Mentioned in the show:
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City Mountains
Outdoor rock climbing
Indoor rock climbing
Snorkeling in a crater in Utah
The 3 Day Effect
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Favorite Gear: Eddie Bauer leggings
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AB: Nailah Blades Wiley is a community builder and consultant who helps women entrepreneurs balance their lifestyles. Sounds like a pretty typical business consultant thing, right? Well, unlike other business coaches, Nailah has a unique focus and even more specific group of clients. Her business Color Outside focuses on using life in the outdoors to inspire and assist women of color while encouraging diversity and outdoor use. Nailah, welcome to the Humans Outside Podcast.
NW: Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.
AB: As with all of our shows, we start by imagining ourselves in our guest’s favorite outdoor space, just drinking coffee, having a chat. Where are we with you today?
NW: Oh, wow. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah and mine is pretty simple. So probably a block away from my house there is this little, I don’t know, like just nature enclave where there’s like a big pond and the ducks go there and it’s just lush and green and you could hike around a little bit and you can sit they have these really great benches where you can just sit and think. And that is probably where I am. After I drop my kids off to school, a lot of times I’ll just go there and sit a little bit and just get centered before I tackle the day. So I think that that is my favorite little outdoor spot and it’s really close to home. It’s accessible and it just checks all the boxes for me.
AB: That sounds great. Glad to join you there. So you said you’re based in Utah and you live there, of course with your family and doing this really fascinating work as a type of business coach. Tell us tell us about how you got started in that – what your aha moment was that kicked that into focus for you.
NW: My family and I moved to Utah about four years ago now. And when I moved here, there were a lot of people in my life. I was a new mom. So my daughter was about one at the time. I had a marketing agency that I was like — I don’t know if this is it for me. And I was just trying to figure it out. Should I scale this business? Should I just get rid of this business? And then we were moving from Southern California to Utah, which was a huge cultural shift for me and I was leaving everything behind that I had known and loved and just going into this new world that I knew nothing about. So I think I was at a point of a lot of transition and I just was feeling a little bit lost myself. And when I got here to Salt Lake City, I was like — you know what I want to get out, I want to explore this new home. And so I started doing that. And as I got outside and as I got into the mountains, I could see that clarity that I needed, you know. I felt reconnected to myself.
I think that’s what started this process. I just felt like — well, this has helped me so much. I bet that there’s other women of color who feel the same way who have moved here to Salt Lake City. There’s a lot of transplants here, and we’re looking for that community where they can feel safe and vulnerable and not not feel intimidated by just the outdoor community at large. So Color Outside really just started as a free Meetup group and really it started because, at the time, that was a community that I needed for myself, so I just created it.
AB: You said you found clarity going into the mountains. Has going outside always been a part of who you are, or was there a time that that became true?
NW: Yeah, so I never would have considered myself an outdoorsy person before now, even though I’m not sure if I – sometimes I don’t know if I qualify as the most outdoorsy person. But I have always been an adventurous person. I’ve always been a try anything once person. So in the past, you know, I had gone hiking, you know, we would go hiking every so often or I had gone camping. But it was not something that was part of my life, the way that it became once we moved here to Utah. So I think there was just a combination of that accessibility. The mountains are so close here, you just look out your window and there they are. It takes you about, you know, maybe 20 to 30 minutes to get up to the top of the closest mountain. So there was just an accessibility level that I had not really experienced in the past that allowed me to really start exploring and really allow myself to let my down a little bit.
AB: You said you’re a try anything once kind of girl, but what are some things that you’ve tried once that are a no go?
NW: Oh, that’s a good question. Probably a couple years ago, I tried rock climbing and it was just a literal and figurative no go for me. I just could not get myself up off the ground. It just didn’t work out for me and I’ve tried it in indoor climbing gyms and that was better. But outdoors, it just didn’t work for me and I just didn’t have any fun. Usually even if I’m doing something that I suck at, which you know, there’s lots of things that I’m not great at, I can still have that element of fun. With the outdoor climbing, it just wasn’t there for me. So that is something that I don’t think I would try again. But I took my daughter with me and she loves it so I might just be a climbing mom and just watch her navigate that.
