a friend group is hard on you, when you're the slowest one, I suggest maybe finding a different friend group or like finding other people to be outside with. But like, most of us aren't in that actual dynamic, it's more of a perception. So yeah, like, for one, it's really normal. So I think just like normalizing the experience of how intense that can be. And then and being aware of it as a group of how much pressure that can be, is really helpful. But then also recognizing that there is actually like a nervous system survival thing going on when we are having trouble keeping up with our fellow humans. So when we evolved as humans we evolved in in tribal groups, that hunter gatherer days and these tribes moved around together to get to where they needed to go to find the next harvest or hunt the next animal. And there was some like, real physical needs to be able to keep up with the group in order to survive. We needed that tribe to be able to, like accomplish the things that we needed to thrive in those days. So, so there there is some we evolved with some of that, like really neurological need to keep up with the group so. So like our bodies, like that's not true anymore, our recreation isn't necessarily a life or death situation in that in the same way it used to be. But there is some of that still happening on a nervous system level that like flags our survival system, our limbic system, and makes us go like, oh, gosh, I'm like, I'm gonna let the group down and like, then it tends to some people, you know, expresses in different ways, but pretty often, especially for women turns to like a shame response of like, I'm not good enough. I suck at this, all those, all that stuff. So I find it so helpful to recognize that it's not you, there's not something wrong with you. And even that you're having a big reaction to this experience, doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. That's a nervous of something, it's really normal. And then there are lots of ways we can calm the nervous system by recognizing that we're part of the group people here care about you, you can work to stay present again, and recognize that like, no matter how slow you go, you're still making progress. All these ways of working with that. But it's not easy like that is because it's such a, like a brain thing. It's not one that you can definitely just like mindset, your way out of.


Kaitlyn  31:12  

Yeah, definitely. And I remember when he first brought this up, I was like, I totally know what you're talking about, like I have experienced this with myself. Because like I've, I feel like I've probably shared back in like my earlier episodes on here of how you know, when I first started hiking, I just wasn't like a nature person. I didn't really like hiking, I remember literally telling people that like I just didn't understand why people wanted to be outside like walking in the woods. And then once I and so when I started like hiking with my friends and stuff, I of course, because I also didn't have much experience with it, I was always like the one trailing from behind. And I was, you know, scared of things a lot more because I was newer to it. So it was like a wobbly rock or, you know, our roots from a tree or I was afraid that snakes were going to come out all the time. So I had all these different fears. But then I was also slowed down a lot because it was something I wasn't used to. And it made me not like it even more because I felt like I wasn't good enough, like you mentioned before. And I was like I'm not good at hiking. So like, why am I going to do this. But as time went on, and I just kept going, like I kept going on these hikes. I kept trying, because I knew you know, all of my friends loved doing it, there must be a reason why they loved it. So like, maybe I'll get there one day. And eventually after like, just challenging myself and going on these different hikes. I finally I was realizing I was picking up pace, you know, because I was getting better at it. And I was getting less scared because every hike I did, I realized that okay, I did, I completed this one so I can do more, you know, and each time one maybe got a little harder. I was like, that was a little scary, but like I got through it and everything was fine. And I kept challenging myself. And then now I love hiking, like, and I've hiked in different countries and, and this and that. And I find it so cool. So when you did mention that I can totally relate. And still sometimes like, it's not like when I hike with them, I'm always like, in the front or anything, there's still times where I'm still like trailing from behind. But at the same time, I've almost accepted it more, you know, and I'm just like, Oh, well, here I am, though I'm proud of myself for like how far I've come.


