Did you know I’m a journalist? I mean, you probably do because I mention it in the intro of many episodes of Humans Outside. But you probably didn’t know I’m launching a local nonprofit newspaper.

It’s an all-consuming project, and going outside has been key to helping me get it off the ground.

Going outside daily has also been key to helping me understand how to manage my time, how to prioritize what’s important to me, how to make all of it happen in one day.

But it’s also taught me that the world is full of natural beginnings and endings as a part of the seasons.

Listen now.


[:36] A fun fact about me

[:54] In which I wax reminiscent about days of yore

[1:52] Why local news is so, so important

[2:35] My new local news project

[3:14] What outdoors continues to mean to me

[4:05] But I can’t do everything

[5:23] And so it comes down to this

What happens if you say “yes” to just one adventure or step out of your comfort zone? Maybe you’ll create a single unforgettable experience. Or maybe that “yes” will lead you down a path where you encounter more interesting (and maybe a little scary) ideas and opportunities.

That’s what today’s guest, author and physician Mimi Zieman, found when she stepped out of her comfort zone in New York City to try something new. From the streets of the city to the base camp of Mt. Everest, Mimi discovered how saying yes to ideas and taking up space in the world can lead to a lifetime of growth.

In this episode, Mimi takes us on her journey from “yes” to Everest and gives us tips for finding our own space by following the power of that one word. Listen now.

[2:42 ] – Mimi Zieman’s favorite outdoor space

[04:22] – How Mimi went from city to nature

[06:27] – The challenges Mimi found up at Rocky Mountain Biological Lab.

[09:25] – How Mimi ended up in Nepal

[15:10] – The wild challenges on Everest

[21:45] – Here’s how that Everest experience impacted Mimi.

[28:59] – Why you have to take up space in the world

[31:11] – Mimi’s best advice for those wanting to say yes to more adventures

There are a lot of reasons to spend time in nature, but as I reflect back on all of the things I’ve learned by heading outside every day for more than 2,500 days in a row, some takeaways stick out more than others.

The biggest thing I’ve learned by spending time outside is also both my favorite lesson and the thing I least expected.

What is it? Listen now!

[00:45] The start of my outdoor challenge

[01:39] There were some benefits I expected

[02:21] And then there is one big benefit I didnt see coming

[03:33] I realized while doing this unpredictable thing

[04:15] 2016 Amy would NEVER

[05:08] It’s time to face the change

There’s something both comforting and amazing about the way nature takes the reigns no matter what happens. During a recent walk in the woods, I saw startling new growth on top of recent harm, and it was just the reminder I needed about nature’s power to reclaim itself and me.

Maybe it’s a reminder you need, too.


[00:23] Here’s what I did outside this week

[00:35] Nature just out there healing its own self

[01:37] Here’s where I face the music

[02:32] And here’s what I saw when I did

[04:03] Oh yeah, nature heals people, too

No matter how you define “hard,” heading outside offers plenty of chances to tackle it. Many people who choose to tackle hard stuff outside are pushed to do so to honor some kind of “why.”

For some of us, that “why” is health or to push our own personal boundaries. For others, the “why” is on behalf of someone else.

Ultrarunner Emily Halnon’s “why” has everything to do with her mom, who died from an aggressive form of cancer in early 2020. To honor her she headed out to tackle a major challenge running on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It’s a story she’s now shared in her new book “To The Gorge.”

Through her journey she learned the power of moving through hard stuff. In this episode you’ll hear Emily share the things she’s learned through that journey and how you can make yourself do hard things outside, too.

[4:06] Emily Halnon’s favorite outdoor space

[5:36] How Emily became someone who likes to go outside

[7:05] How Emily’s mom inspired her running career

[10:29] All about Andrea Halnon’s adventurous life

[15:27] The grief and grit in running across Oregon

[22:37] How to get mentally tough to prepare for a mega run

[30:01] Why hard stuff outside helps us prepare for life’s challenges.

[33:04] The internal dialogue of pushing through the tough stuff

[35:07] Why it’s not a bad thing to feel a little scared

[36:39] Emily’s favorite outdoor moment