Podcast: Cross-Training for Skiers and Aging Gracefully

Cross-Training for Skiing, Channeling Healthy Aggression, and Women-Centered Spaces Outdoors

I recently sat down with Jen Gurecki of Coalition Snow for a juicy chat (hah!) on the Juicy Bits podcast for an episode we called Wisdom & Wellness. We covered so much ground, from learning to ski as an adult, to aging gracefully, to cross-training for winter sports, and lots more.

Jen is a winter superfan and the CEO of Coalition Snow. Over at Coalition Snow, they sell winter sports gear and other merch, plus lead group outdoor trips. Jen and her team have created a fantastic niche in the skiing and snowboarding community, and I’m happy to have an ongoing relationship with them. Jen has even joined us for Ski Babes workouts!

One of the topics we loved most is unpacking the norm and pressure in skier culture for skiers to go as hard as possible and constantly push themselves physically. We poked at why we don’t subscribe to that mentality, and the importance of joy and mental health in redefining what it means to “get better” at skiing and other outdoor recreation. It’s good stuff!

Another big highlight of the conversation was diving into our experience with healthy aggression. For folks socialized as women, we’re often taught to stifle feelings like anger and aggression, which can lead to those emotions coming out in unhealthy or self-destructive ways. We talk about how we’ve learned to cultivate healthy expressions of aggression and compare our experiences on what this looks like in our lives. Both of us feel passionately that there’s lots to be gained by learning to embrace healthy aggression.

Use the notes below if you’d like to skip around within the episode, and check out the links below to give the episode a listen from wherever you get your podcasts!

We recorded this episode right before the start of winter, but no matter what time of year you give it a listen, I hope you enjoy my chat with Jen!

What We Talked about in This Episode

  • (3:23) Sarah’s background and Jen’s most burning question about Ski Babes
  • (5:24) Creating women-centered spaces in outdoor recreation
  • (10:20) Cis men as Ski Babes and what allyship can look like
  • (13:00) Making cross-training financially accessible and ethical business practices
  • (16:02) What does aging mean for us? And how being in our 40s does and doesn’t feel different
  • (20:10) Learning to ski as an adult and the inspiration to build cross-training programs for skiers
  • (23:52) Redefining what it means to “get better” at skiing and sport
  • (27:25) Comparing notes on what it means to express healthy aggression
  • (37:58) Cultivating a sense of internal safety

Where to Listen

Learn More

Winter Cross-Training for skiers: Join us for Ski Babes!

Ski and Snowboard Gear plus Group Outdoor Adventures: Check out Coalition Snow!


Episode Transcript

00:00:34 Hello and welcome. I'm Jillian Raymond, the co-creator of Juicy Bits and a Coalition Snow ambassador. And I'm Jen Gurecki, your co-host and the CEO of Coalition Snow. For those of you who are new, get ready to laugh, cry, and maybe pee your pants a little. Juicy Bits is about taking the conversations that we start on the chairlift and at the trailhead and bringing them to you to explore alternative narratives that challenge the status quo about what it means to be a modern woman in the outdoors.

00:01:02 Grab your helmet because sometimes it's a bumpy ride. FYI, friends, this podcast is for mature audiences, so you've been warned. Let's get to work and juice the patriarchy. Hello, everyone. Welcome to Juicy Bits. You are listening to this in the future. Well, for you right now, it's actually the present, but us recording it is the future.

00:01:25 And what is really important to note is that we are recording in the middle of Mercury in retrograde, which has been an absolute disaster, if you ask me, like one of the most difficult mercury and retrogrades I've ever had to endure. But today, today is the cazimi. And how perfect is it that we have a special guest joining us today on the cazimi, which means this recording might actually work out and we might have a lovely conversation.

00:01:56 Also, no one knows anymore. We could completely crash and burn. You have to listen all the way to the end to find out what's really going to happen. But you're in the future to us, and we're excited that today and the present is the cazimi, which means nothing to you in the future, but means a lot right now. So anywho, I'm just really excited about our special guests today. We don't always have special guests. Sometimes, you know most of the time, as you all know, it's just Jillian and myself. And while we are hilarious and love listening to ourselves talk, we understand that you also like to hear from other people.

00:02:28 So our first guest for season seven is Sarah Histand from Ski Babes, who is someone that we've worked with so much at Coalition Snow, and that's why she's here today. It's just lovely to be able to have people join us who we've been building relationships over multiple years, and then also just other women in the industry who are doing really good work. So Sarah, welcome to Juicy Bits. Yay. Thanks for having me.