AB: That’s so funny that you say you didn’t have any fun, because I’m thinking of things I’ve tried, and there’s two categories for no fun, right? There’s things that you did that weren’t that fun while you were doing them. And that later you were like — you know, that wasn’t so bad, I kind of enjoyed that. I guess we call that type two fun. I think specifically of this snowshoe race I did not long ago where I mean, I am completely alone, by the way, right? There’s no one around me. It’s not a big race. I’m not quite free falling, but it’s not really a controlled descent. There’s a lot of powder and there’s a lot of me like full body in the powder. And I said out loud to literally no one because there’s no one there — When will this be over? But I went and did the race again, like a month later, you know, for series two. But there are definitely things that I’ve done that I’m like — ehhh, no.
NW: Yeah. I completely agree. I think that there’s lots of things that I’ve done that, at the time, I was like — why am I doing this? And then you get away from it and you’re like — that was the most fun I’ve ever had. But yeah, for me for rock climbing, I think in the moment it wasn’t fun. Later on, it wasn’t fun. The fun never appeared. And I just never had that desire to go back and try it again.
AB: But that’s okay, right? Because when we do new things we are building, I like to think of it as a new thing muscle. I don’t know, I’m sure there’s some sort of scientific backing to this that I’m not aware of. But I feel like trying new things, even if your result is — I hated that and I’m never doing that again, it builds this muscle for doing it more. And then you do find things that you actually like, right?
NW: Oh, exactly, exactly. And that’s exactly what I do with the coaching practices. A lot of times I am combining those mindset shifts with or that transformation with just like — Oh, my body can do hard things. So, you know, if you can hike up a mountain, what else can you do? Maybe you can return that phone call that you’ve been avoiding. Or maybe you can ask for more money at work, you know. So I definitely agree with you that there is that courage muscle, that when we try those new things and we push our boundaries, we’re able to build that the same way that we would build our physical muscles.
AB: That’s such a good point. I love that string from, I can hike this and I can ask for that.
AB: I think women in particular have a problem with having the courage, not just even the courage, because I would never describe the women I know who have struggled with this as not courageous, right? But just to have that part of you that says — I can ask for more money. I can do this thing that’s scary in business that you know, not to marginalize our white male listeners, but that a mediocre white man, right, that sort of quote unquote, person has no problem doing, right? And that’s cultural, or it’s not.
NW: Yeah, yeah. And I think there’s so much tied up, there’s so much – socialization is the way that we’re generally socialized as women that allows that to persist. And I think one of the things that comes up a lot is that perfection, where a lot of us don’t want to do things that we’re not good at, we don’t want to do stuff that we suck at. Even myself, I’ve had to come a long way to say like, well, I’m just going to do this thing. I might be terrible at it, and I might never get better at it and that’s okay. And I was definitely one of those people who didn’t want to do something unless I knew I was going to be great at it, and that completely boxed me out of so many things growing up. So I think that there is that perfection level that a lot of us as women, you know, we have to you know, they say that stat, where if a woman’s applying for a job, she has to check off like 10 out of 10 of the requirements whereas a man is like — I’ve got t2, so sign me up. So I think that there’s something there which is us feeling like we have to be perfect before we try anything.
AB: It’s so interesting. I bought a new treadmill, well a new-to-me treadmill, okay? And I had to move it from the person’s home who I bought it from to my home. I don’t own a truck. So I borrowed a truck. And I have never strapped something down in a truck in my life. And I figured a snowstorm while moving your new treadmill is not the time to learn, right?
So I enlisted the help of my friend and her spouse and we got there and we’re just joking because when men strap things down what they do, right, they like ratchet it with confidence, and then they slap it and say — that’s not going anywhere. Right? Right. Literally all men do this. That’s not going anywhere. Okay. Women will strap things, circle the truck four times, you cock your head, you look at it, you look at it the other way. And you say something like — I think that’s probably okay. But I’m in no circumstance, am I utterly confident that this is not going anywhere. And it could be the exact same level of strapping that has occurred.