Unknown Speaker  33:30  

I love that so much. That's so cool. There's like two things I want to talk about there. One is the like the titration that you use to get out to build up your confidence with it. And then the other thing is that like, newbies in the outdoors, right, like in and in everywhere, but specifically in the outdoors, like I share, believe that the outdoors are for everyone and want everybody who's interested to have the ability to experience all the amazing things that happen when you're able to be outside. But when you start, you're new, and you're right, like everything's hard and you're slower, and everything is like your body's like adapting and your nervous system is reading fear all the time. And like, that's a really intense experience, it takes a lot of energy, just to like do the basic stuff. So of course, you're going to be slower because you're devoting energy to all the other stuff. So I do think this is like a really cool thing to, to really think about how we can support people who are newer at it. And if you are someone who is newer how you can like find a supportive group who can go your case and recognize that a small like a small hike is going to be enough and not minimize that experience. So so like that's one piece of it. And then the the strategy that you use to like increase your difficulty bit by bit is in the somatic psychology world is called nitration, which is a term that comes from chemistry where you're adding a little bit of a chemical to another one little bit by bit and the concept when we're working with our bodies. With our nervous system is the same to increase your challenge in small doses, and then check in with yourself afterward. And just like you said, recognize that we did it. Because like, you want to bump up to a challenge, but but if we don't also, like recover, and come back down and be like, look at that, we did it. And it was okay, we survived. And actually, there were some fun parts like that after is really an important part to your system to help you build that confidence. And, and the your nervous system capacity so that when you go out and you do the same thing, it feels a little easier, because you've got at once. And if you do something a little bit more challenging, you have that increased capacity. So it's not so far out of your comfort zone that you'd like shut down and never come back. Like that's the that's the overdoing it. Like if you if we don't titrate and we go real hardcore, we either get hurt, or we have a terrible experience, and we never want to come back. So that's really cool. That's some of what we do with these interval workouts to is titrate your challenge. So you're just like, bumping it up a little bit. See how your body does with that, and then check in after. And sometimes we overdo it, and we learn from that. And sometimes we're like, actually, I might be able to go a little harder next time. Yeah.


Unknown Speaker  36:12  

I love that. Oh, that's so cool. And hearing the, like science behind it, to me always makes it sound or like, feel more acceptable. I want to say, you know, I mean, it's like, Okay, I understand, like, now hearing the science behind it like, this is okay. Rather than just what is wrong with me? or Why do I feel this way? 


Unknown Speaker  36:36  

Exactly. It's so freeing to understand, right? The why it worked, why it is the way it is? Because, yeah, I do the same thing. This like, internally oriented, like, what is wrong with me, and thinking that it's something wrong with me. And then the more we can like surface this stuff and talk about it and like normalize the experiences, and then also show why it's happening. It just is such a load off your shoulders, realizing that it's like nothing that we did to make this experience happen. It's just a really normal thing. And then we can like, strategically work with it.


Kaitlyn  37:09  

Mm hmm. Yeah, exactly. Oh, I love it. Thank you so much for sharing all of that too, I think. Because it's, I mean, it already helped me. So I'm sure that everybody else listening Well, can a lot of people can relate to it also, and have a better understanding of it, too. So thank you for sharing that.


Sarah  37:24  

Yeah, you're welcome. And I would say, you know, so I've been using that same strategy with my business growth, too. And I often don't notice it until afterwards, because I still kind of get stuck feeling like, why is this so hard. But the same thing happens with our, like, our ability to be seen, I've had to, like titrate my way up on that too, because like, for a lot of times, I was the shy girl hiding in the corner when I was younger. And so like, bit by bit, like doing a little bit and then backing off and recognizing like, like, doing all the same things. You just said when you were hiking, I was like, look at that we did it. And actually, it was kind of fun, and, and we survived. And then next time, I can show up a little bit more for a little bit longer time and then need to maybe take a break from that. So whether it's like visibility, or like all the other ways we have to grow to share our gifts with the world, that same thing is definitely applicable.


Kaitlyn  38:21  

Yeah, definitely. And even as you're saying that to you, I'm almost thinking how, for myself, there's times where I'm like, well say I'm launching something new, a service or something. And maybe it's not successful, like in to me, maybe it's more of a failure. But it's like, at the same time, alright, well, I already experienced this, like, maybe I failed at something. So next time, if I'm going to try something new. If it fails, then I know how to also get through that, you know, like I know how to get through that failure. But you could almost use that as mode like a learning process, of course, too. And being like, Okay, well, why didn't it work, like break it down and use it as a learning experience for the next thing that you're going to maybe launch or try. But also, like knowing that maybe if it doesn't still work out to the point that you really want it to that you again, can sit back, try to figure it out and move forward from it.