00:02:58 I'm so glad we have the cazimi magic backing us today. Oh, it's like the only thing that's going to save our ass because I shouldn't even be talking to anyone at all during the entire Mercury in retrograde. I should be locked in my home and not allowed to talk to anyone. Yeah, or use technology. We should just go off into the mountains for the three weeks. Or just forever, or just forever. Sarah, okay. I know what you do. And I know all about Ski Babes, because we've been working together for a long time.

00:03:29 But for any of our listeners who are not familiar with your ski babes, can you give us a little background? Sure, yeah. Yeah. Well, it's so nice to be here. I am in Alaska in Anchorage, Alaska on Dena'ina Land. And I am a mental health informed adventure fitness trainer.

00:03:51 So that means I'm a therapist and a trainer and I like to be outside and I like smushed those things together into my ski babes program, which is the winter training option that we have that helps people who have busy lives and lots going on and also want to get outside do the cross-training that helps that go well so that we have less injuries and hopefully more fun and we can keep up with our friends and yeah, get out there without crashing and burning quite as much.

00:04:22 Yeah. Does ski babes require you to run? It does not. Thank God. That's why we're a big fan. That's why everyone knows I only run when things are chasing me. So that is another reason why we're a big fan. Ski Babes does not require you to run. Yes. It doesn't. You know, I've had such a journey with running. I have not ran in a long time, but I just started a couple of weeks ago trying to get back into it. And good lord, it's really hard.

00:04:52 It's interval training. It's body weight interval training that you do from your living room. And it like replicates the movements that we do outside in winter. So you're like kind of thinking about, okay, how would I apply this to the mountains while you're moving? Yeah, yeah. And we will, for all the listeners, we will include a link to Ski Babes in the show notes. So you can definitely go in and check that out.

00:05:16 But one of the you know beyond you not requiring anyone to run, another thing that I am just a big fan of about Ski Babes is that you are dedicated to creating women-centered spaces. And whenever I say something like that out loud or any sort of like affinity group, there's always going to be some man who's like, not me. Why can't I be there?

00:05:45 We're not all like there's like just this noise from people. And I think you find it in all affinity groups. You'll find white women complaining about affinity spaces for black women. And you know people tend to not like being left out because they are not capable of seeing how their exclusion is actually beneficial for others. And that that benefit just creates a more just and equitable world.

00:06:17 Like we shouldn't all be allowed to do everything. So I know at Coalition with the trips that we run, our far out trips, a lot of what we're doing, we definitely exclude people to ensure that the people who we are including have the most positive and sort of the most impactful experience. But I was hoping if you could talk a little bit about that in terms of your vision around women-centered spaces and the thought that you've put into developing that for Ski Babes?

00:06:52 Yeah, man. It's such a good question. Excuse me. Yeah, we have created what we call a women-centered space, which in our, we're not excluding people, men or people of other genders in our programs. We just ask that if other people are participating, that they take up less space. And it is majority women.

00:07:18 And because of that gives us the opportunity to talk about how different it is to be a woman in the backcountry and the pressures that are there and the things that we have been conditioned out of us that we actually need to learn how to bring back around, like healthy aggression and how to take up space and trust our own judgment instead of deferring to other people's.

00:07:42 There's like so many dynamics that are part of our identities that play out in the way that we experience our bodies and our self when we're moving, just like even in a workout, but then especially when you're like taking your body and putting it out in like a risky situation where you have to manage weather and conditions and risk and social dynamics.

00:08:08 So it's been feeling really, really good to have a place where we can center the woman and non-binary experience of being outside. We have such good conversations about we have a lot of mothers in there and being a mother is different than being a father and you know just lots of... But yeah, like you said. And then there are, we also host smaller affinity groups inside of Ski Babes, too, for the people who are in the program and also have other identities that they might want to find commonality with.

00:08:45 So we have a person of color affinity group inside, a parent group, a group for people who are experiencing chronic illness or other invisible illnesses for aging athletes. I'm trying to think, I'm sure there's some other ones I'm missing, but there's these little micro spaces for people to build relationships and build community with others who experience this configuration of identities that impacts their outdoor experience.