NW: Absolutely. Probably more!
AB: Probably more. But my level of confidence in this is way down here. And his level of confidence in this strapping is way up there. Right? And it’s just the perspective with which we look at this job.
And that’s an incredible moment where I realized that this is how men and women look at all jobs and everything.
I’m really fascinated by this idea of leaning in to spending time outside for developing women as women entrepreneurs and business owners. So I was hoping you can tell us what your retreats and adventures look like that build this confidence muscle that we’re talking about.
NW: Yeah, so I do a number of retreats. Four day retreats where we’re able to just get away from all of it. So as women we just have so much on our minds, there’s all of that emotional labor, there’s everything that we’re you know, all the to do lists. And I find that just being able to take that time away from it all is so healing in and of itself. So there is that element where we’re just getting away, we’re coming together, and experiencing community.
There’s also the aspect where it is a safe space. So if you did want to try something that you’ve never tried before, now’s the time because you have this really safe container where you can feel vulnerable about it and you don’t have to feel like you’re letting anyone down or you know, shaming yourself or anything like that.
We do different adventures depending on where we are, you know, we’ve done snowshoeing before, we’ve gone hiking, we’ve done skiing, We went snorkeling in a 10,000 year old crater once here in Utah. So depending on where the retreat is, there will be all types of different outdoor adventures. And then we also do come together and have just more of the I guess coaching workshops. So we’ll talk about building our vision. So if we do want to create these lives that feel joyful and expansive, what does that look like? And how can we get there? We talk about fear, we talk about blocks, what are the things that are stopping us from doing the things that we want to do and how can we get around that? How can we get those tools to make sure that we’re not stopping ourselves from fear or fear judgment or you know, whatever it is imposter syndrome, all the things that stop us from doing things? We talk about our plans and how we can map it out and actually create a plan that feels good for us and is kind of devoid of all the shoulds and and obligations and expectations that a lot of times we, as women hold over ourselves, but really something that just feels good to us.
So really all of the events, whether it’s a four day retreat, or just a one day kind of workshop – I call them Pop of Colors or like mini retreats. So whether it’s a one day retreat or a four day retreat, they all have that combination of community. So coming together in community, feeling really safe where you are, that coaching aspect where we’re just talking about, you know, our mindset and our personal development, and then also those curated adventure experiences. So everything has a combination of all three.
AB: We’ve talked a little bit about this already and about the courage element. It’s possible to have a coaching retreat without that element of the outdoors and adventure. So why is it to you that the outdoors is such a critical part of this and what does it bring that other classroom based retreats or other activity based retreats don’t bring?
NW: You’re right, you absolutely can do all of this stuff without outdoor adventure. And I say that all the time. For me, outdoor adventure is just the vehicle. So there’s lots of other coaches and professionals and consultants doing lots of things that are very impactful without outdoor adventure, but I think that having that ability to get outside, disconnect from it all, and reconnect to yourself, I think that being outdoors in nature allows you to do that so much faster. I mean, all of the things that we talked about with self care and wellness, you know, with disconnecting, disconnecting from our devices, getting more in touch with ourselves, with our gut, with our intuition. When you’re outdoors, all of that just happens so much faster, and I just I find it much easier to talk about a lot of these concepts when we’re outdoors, moving our bodies hiking, you know, maybe doing something that we haven’t done before, maybe there’s a little bit of that kind of nerves. I just find it so much easier to tap into a lot of these concepts when we’re out in the outdoors. And when I first started doing it, I read a bunch of studies, and there was this study and the name is escaping me right now. But basically, they called it the Three Day Effect. And he got a bunch of outdoorsy people and they did all these cognitive tests, and then he sent them out on like a three day backpacking trip, brought them back, redid the test. And what they saw was when they redid the test after they were outdoors for three days, all of these other parts of their brains lit up. So you know, the part that’s in control of creativity or innovation or, you know, problem solving, or self-compassion, like all of these things just lit up. And the part of our brain that’s kind of our central taskmaster that’s running those lists of all the things that we’re supposed to be doing, that was able to take a break. So I thought that that was so interesting. And that’s generally what I see with the women who come to the retreats is they’re able to put down that baggage of being that kind of central taskmaster in their life and they’re able to have all those other parts of their brain light up and I find that all of the coaching concepts are able able to stick a lot easier.