Sarah  39:19  

Yes. Oh my gosh, that's so good. And like, I think you're exactly right in saying that like building up the capacity to tolerate failure is one of those one of those things that we have to have the ability to do as entrepreneurs, and anyone who's trying something challenging in their life, but definitely in the entrepreneur entrepreneurial world we'd like and of course not everything is gonna work. And and for sure, like this is another one of those cultural injuries is that perfectionism, where especially folks with marginalized identities of any kind like it like we have, we've had to show up as, like as perfect as possible in order to be accepted and, like prove that we'll ever like quote unquote, like belong in the space. So, and I'm speaking of this as a white woman, so I have a ton of identities in which I am accepted. So it's really just the female part of it makes it like a little tricky for me, which is like, has been plenty. So people with other stuff, other identities going on I like really feel for that. But so building up the capacity to have a failure and then recognize that we are going to be okay from that. Even if we did sort of lose some face in front of some people who maybe we don't even want to be performing for internally, we can we do you have to really work to build up that sense of safety. And that, like, I failed, and I can bounce back from this, which is so freeing, because if we're launching and we're putting new stuff out, and we are terrified, like we're not, we cannot fail. If we don't have that as an option, then we're going to be coming from a place of fear the whole time and like desperation that it needs to work. And that's not that like in the long run, that's not a sustainable place to to work from. So definitely, then it's like ultimate disappointment. If that is the case, you know, you don't want to necessarily experience that either. Yeah, resiliency has to like it. Like, we need so much of it, because we're gonna crash and burn and then we have to be able to come back from that.


Kaitlyn  41:23  

Exactly. We'll be back with our guests in just a minute. But first, let's hear a quick message from our sponsors.


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Now back to the episode. And even speaking more to this, I'd love to hear like if you could give maybe one piece of advice or motivation or inspiration to someone who is feeling the effects of imposter syndrome? What would that be?


Sarah  43:05  

Well, I would really want to start by saying that it's not you that like this is a this is a systemic thing that we've been taught that we are not good enough like that is a that is not something that's wrong with you. So take the like, take the blame away internally, and like put it out on the system that is has taught us that this is like we have to be a certain way in order to show up and belong. Because like we we can get really lost in like directing that internally. So like the system is messed up for sure. And like it's it's created a lot of confusion and pain for a lot of us. So like, that's where I would start and then and then we can recognize the ways that you have been showing up the things that are true about you. And like, if we take away that injury, then I think there's a lot of power in in like coming back to like what is really true for you right now. And then it's just baby steps one step at a time.


Kaitlyn  44:04  

Yeah, I love it. And I love that the fact of you know, first taking it off of yourself, I feel like something that we also easily do, or at least I know for myself I do a lot is, you know putting pressure on myself for certain things. And a lot of the times it is that feeling of needing to be perfect or having everything go my way or having everything in my life that I've always ever wanted. You know, there's just so much pressure that you can easily put on yourself for everything. So I think that's such a great way to look at really anything in life is okay. Let's take the pressure off of you first. And then let's see what we can do to like, move forward from there.


Sarah  44:43  

Yeah, and I find that like because I do this and I see other people doing it too is like, we can see ourselves doing that. And I can see myself being perfect and then I can be like why are you being so perfect. Of course you don't need to do that and like almost use that same strategy of like I was hard on myself because I wasn't perfect. And now I'm hard on myself because I see myself being perfect, but I can't stop that like a circle. Exactly, yeah. And I'm like using the same like strategy to be hard on myself in a different way. So so for sure, like, seeing that that is another part of this like way we've been conditioned to need to show up perfectly. And, and or to need to beat show up perfectly in our personal growth journey. So I love It's been so helpful for me to recognize that that's something I had to do for a long time. I really, like it was a survival strategy to show up as a someone who like had it all together and didn't need any help. And, and so that was a really reasonable and made sense as a response at that time. And so now with that perspective, I can start being kind to that response and recognize, like, give it some love and some self compassion, because like it really did, it was necessary for a while. And now I'm trying to like, update that and realize that it's not so necessary anymore. But instead of being mad at it, I can, like, see that it had its time and its place, and like now we can learn a different way. Yeah,


Kaitlyn  46:12  

Exactly. And even also speaking to advice. If you can give yourself a piece of advice from back when you first started your business, what kind of advice would that be?


Sarah  46:26  

I would, say, Have patience, I would say have patience. And the reason for that is that I had a lot, I had a big dream from the beginning and a big vision for how I wanted to combine these things and these different areas. And I had a lot of what you were just talking about with pressure, feeling like it needed to happen, like, let's do this. And it hasn't like, my system has needed baby steps. And progress breaks a little bit more in rest breaks. And so that, like, I think at the beginning, especially it could have been more like, okay with that, instead of feeling like I was frustrated the whole time that it wasn't happening faster. And it has happened quite fast. I've been running my business four years now. And it's grown really quickly. And so like, especially now I can look back and say like, it's cool, like, it might feel slow, but it's totally working just fine. Yeah, that's awesome.