00:09:16 Yeah. One of the things I've noticed, so with the far out trips that we run, our Japan trip and our trip to Mount Bachelor, which we call Bachelorette, those are explicitly open to women, non-binary and trans people. Whereas the trips that I run in Kenya, the cycling trips, it actually explicitly states that they're open to all human beings, but that we center the experiences of women, non-binary and trans participants.

00:09:45 Funny thing, well, not funny. Also, no one is surprised. I have never had a cis man register for any of our trips, even though they have never been actively excluded from half of what we offer. And I think that just comes with a decade of showing up in the world the way that I do and the way that coalition has.

00:10:11 But I'm curious, do you have men who register for your training? And is that like do you actively have to work at creating a women-centered space, or is it natural because that's who's there? We have a few men that sign up every season. I don't know the stats. It's probably like maybe less than 5% of the total cohort.

00:10:38 And I haven't had to work too hard at policing their activity in general, because we have the workouts that are pre-recorded and you log in and you just kind of go to do those. And then we have the community space where you can get together and share what your experience and get to know people a little bit better and some live events too. And in general, the cis men that show up just like go do the workouts and don't like don't engage on the rest of it. So maybe they self-police on that.

00:11:08 I'm so curious, no. My read on that is it could either be that they're like scared to engage in a women's centered place and that feels so different and uncertain and they don't want to do anything wrong. And so they just like stay out. Or I also think there are probably some people in that demographic who are just like, oh, this is for women. I should just like I'm like on the program. I got the memo.

00:11:37 Like I'm excited to be here. I'm going to get I'm going to do this training to get ready for ski season. And because I've been asked to not take up space, I'm not going to. And also by registering for ski babes, I'm supporting a women-owned business that centers women. What a wonderful way for men to be allies, isn't it? Ooh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And then I hear some fun stories. It's often through people's partners.

00:12:04 Like a woman will sign up who's in a heterosexual relationship and her partner will step in and do a workout with her once in a while. And usually they get their butts kicked and then they're like, whoa. Like one of them, one story is a friend who went through that. And her partner was a smoker and he did a couple of workouts with her. And he was like, I got to stop smoking. I'm going to do this.

00:12:34 So I always love, I take a little bit of joy in humbling someone who's in that role who thought that they wouldn't sign up for this woman-centered program. And then they come in and get their butt kicked a little bit. And that feels good to me. Yeah, that's the petty side of us. We can feel good about those things. I'm a big fan of petty in certain circumstances.

00:13:01 Another thing that you do that I'm a big fan of is that you talk about financial accessibility as a tool for creating an ethical business. You have a whole blog on your website about it. And you talk about a number of different things, including differentiating between equity and equality. But there's specific things that you do in ski babes around this. And I was hoping you could speak a little bit to that.

00:13:30 Yeah, we have put a lot of thought into this. It is a tricky thing to do as a small business and also as a women-owned business, because I also want to pay myself and my team equitably and well for all of our work. So I think there is often, often it's easy to come in with like a big heart and be like, I want to give everything away. But to do this, no one gets paid and my business cuts down. There you go.

00:13:59 I know. And we're broke and we burn out and then we can't keep giving the services that we want to give. So yeah, so what we have, our main program for financial equity is we call it sistering support. And I pulled that name from a construction term, which is like when a beam that's like holding up a roof is overloaded with weight, they sister it by putting other beams on either side of it. They like squish it up between its sisters.

00:14:29 I just, it's such a good metaphor for like when the idea is like when you're tired and you're holding up too much weight, you get your sisters beside you and we help you hold up what you're holding up. So yeah, you can apply for sistering support. We made the application as low maintenance, like easy to apply as possible. And we fund that through donations and through some fundraising efforts.

00:14:57 So I think the difference between just like we're not just giving the scholarships away out of our profit margin, which isn't at this point big enough to accommodate that. But we're funding this program. It's kind of like a mutual aid program, essentially. When people have extra, as they're signing up, they can contribute to these efforts. And when we have surplus out of some of the live workouts we do, we take donations, or we have like you can buy ski babes tank tops from us and we put the proceeds for that into the Sistering Support Fund.

00:15:31 So we're like filling the fund with our sort of side efforts instead of just giving it all away. So that way it's mutually beneficial. It's working really well. And we prioritize those funds for people who are underrepresented in the industry. So people of color, people with chronic illness or bigger bodies, people who are aging and also have financial need. What do you consider aging as the older woman in the room?