AB: I find that same effect when I go out for a run. Yeah, so running is sort of my like, secret little zone where I get out and all of that extra stuff just sort of falls off by mile two or three and all of a sudden I can go for a run and feel unsettled and uncentered and not really know what’s wrong with me, and I can get out there and within a couple of miles I have this aha moment that I’m like — that’s what’s bothering me. Oh, and my poor husband, I’ve had more like these sort of breathless, I’m now profusely sweating because I just ran seven miles conversations with him where I feel like I still have some nerve left, right? Maybe have a hard conversation and I come in and I sit down on the stairs and I say — Okay, here’s the deal. Yeah. We are able to communicate in our relationship and clear the air or I, you know, at work, come back in and I have come up with a great idea. So I have, to some extent, and especially in the summer when the weather’s nicer, I say I have to go think about this now and I go out for a run, right? Yeah, this is like, honest to God, quality work hours, because I am doing something and problem solving for my job in a way that I can’t do when I’m sitting at my desk, distracted by email. So I’m a running genius.
NW: I really agree. And I think that, especially in our culture, we discount that. So we’re like, we discount those moments when it seems like we’re not being productive. And that’s when we’re actually the most productive. It’s when we’re able to step away from our laptops and go for a run or go for a hike or just sit near some water or, you know, people talk about all the time when they get all these ideas in the shower. So I think that our brains need that, we need to be able to get those kinds of meditative experiences, whether we’re meditating or not. So if it’s for you running or for me hiking, you know, whatever it is, and I think that a lot of times we discount that because we’re like — oh, I’m not being productive — when actually that’s our most productive time.
AB: I love what you just said, because it doesn’t have to be one thing or another. For me, it’s running. There’s no moral imperative here for what you’re doing. It’s still finding a space. And I think you and I agree that outside is the most helpful way to find a space where you can come up with that creative moment or you have that sort of breathing area.
AB: Exactly. How have you seen these things impact your own business? Like for you personally?
NW: Oh, I’ve seen so much just change that I don’t think I would have gotten without this. So I mean, for the one thing, I did see it, so I had a marketing business at the time that I mentioned. And it just wasn’t serving me, but I also wasn’t ready to let go of it. So I think that by getting outside and reconnecting myself and having that space for myself, I was able to see like — Okay, this isn’t serving me, it’s time to let go. So there were just a lot of things in my life and in my business that allowed me to, I think, come back to myself, and really do things from more of a place of intention, instead of doing those things from that place of like — Oh, I should be doing this or I feel obligated to do this.
So even creating Color Outside as, as more of a business, I think that that was really me, honoring myself and honoring my intuition and kind of taking this path that felt a little bit hazy at first, but feeling really good about it and feeling like it was really in line with what I should be doing at the time. So I think for me, the biggest thing that I found was that it allowed me to get much more in touch with my intuition than I had been before.
AB: Without giving away all of your secrets, right? What are some tools that you present at your retreats and adventures that our listeners can apply? Now, we’ve talked about the act of getting out and trying something new and the courage that builds, but maybe what’s one or two other things?