Kaitlyn  47:26  

I think that's great advice. Because there's, a lot of the times I'm trying to remind myself of this too, is like patience, just just have patience. And even before I started my business, I would always say that I'm not very, I'm not much of a patient person, just in general with life things even when I'm driving, I feel like I'm not patient enough like I should be. So it's like, I feel like I should get in the car and already be where I'm supposed to be. So it's it's so funny thinking about because, you know, obviously, that was brought into when I created my business, still having that feeling of not being patient enough. But I tried to remind myself often, like, just have patience and things will happen, things will work out, just keep going.


Sarah  48:10  

Totally Yeah. And we're unlearning some big things to be able to slow things down and, and be with the process. Because I get that again, that like cultural urgency is a white supremacy thing. Like there's a lot of ways that that's been taught to us as again, a survival strategy. So so like, if there's a bunch of healing and and yeah, I'm learning of some deep stuff in order to, like, slow it down and be okay with it being slower. So it's like, I like seeing those bigger systems, because it again helps me feel like nothing's wrong with me that it's so hard, because it's, I can see it, but actually doing it is quite hard on a daily basis. So it's really helpful to see that like, of course, it's, it's gonna take some practice. Mm hmm.


Kaitlyn  48:52  

Yeah, definitely. And I'd love to hear also, where do you see yourself going from here? Like, are there any certain future plans or anything that you're really excited about?


Unknown Speaker  49:03  

Yeah, well, I so my fitness programs are running pretty smoothly. Right now I've got the summer one going right now, which is called summer strong. And the winter one is called ski babes. So that was like that's kind of the first tier of my business. And now that that's running and going really well, I am starting Somatic Experiencing training this year, which is this somatic psychology methodology. And I, I hope to in the next couple years at a deeper dive program for people who really want to get into the complexities of the body and of mental health and how all these things interrelate. So, so I'm excited to work that in and then I also do have the dream of starting a podcast this year, so that is also on my radar couple new dreams. 


Unknown Speaker  49:50  

Oh, I love it. That's so exciting. All of it sounds so fun, especially when you get to learn new things and then find a way to you know, also incorporate it into what you do. Because then it's just Cuz after a while, when you're doing something, it's nice to almost have that feeling of that sense of like something new again, you know, I mean, it's like, new and it makes it feel like fun and, and like, you're just looking forward to doing it now instead of feeling like you're constantly on repeat or you know, like doing the same thing or the same routine or schedule. It's exciting. 


Unknown Speaker  50:22  

Yeah, it'ssuper is. I'm such a learner, too, I'm always looking to add more tools and to learn more and like, understand more about how this all works. And, like fit more pieces into this puzzle that so that it like, we can see how they all are interrelated. And so I feel like that will kind of always be my journey is like learning more and then looking for new ways to incorporate that. So like I'm incorporating this somatic and nervous system work into the workouts, which is awesome. But then there are there is some work that can be done better in a smaller group in a deeper dive space. So it'll be fun to get into that.


Kaitlyn  50:53  

Yeah, definitely. And so of course, I love asking this question, because the podcast is all about being you know, outside of your comfort zone and everything. So no matter what is going on in life, we're always thrown in situations that could get people out of their comfort zones. So what usually helps you get yourself out of your comfort zone.


Sarah  51:14  

Okay, so I used to, like, pep talk myself through the times that I was outside of my comfort zone and just be like, you can do this, go for it, like you've got this. And what I have learned is that that approach is kind of like shutting down the fear, and kind of overriding it. So what I would say to this, it's been so helpful for me, and a bunch of the people that I work with is this skill of actually checking in with that part of you that's uncomfortable. And then like, there's two ways to go with it. And and this is that toggle of like, there are some times where that discomfort is too much for your system on that day. And then we really do want to let that be okay. Because forcing it to do it anyways. Like, unless you're in a survival situation, like there are times when you might need that. But most of our situations these days aren't that. So actually, there's this really cool thing that happens when your system learns to trust you. Because this, this experience of like feeling uncomfortable. Because we've been overriding ourselves for so long, we tend to get that, that that like warning flag, probably more often than we need to, than less than is really accurate. So so when we start to like, feel that discomfort, and then check in and decide whether today is the day I need to back down or take that as a no, we're not doing that today, or whether that's a time where like, Okay, this feels uncomfortable. But I think I got the capacity to like, do it anyways, and see how that goes. So if you can do that from an internally oriented place, then your system starts to trust and that you will actually listen to it. And it won't give you so many of those uncomfortable like warning flags all the time. Because it knows that like it only needs to tell you that when it's time that like we need to actually look at this. So that that's that's my little key to playing with that discomfort.