00:16:06 What do you consider aging? What year? I think people get to define that for themselves. I don't have a threshold on that. I do think something you know changes in our bodies at menopause. So I think there's a kind of a point in our physical bodies changing at that point. But I think we get to define that on our own terms.

00:16:31 Yeah, well, because it is, I just turned 46 and I just feel like I'm like 23 years old still. I'm completely out of control most days. But it's funny to you know think about how younger people perceive me and then being in spaces. Because in the outdoor industry, there's so many young women, like women in their 20s. And then to visibly be older than them, but then also speak differently and perceive the world in a different way.

00:17:03 And it's not lost on me that I am, yeah, like I'm almost 50 in how different that is. And I'm just always curious what like I'm just more and more curious about what younger people think of what is aging and what defines old and what is old and what isn't. And it's just you know as I gaze at my you know wrinkles on my neck, these are the things I think about. It is interesting, isn't it?

00:17:33 I'm 41 and I definitely feel older than I did in my 30s. But then I also, I've had a couple of years where I kind of backed off on fitness prioritization and instead did a lot of nervous system healing and other therapy work myself. And so I think as part of that, my body went through a softer season and now it's maybe coming back around and I might have a second youth coming. We'll see. I think you will.

00:18:04 I definitely feel like, yeah, in my 40s, I feel stronger in my 40s than I have, I think, other parts of my life. But I'm certainly more tired. I don't know what it's going to take to feel 100% rested. But I try to get like you know seven to eight hours of sleep a night. I'm in bed most nights, probably at like 11:00. I'm up at 7:00.

00:18:34 That's normal. You know occasionally, there's like a full send night where you're like out to like 3:00 in the morning and whatever. But that's like a few times a year. But I cannot, even though I'm like getting seven hours of sleep and I'm going to bed sober and I'm sleeping by myself, I still wake up every day and I'm like, I'm so fucking tired. I don't even I feel like that's an aging thing. Whereas like I can ride my bike across Kenya and be like, what?

00:19:02 There's no problem. We're fine. Yeah, yeah. OK. That's really relatable to me too, the tired, and this awareness that if I had taken you know the time off that I took over the last years in my 20s and I wanted to get back in shape, I could probably do that in like, you know, four to six weeks and I'd be like back crushing it again. And at this point, it's like, this is probably going to take a few months to maybe a year to gain. It's a longer trajectory, but it's not possible.

00:19:34 It's true. And the strength does feel true. The embodiment and the ability to like work with my body instead of having to rely on override and pushing through all the time. I feel like I have a whole 'nother skill set for that that feels like it's going to help me a lot through this next stage of life. Oh, for sure. You just kind of like you're like, yeah, no, I'm not doing that anymore. We're done. I don't prove it anymore. That was a big thing in my 20s, too.

00:20:04 Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So one of the things that, since we're talking about adulting and aging, you learned how to ski as an adult, which is almost like I feel like learning anything technical as an adult is nearly impossible. Or it's definitely impossible for me because I have no patience and everything annoys me. But not everything. Many things. There's a list.

00:20:33 But you learned how to ski as an adult. How? Why? What happened? How have you done it? Inspire all of us. Tell us your secrets, please. Yeah, I sure did. And it's not the smoothest route. I'm so jealous of the people that learned when they were little. But my, you know, so I'm here in Alaska and I just moved to Anchorage, which is the big city here, and there is a lift that's like an hour away.

00:21:03 So I just moved into town five years ago. Before that, I was in rural Alaska in these little towns with no lift access. So I learned to ski not only as an adult, but through backcountry skiing, which means it was like very slow. It was like beautiful, but I was getting in like two or three runs a day, which is a very like, goodness. Probably not the ideal way to learn at all.

00:21:33 But I, you know, the good thing about small town Alaska is that the mountains are right there. So the access was really easy and pretty quick to get out of town and into the mountains as often as possible. So repetition was really huge for me, just trying to get out as much as I could. And I'm not a great skier. I'm like a medium skier now. And maybe I'll get a lift pass for the season and take that up a level.

00:22:01 But one of the hard things for me as someone who, I was like a straight A student. I used to love to be the best at everything. And skiing was the place where I had to like really confront that that was not going to be me in that environment and deal with all of the imposter syndrome and I call it weakest link syndrome when you're like the weak link in the group.

00:22:29 You can't necessarily hang with the rest of your friends in the same way and how uncomfortable that can be mentally and also for your nervous system. So you know essentially that's the origin of ski babes is I was on that learning curve in the Valdez mountains and really like it was so hard physically and it was also so hard mentally. And then I was, my day job at the time was fitness training.