NW: Yeah, so I think one of the things that we kind of always talk about at my retreats or any of my events is fear because that is the thing that stops a lot of us from doing things. I think sometimes when we talk about fear, we think about like, actually being actively afraid, but it can be all types of things. I mean, fear can present as something that’s protecting you. So when we feel really like, you know, like we’re overanalyzing things, that could be fear. You know, fear can be that fear of judgment, which a lot of times as women we have that huge fear of someone judging us and saying, like — oh, who is she? Who does she think she is? You know, even some of those imposter syndrome things are fear presenting itself, or perfectionism. You know, I have to be perfect – if I’m not perfect, I’m afraid that people will judge me or they’ll say this or you know, I’ll lose all the stuff I’ve worked for. So we talk about fear a lot. And one of the things that I found really helpful with just breaking down fear is it’s just that; really just breaking it down. So saying, like, what is the fear? You know, really saying like, in black and white terms, what is it that I’m afraid of, and then saying like, and what if that happened? Then what? So if the worst case scenario happened, you know, what resources do I have to combat against that? How can I come back from it? How can I prepare for that to not happen? So I think just taking that fear, which a lot of times feels really big and nebulous, and making it feel just really concrete and black and white and getting it all out on paper and saying — oh, okay, this is not so bad, because if my absolute worst fear happened, I already have five strategies for combating that.
And something else that I really found really powerful, going along with fear, is looking at kind of the inverse. So if you were not able to get past this fear and you were not able to do the thing that you want to do, and you just kind of keep doing what you are right now, where are you in the future? So like if you look out six months from now, nothing has changed, what are you doing? Where are you? If you look out, you know, 12 months from now nothing has changed, like, where are you? And what are you doing? If you look out three years from now, and nothing has changed, what’s going on in your life? I think that’s usually really powerful. Because a lot of times we feel like we can either do this thing, or we could do nothing. But doing nothing is doing something, it has its own impact, and it will have that ripple effect on your life as well. So those are two of the things that we usually talk about when dealing with fear and blocks and limiting beliefs.
AB: What you’re doing is specifically focused on women of color. I’ve heard it said that the outdoors doesn’t discriminate, but people who plant themselves as the gatekeepers of it do. How does our culture discourage women of color from leading outdoor-centric lives?
NW: I think that there’s so many things. I mean, I think that just from a historic standpoint, the outdoors has not been a safe place for people of color. It was a place where terrible things happened. And so I think that there’s that and that’s something that should not be discounted. And then I also think that you know, when you do talk about the gatekeepers of the outdoor world, there’s an entire culture that’s been created around it. So no longer is it okay to just go outdoors, in whatever you’re wearing, or however you’re feeling and just do whatever makes sense to you or feels right to you. There’s this entire culture, so you have to be wearing the right things, you have to be wearing the right gear, you have to know all the right terminology. You have to make sure that you’re following all of these rules that sometimes are really arbitrary and sometimes do go against kind of like cultural norms for particular cultures. So I think that there is a lot of gatekeeping and I think there’s a lot of accessibility issues. You know, I always hear people that are like — oh, like getting outdoors, like it doesn’t cost anything. But it does. If you’re buying the right gear, like that stuff’s expensive. If you’re buying hiking shoes, that’s expensive. You know, you don’t know exactly what to do when you get out there, that could feel really intimidating. I think that the outdoors industry has created this culture that does feel really exclusive. And it looks like that guy that’s on, you know, the Patagonia catalog and oftentimes, I mean, they’re starting to change a little bit now, but oftentimes we don’t see all of these other aspects of what being outdoors means.
AB: I often think to myself, I love running because running is free… and then I think of all of the money I’ve spent on running gear. Yeah, incredible.
NW: Even just signing up for races, I mean, I used to run myself but it’s like, you know, you have to have the right shoes. You have to have the right water system. Signing up for races is expensive. Setting up for half marathons and marathons – they’re not free. So there are a lot of costs associated with it. And I think that a lot of times those gatekeepers don’t recognize that or they’re not kind of super honest with themselves about how they are keeping particular people out.
AB: When you present this problem to people outside the women and people of color community, do you feel like there are a lot of aha moments there that people didn’t even recognize that this was an issue?