Kaitlyn  53:16  

Yeah, thank you for sharing that. Oh, I feel like I've been learning so much like new stuff today from you. So thank you so much for sharing everything. And I can definitely tell that you do love learning because there's so much like proof of what you've been sharing, you know what I mean? And that's what I love. So I appreciate all of these pieces that you have shared with us today.


Sarah  53:37  

You're welcome. I love this so much. I love talking about all of it. And I like I practice it a lot myself. So I it's been so helpful overview that I'm like, really excited to share it around and hope other people find some relief from the intensity of being human through some of these skillful ways.


Kaitlyn  53:54  

Yeah, definitely. I'm sure they will. And so before we get into the Fast Five, I'd love for you to share with everybody where they can find you.


Unknown Speaker  54:03  

Okay, so I am most active on Instagram. My handle is @Sarahmhistand. So Sarah M Histand. And I have a website that's the same. Sarahmhistand.com. And that's where you can find information about all my programs, I have a couple of free workouts on there if you want to like try out my training style and see if it resonates with you. And use those whenever and then if you want to join up for a full round of training, there's ways to get on an email list and get updated about those.


Kaitlyn  54:32  

Perfect Thank you. And so now for the Fast Five, I will ask you a question. And you can answer with a word or phrase that first comes to mind. Okay, I'm ready. Alright, so the first one is what helps you find inner confidence.


Sarah  54:50  

Oh my, like feeling my feet on the ground, connecting my feet. 


Kaitlyn  54:55  

Oh, I like that. That's a good one. what or who inspires you?


Sarah  55:02  

My husband right now is one of my big inspirations. He just wrote a book and he's putting it out into the world. And he really has always a really big vision.


Kaitlyn  55:12  

I love that. What is a hobby that you have outside of your business?


Sarah  55:18  

Reading, I have tons of books, and I can never make it through all of them. But I do my best.


Kaitlyn  55:24  

Awesome. And I think that's also sometimes it's good to, you know, sit back and like, it kind of relaxes you a little bit more reading to write and like, feel rejuvenated. 


Sarah  55:35  

Yeah, I got like stacks of nonfiction books that I want to read for, like learning. But I really my what I'm talking about here is just like fiction, just like getting lost in a story. 


Kaitlyn  55:44  

Yeah, I love that. And as a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?


Sarah  55:50  

I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. I wanted to play with animals and like help them be their best.


Kaitlyn  55:57  

Oh, I love that. That's so fun. Oh, that's awesome. And then I love asking this question because of being a photographer. So if you could capture one specific moment that represents your life through photograph, what would it be?


Sarah  56:14  

I am thinking about a photograph actually, that my husband took of me on one of our trips, where I'm like, walking this kind of Rocky Ridge. And there's just beautiful mountains and I valley floor on both sides. And I I'm like focused, but also there's like a lift in my chest where you can sort of tell that like, I'm feeling good and strong and capable. And that's kind of the image that that is coming to mind right now.


Kaitlyn  56:46  

Oh, I love that. That's so awesome. And I feel like that share like tells your story so well also.


Well thank you so much for joining me today and sharing your story and sharing everything that you're doing. I love it. And I think that it's going to inspire so many people also. So thank you so much. You are welcome. It's been really a pleasure to talk with you. Thanks again for listening to the inspired by her story podcast. I hope you found some inspiration, motivation, encouragement and empowerment to get you out of your comfort zone and live your life to the fullest. Make sure to follow rate and review on Apple podcasts and follow the podcast at inspired by her story on Instagram. Follow my brand photography on Instagram at Caitlyn castle creations and come along with me during my travels at Caitlyn Casso. Go ahead and share the podcast with a friend and take these stories with you to make the changes in your life that you've been looking for. Stay tuned for the next inspired by her story episode.


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