00:23:00 I was running a gym in town and I was teaching these workouts that I realized helped a lot with the skiing, like practicing some of the weight transfer transitions and even just recognizing where my weight balance was when I was indoors helped me like apply it outside with a little bit better results than I would have without that type of strength training. And then I was also finishing up my social work master's degree and realizing how well all of that mental health skill helped me when I was outside, just like I have a pretty strong inner critic.

00:23:35 And so that would come out big time in the mountains. And I had to really lean on those mental strategies to help it not be just like so angsty and awful when I was falling all the time and my friends were just like having a great time and making it look easy. Yeah. Well, it is like, you know I think skiing and snowboarding and just so many things in life, it's really something that you just need to be good enough at. You just need to be good enough to have fun at it.

00:24:03 And you know that is really the whole point is to just be out having fun. And unfortunately, the industry has crafted this narrative that if you aren't going big and skiing hard and dropping into these lines and getting air, like doing all the things, then you're not a good skier. And that that is really that image of a skier or a snowboarder is what's been presented to us to aspire toward.

00:24:33 And while that certainly works for some people and it really motivates some people, it also really paralyzes other people in terms of just feeling like they're good enough or that they have the strength or the ability to be out there or that they even belong. And I think having these conversations about you only need to be good enough to ski and board and good enough is for you. It's like just getting to that point where it's fun.

00:25:02 And then if you progress, that's great, but you don't have to. I love that so much. It's so not, like you said, not taught in the culture of skiing or outdoor rec in general. Yeah, we think about that in fitness as like the no pain, no gain sort of mentality. And sometimes I call that like toxic bro adventure and fitness culture and how much pressure there is to be always like on this trajectory that's always getting better, better, better and always going as hard as possible.

00:25:37 But I think both with your workouts and in the outdoors, if there's that sweet spot of I'm taking care of my body and I'm having a good time, yeah, I'd love to stay with that. Yeah. Otherwise, I mean, it is fun to get better at things, certainly, and also being able to set that mark for ourselves of what better means.

00:26:05 Because I think it's absolutely different for everyone of what getting better or what progress looks like. For some people, it might be very physical. For some people, it might be very emotional. For other people, it could be social. Like there's so many different ways that we can evolve in the sport that it doesn't need to simply be you know the physical, obviously combined with the mental capability of hucking your body off a cliff.

00:26:37 We don't have to do that. Yeah, oh my gosh. And when it's just physical, then we're going to fail at it sometime, right? Like we're going to get injured or our bodies are inevitably going to age and decline at some point where it's this ableist idea that we can be on this upward trajectory and like that's when we're good. And then if anything else happens, then something's wrong. That's just not the way it works to be human.

00:27:07 So it's really, I think it can be so, so helpful to expand our idea of, yeah, what learning is or what improvement is to those other areas. Yeah. Another thing you've been exploring as an adult is healthy aggression. You want to talk about that? Because I think that's an interesting one, right? Because aggression isn't normally a term that is applied positively to women.

00:27:39 And yet it's something that you are actively working on and embracing. And I'd love to hear your take on healthy aggression, particularly in relationship to the way that women show up in the world. Yeah, okay. This is like a hot topic for me right now. And I'm excited to specifically talk with you about it because I think you do a really good job with this, at least from what I see of this podcast and your emails. And it seems like you have a good relationship with that. So let us know what your secrets are.

00:28:08 But in general, I think just to define it, you know healthy aggression, I think of as in the nervous system, it's a fight response that is not a one that's not flooded. You know When our nervous system gets flooded or we get into like an out-of-control fight response, that's when we get into like scary and unhealthy aggression and violence. And I'm definitely not condoning any of that as a tool, but there is, it's all on a continuum, right?

00:28:41 And there is an expression of a fight response that is a very healthy and appropriate and accurate response to different environments that we're in. And I think about it a lot with outdoor sports, with skiing and biking and these especially gravity sports, paddling, when we're needing to move into something challenging. You know, it's like people like pump themselves up. That's some activation of the sympathetic charge, which is activating a bit of a fight response.

00:29:14 But I really see you know something I've been working on in my own body and with a lot of the people who are in my community that you know women have been conditioned out of displaying aggression. You know There's so much conditioning around being subservient, being agreeable, being a conflict, reducing force in our social dynamics, and lots of shame put on us for being an angry woman, especially people of color, I think, experience that like a million.