NW: I do. So I do think that there are definitely a lot of aha moments. And I think that there are a lot of people within the outdoor industry who are starting to get it and who are like — okay, like, what can we do? So I think that there is some movement, of course, there’s always room for more, and I think that we can just kind of keep being more aware of all of our biases. And I think that there are always those people who are like — well, the outdoors is free or the outdoors doesn’t discriminate, or you know, whatever it is. So you’re kind of always fighting against those forces as well. So I think that there’s always those people who will not quite understand what’s going on. Or they’ll feel like — well, aren’t you excluding people by focusing on women of color, or, you know, whatever it is. So I think that there’s always those voices. But what I have found is that a lot of people within the outdoor industry are starting to get it and are starting to take notice and are starting to try to take action to move things in the right direction.
AB: What do you say to those people who flip it back to you and say — well, you’re being, you know, exclusive?
NW: Yeah. So I mean, it really depends. And I think that’s the other thing that a lot of people don’t recognize is that there’s just so many different microaggressions that you come up against when you’re a person who quote unquote, doesn’t belong in the space. So even me showing up at the top of the mountain, sometimes I’ll get questions where it’s like — oh, what are you doing here? Or are you betting? It’s like — no, I am here. Yeah, we live here. I’m hiking just like you. I’m just enjoying the space or, you know, my family and I really like snowshoeing. So we have gotten questions where it’s like — Oh, you guys are going to the Nordic center? And it’s like — yes, we are where we are, free to enjoy this just like you. So I think it just really depends on the question and the intent behind it. A lot of times it’s kind of those like, innocent questions that actually are very harmful, but there’s no mal intent.
So yeah, I think it just depends on where that person’s coming from, if I feel like I’m in the space where I’d like to explain why this is an issue, or sometimes I just don’t. So it really just depends on me. And I think that is also going to depend on like every person that you speak to from like, whatever marginalized community how they deal with some of the pushback. But I think from, you know, when I when I first did my first retreat, I remember there was someone on, it was like, one of my friends, like on the Facebook page announcement was kind of like — Well, what about all the white women in Salt Lake City who won’t be able to participate in this? And it was kind of like — well, all of the white women will be fine because there are so many different organizations and there are so many different retreats and workshops, and just everything that is geared towards white women or where white women would feel totally comfortable taking up space there. So you know, they’ll be fine. But when you look at the inverse, that’s not always the case. You know, me being here in Salt Lake City, a lot of times I do look at different workshops, or retreats or groups. And I’m like — wow, that group is not for me, even if they’re not outwardly saying that they’ve just created, you know, their own culture where it looks like I don’t belong there and that is a difficult thing to always have to be walking into spaces where you feel like you don’t belong.
AB: When you do these retreats and you talk about diversity and inclusivity, and I’m assuming that you do talk about this on your retreat, and what do you tell your attendees about encouraging this for themselves?
NW: We talk about issues at the retreat. We don’t typically talk about like diversity, equity, inclusion issues at the retreat, because these women are living those issues. You know, I don’t have to specifically talk to them about it. So we talk about issues from our own experiences, our own lived experiences.
AB: I guess I mean in addressing how they are going to increase their experiences outside.
NW: Yeah, so one of the things that we talk a lot about is taking up space. I think it’s really powerful for women to take up space, or for people, but especially for women of color to take up space in a place that they’re not traditionally supposed to be in. So we talk a lot about that. And I think that the general message, my overall message is that we do belong out there, you know, for the outdoor industry or the outdoor world. We belong out there, we’re allowed to be there, we should be taking up that space. And, you know, by all means, we should keep doing that. And we can also do it in ways that feel right for us. So you don’t have to fit into this poster child of outdoorsy-ism. You could do whatever feels right to you. And I think that also translates to all the other aspects of our life. So whether that’s, you know, in the boardroom or you know, on your PTA or you know, wherever it is, we deserve to be there and we deserve to take up that space and to make our voices heard.
AB: I love that and that just goes full circle to what we were talking about before, about having the courage to leave fear at the door, if you will, and having the courage to do that and how we learn how to do that by doing hard stuff.
NW: Yes, yes. So true.