00:29:47 The stereotype of an angry black woman is like so, there's so much negativity around those stereotypes. So we often have like developed a way to work around anger and flip it into a different, like, often I see people like shaming themselves, like putting the anger on the, like internalizing their anger, or just collapsing underneath it when there's an anger charge, just feeling like their body maybe goes into freeze instead or flight to like get out of there instead of being able to like use that charge.

00:30:24 Yeah. Interesting. How do you do it? What's your strategy? Yeah, well, I don't know if it's something that I actively work on versus it just sort of like is who I am. But you know I do reflect on it because I recognize that you know I break the mold around emotions that women show publicly.

00:30:53 I think one big thing of it is I literally just don't give a fuck. I don't care if you think I'm nice. I know I'm not nice. No one has ever thought I'm nice. I'm a lot of very good things and I'm very comfortable. Like I'm proud of all the things I'm very good at. And you know I'm a very kind person. I'm fair. I'm trustworthy. I have integrity. I'm a hard worker. There's like all these things that I'm really proud of.

00:31:23 I don't need to tick every box. So if the one box that doesn't get ticked is nice, cool, fine. Yeah, I'm good. Thank you. So I think that's like I think that's a big part of being comfortable expressing yourself and expressing what people would perceive to be aggressive. The only reason why I'm perceived to be aggressive is because we've been told women aren't supposed to act the way that I act.

00:31:53 It's a construct. It's not actually aggressive. I don't belittle people. I don't pick fights with people you know verbally or physically. So yeah, I just don't care what people think is the first thing. And the people who know me, the people who like but when I say I don't care what people think, it's like I don't care what strangers think. The people who know me, who their opinions of me do matter, we don't have a problem.

00:32:24 There's not an issue. Like I have a lot of friends for a reason. So I'm good there. So I think that's one thing is just not caring if people don't think I'm nice. I think another tool would be my so-called air quote aggression does not come from fear. I'm not afraid.

00:32:49 You know I'm a big proponent of not making decisions and not acting from a place of being afraid and not you know just fear. And I certainly am afraid plenty of times around all sorts of things, whether it's like business or you know if I'm doing something where I am pushing myself in the outdoors, I experience fear. Again, air quote aggression doesn't stem from fear.

00:33:21 So I think that that is another reason why I think I feel comfortable with it. And then I think probably the last thing that and maybe another reason why I don't feel a huge need to change is because my existence on this planet in the way that I show up creates additional space for women to break the mold.

00:33:54 So if I were to rein it in, I would be reining everybody in. But because I'm willing to push hard on a boundary that a lot of people will not push. Like there are obviously like women of color cannot push the way that I can push. White women could, they just choose not to. But because I push, that creates this space where people can move into.

00:34:21 So it's this constant like you know and whether it's, again, like the aggression or any of the things that I'm known for, it is actually very strategic to push on that boundary, to scoot that boundary, and then everybody else can just kind of come along. And that's why I think it's important to not try to be different. And I get it that not everybody likes it.

00:34:50 There are people you know men, women, all humans. There's people who'd be like, I'm done with her. I don't even want to listen to her. Some of you might have already stopped listening to this podcast. You might have unsubscribed. You want to follow me. I don't know all the things. That's fine. I don't need to I don't need to be here for everyone. I don't need to be liked by everyone. I'm very clear on the things that I'm able to do with the way that I show up in the world.

00:35:22 Well, I think it's awesome. I'm sure. Yeah, I'm sure there's pushback in people who it doesn't sit well with for their own reasons. But I think there is really some great magic in that healthy display of aggression, the ability internally to be with your own aggression. And I think the other thing that your example does is it sets, it changes the set point for what we think is normal and acceptable and okay for a female-bodied person to be in the world.

00:35:51 And I think we all are all of our own nervous systems just by being exposed to the way you're able to hold that charge and express it. Get to reattuned to that as a new normal. It's a really powerful thing. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah yeah I think getting older, you think a lot more about like you kind of go through life of being like, I'm just trying to get through life. And then as you get a little bit older, you're like, huh, look at that.

00:36:24 Look where I'm at now. Look what you just reflect and reflect in a pretty significant way. But yeah, I just, I think it's important. I think it's important you know to feel comfortable showing up as yourself. And I recognize that not all women even have the interest in showing up the way that I do.

00:36:49 So it's not that I think that you know healthy aggression is something that everyone needs to embody as much as we just all should be more comfortable with it and tune into it. It's nice that people have different personalities and that we all do different things and that we don't need to shame ourselves when something comes up that society has told us is a wrong thing to do because of our gender. Oh, that is such a good point, isn't it?

00:37:18 Because it's not that we all mean to have a wobbly thing around our own fight response. It's that we've had to. It's been a really intelligent response from our own bodies and nervous systems since we were real little to figure out a workaround that kept us safe and helped us exist in this society with all of its power structures and all of its bullshit. So there's a big piece of like unlearning and deconditioning and healing around coming to terms with that for each of us.

00:37:52 I think one thing I really heard in what you were sharing was like a really strong internal sense of safety, which is really, really cool to make note of. And I think something that a lot of us are working on building. It's like when we can the ability to let go of what other people think, especially people who don't know you, like that requires a lot of internal like, I'm OK. Yeah. And there is like like obviously I have privilege as you know a cis white woman, middle-class white woman.

00:38:25 Like I have levels of safety that other people don't have. I will say that with the increased violence that I've seen in the United States, particularly against the LGBTQIA community and the anti-Semitic community or the anti-Semitic sentiment against the Jewish community. Like I definitely in the last few years have felt more at risk, particularly as someone who lives alone and travels alone and does so many things alone.

00:38:57 And so I do recognize that there is absolutely this element of safety. And I think that I do make strategic decisions about where I go and who I will be around and what I will say, not only from a physical safety standpoint, but also an emotional one. I don't need to hear it. I don't need to hear it. I don't need to see it. I don't need to be around it.

00:39:24 So I try to be really mindful about who I spend time with and what situations I will find myself in. And thinking about I don't need to be spending time with people who don't accept me for my full self. And that has been you know again, it goes back to like, I don't need everyone to like me. So I don't need to go I don't need to be in every space all the time.

00:39:51 I can limit that and find the ones that feel the safest, particularly given this world that we live in, which I would argue is becoming increasingly more unsafe. Yeah, right. Because the reason the unsafety is very real too. So the nervous system like making judgment calls all the time about what's safe and what's not is really necessary.

00:40:18 And sometimes it's safe to display that healthy aggression, especially when we're on a podcast mic and there's nobody here out to get us, but it's like not in every situation out in the actual world. Would that be the right thing to do? No, it's not. Yeah. And I just feel fortunate that I have my own podcast, my own business, my own newsletter, my own Instagram. There's these things that I control. And so I can show up in that way. But I'm certainly not naive enough to think that I can just roll out and do whatever I want to do at any given time.

00:40:52 And again, you know if I feel that way, it makes me think a lot about people with additional identities, you know like how difficult it is to be in this world and to navigate it and to feel safe and to feel like you can be yourself, because you certainly cannot all the time.

00:41:21 But at least winter's coming. And so there's something even though who knows what shit storm we're going to be following on the news or what's the next big thing. At least we don't have to deal with summer anymore, which is a huge plus because summer is the worst and I don't want anyone I don't want to hear it from anyone. Well, I'll fight you on that one because here in Alaska, we get like three months of summer and then it's dark for the rest of the year.

00:41:50 So when summer goes, it's really sad, even though I can't make sense. Somewhere down here, it's like, who needs it? I don't need it. I'm excited about winter coming. And I hope people, I hope other people who are listening to this podcast are excited about winter coming. And if people want to get their bodies in gear, because we're all probably a little bit rusty from last you know last season, people should definitely check out ski babes and check out the virtual courses that you offer.

00:42:28 I have participated in one. It kind of kicked my ass in a very good way. I recognize how in shape I could get if I chose to do it every day. So yeah, here's to a really fantastic winter. Sarah, thank you so much for joining me today on Juicy Bits and for this discussion.

00:42:55 I'm excited to read some of these show notes and think about this conversation and excited to continue to partner with you in the future. Yeah. Oh, me too. Really fun talking with you. Thanks for having me, Jen, and all the Juicy Bits, folks. It's really nice to have been here with you. My pleasure. All right, everyone. If you have any questions at all or any comments, feel free to write in at juicybits@ coalitionsnow.com.

00:43:24 You can also just send us a message on Instagram or through the website and make sure that you go check out Ski Babes and get ready for winter. All right, everyone. We'll see you next time. Bye. Bye.


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