AB: So we’ve come to the part of our show where we talk about the leftovers, just the things I didn’t get to ask. And without suggesting that you need to own expensive outdoor gear because your favorite outdoor gear could be a good attitude or even snacks. What is your favorite outdoor gear?
NW: Oh, well, I love saying a good attitude or snacks because I think that that definitely, that definitely makes or breaks an outdoor experience, does it not? So definitely a good attitude. And then in terms of snacks, I love trail mix. And then we are talking about just gear, I kind of live in leggings anyway even when I’m not outdoors. So I love a good pure pair of leggings. So that’s kind of my like, go to outdoor thing – like gear thing. So right now I like so many brands, like right now I’m into Eddie Bauer has these like high rise, like high waisted ones that I really like because I feel you know, I have one of those like bodies where I have a smaller waist than I have hips. A lot of times with leggings, you know, get them over my hips and butt and then all of a sudden they’re super loose up top. So these high waisted ones have been good so far because I feel like they’re staying up. I’m not tugging at them as I’m walking around. And they just feel like they fit well.
AB: I love a high waisted legging too because it can keep all of my business where it belongs.
NW: Exactly. Yes, that’s what I like about them. So I’m like I feel you know, good and confident and they’re super comfortable. Some of them have pockets which I think are awesome. So I could put my lip balm because it’s always my lip balm, so I could put my lip balm somewhere and I’m good to go.
AB: What’s your most essential piece of outdoor gear? Might be the same might be different.
NW: Yeah, so probably good shoes. I think that’s what I’ve really recognized. So I mean, when we first started getting out here and going hiking, I literally went to Walmart and I bought a pair of just like waterproof hiking boots that they had. And they actually worked really well. They were waterproof, they kept my feet warm. But if we were going like a longer distance, they definitely weren’t as comfortable and they were heavy. But I think that you could, you know, you could definitely find hiking boots and shoes that are not super expensive. But once I realized that this was something I was going to be doing a lot of, I invested in a really good pair of hiking boots and that made the world of difference. So I think that that’s kind of my most essential piece of gear. It’s like making sure I have really comfortable, warm shoes that will keep my feet dry.
AB: What’s your go to brand or style?
NW: So, again, right now, I do have a pair from Eddie Bauer that I really love. I think they’re called Luca or something like that. And it has a high enough, you know, ankle part that I won’t roll my ankle, but it also doesn’t feel like my ankle is like just really constrained. So I like that.
Also, in the summer, I had the opportunity to partner with Hoka One One on a partnership and I got a pair of their hiking shoes and they are very comfortable. Super light, it feels like you’re walking on clouds. My husband also got a pair and he did Machu Picchu in them and he was like — these are amazing. So I think they also get a big shout out for me in terms of shoes.
AB: Cool. All right, this is my favorite question of the whole podcast. Okay, that’s how we always close. All right? If you close your eyes and think about your most favorite outdoor moment ever, where are you and what are you doing?
NW: Hmm, so I think my most favorite outdoor moment and probably my most favorite outdoor place is Jackson Hole, Wyoming. And so we went there shortly after we moved here to Utah and I was just completely blown away. It’s just so beautiful. So we went to the Grand Tetons National Park, and it is stunning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such beauty all in one place. And it’s just so beautiful. It’s so peaceful. You know, you see, like elk. We saw bears. So you’re just seeing really pristine nature and I just thought it was so incredible. And yeah, I think that that is probably my favorite outdoor moment. It’s just being there and taking that in. And also just realizing that had we not moved to Utah, I never would have gone there. Living in Southern California, I never would have gone to Wyoming. Or I never would have gone to like Montana or like all of these places that are just so beautiful and pristine. So I think that was also a turning point for me where I was like — there’s just so much beauty that I probably was not considering because I wasn’t kind of like in this outdoor world. So I would say that that’s definitely my favorite outdoor moment because it was beautiful. And it also kind of contained an aha moment for me.
AB: Nailah, thank you so much for being on the Humans Outside Podcast.
NW: Thank you. This was wonderful.