When was the last time you were fired-up? We mean really fired-up?

Fired-up-ness is status quo living for Mike Erwin, founder and Executive Director of veteran service organization Team Red, White & Blue, which connects veterans with their communities. Mike is laser-focused building leaders and living a life focused on positivity, and he’s doing it through fitness, community service — and heading outside.

Catch Mike in this episode drilling down into how he’s seen heading into nature develop strong leaders, plus tips on keeping that leadership fire burning when the going gets tough.

[1:59] Mike Erwin’s favorite outdoor space
[3:35] Why Mike founded Team RWB
[6:15]  Why transition from military to civilian life is hard
[8:37] The details on Team RWB
[10:00] Why spending time outside is an important part of Team RWB
[12:25] Is there any research supporting Team RWB’s use of the outdoors?
[16:26] Mike’s outdoor story
[21:40] What is solitude and how it different than just being alone?
[23:43] How solitude is different from isolation
[27:00] How do extroverts deal with solitude?
[29:00] The link between nature and solitude
[31:23] Mike’s best advice for leading an organization
[34:37] Mike’s favorite outdoor gear
[35:00] Mike’s most essential outdoor gear
[36:02] Mike’s favorite outdoor moment

As restrictions ease across the country and numbers continue to drop, it seems like outdoor life, at least, is starting to return to normal. At least that’s how it’s feeling where Amy is. And her outdoor adventures are starting to reflect some of those normal patterns — sort of.

Hear all about it on this week’s Outdoor Diary.

[:30] The current situation & outside time
[1:00] Summer in Alaska
[1:17] How Amy got outside last week
[2:11] New adventure of the week
[2:30] Goodr, this week’s Outdoor Hero

When neither addiction nor a suicide attempt ended her life, Kate Arnold found the strength to not just change everything, but to live boldly, fiercely and as an outdoor-focused inspiration to every single person she meets.

Now she’s a runner, athlete and fitness coach in Palmer, Alaska, soaking in creation and living each moment boldly and loudly because she can. In a world of Instagram fame, “influencers,” and self-promotion, it can be hard to find the folks who are out there just humbly doing incredible things while no one is watching.

Kate is that person and she has a deeply felt reason for doing it. In this week’s podcast she shares what drives her and her no-big-deal (except that it is) view on what it’s like to be a total outdoor badass like Kate, where she draws her strength and how she’s taking others out to explore Alaska, too.

[1:49] Kate’s favorite outdoor space.
[3:48] Kate’s outdoor story
[4:42] Kate’s addiction battle
[7:39] How Kate moved away from addiction
[9:15] Kate’s faith story
[13:45] The Susitna 100 race report
[15:25] Kate and backcountry snowboarding
[17:15] How Kate saved Amy on Lazy Mountain
[18:43] Why Kate does hard things
[21:12] How to be mentally tough
[24:40] All about the Aktive Soles AK Ultra Running camp
[30:45] How to train for Kate’s ultra running camp
[34:05] Why do a running camp instead of just visiting Alaska
[39:16] Kate’s favorite outdoor gear
[40:19] Kate’s most essential outdoor gear
[41:03] Kate’s favorite outdoor moment

A window into Amy’s why and an important ask make up this week’s Outdoor Diary. With Memorial Day just a few weeks away, you can take a moment to plan how you are going to mark it, and Amy has a suggestion.

[:24] Amy’s why
[:30] About Capt. John Hallett
[1:05] What this episode is really about
[1:55] About wear blue: run to remember
[2:20] Why wear blue matters
[3:52] What to do on Memorial Day

In the U.S., creating space for conservation and outdoor use is directly tied to public lands. But what do you do when most land is privately held? And how do you encourage conservation and nature appreciation in major cities like Dallas? For Joni Carswell and Texan By Nature, an organization founded by former First Lady Laura Bush, the answer comes down to everyone – businesses, nonprofits and citizens – working together to focus on what we share around the outdoors.

Catch Joni’s beliefs around conservation, her love of Texas, tips for encouraging conservation in your own backyard, plus the inside scoop on why, exactly, it always looks a little bit like the George W. Bush Presidential Library’s lawn is getting out of hand.

[5:05] Texas eco-regions
[6:00] About Texan By Nature
[10:06] Why businesses take care of natural resources
[13:34] Extracting resources, and then leaving it better than you found it
[17:30] Conservation and the George W. Bush Presidential Center
[21:13] Why it looks like former Pres. Bush forgot to mow his lawn
[23:33] Joni’s outdoor story
[30:00] Conservation meets city living
[33:00] Upcoming Texan By Nature project
[35:27] Tips for conservation in your own backyard
[38:09] Joni’s favorite outdoor gear
[38:46] Joni’s most essential outdoor gear
[39:00] Joni’s most favorite outdoor moment ever

Listen to this episode of Amy’s outdoor diary to hear how she got outside last week and all about her epic gear fail! And what exactly are “running wives” anyway?

[:48] Why Amy doesn’t always do the same thing
[1:40] How Amy is always “that” friend
[2:29] What went wrong with Amy’s water pack
[2:51] Amy’s two life questions (for now)
[3:14] Outdoor friends as outdoor heroes

Follow three of Amy’s “running wives” on Instagram: Rachel, Clare and Kate
The Osprey pack that’s great except for the new leak
Follow Humans Outside on Instagram

When we say “forest bathing” we definitely don’t mean taking a scrub surrounded by trees. First formally started in Japan, shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing” is a nature therapy focused on mindfulness. And certified forest therapists, like today’s guest Michelle Abbey, help students get there.

OK, but why do you need a forest therapist to help you go outside? And what does studying forest therapy teach you about your own relationship with nature? Michelle gives us the inside scoop.

[1:20] Michelle’s favorite outdoor space
[2:20] What is forest bathing?
[4:37] What’s beyond the basic 5 senses
[5:33] How forest bathing is different than just going outside
[6:30] Do you need a forest required for forest bathing?
[7:35] Why get certified in forest bathing?
[10:10] What Michelle learned about herself and nature
[16:50] Why repeating some experiences over and over again is good
[21:15] Is there an ideal daily dose of time outside?
[25:58] Do you have to be distraction free?
[27:55] Who needs a forest bathing therapist
[30:50] Michelle’s favorite outdoor gear
[32:15] Michelle’s most essential outdoor gear
[33:04] Michelle’s favorite outdoor moment

Listen to this installment of Amy’s outdoor diary to hear about how she got outside last week. Hint: it involves snowshoes and a pretty darn remote cabin.

[:54] Amy does not like trying new things
[1:45] Fighting to do new things
[2:45] About snowshoeing into a public use cabin in the winter
[4:05] What we learned by trying something new
[4:50] Outdoor hero: Alaska state parks

What if going outside isn’t just your inspiration, but also the inspiration you share with others? When Nailah Baldes Wylie looked at her life as a marketer and communicator, she knew she wasn’t happy in her job, and that one thing did make her happy and inspired — spending time outside.

And so she founded Color Outside, a coaching and community building company that takes women of color outside to explore and build both themselves and their business goals.

What is it about doing hard things outside that translates so well to business? This inspirational interview with Nailah Blades Wylie is sure to leave you ready to conquer your own challenges both in and out of the office.

[1:14] Nailah’s favorite outdoor place
[2:20] Nailah’s ah-ha moment
[4:05] Nailah’s outdoor story
[5:04] When you try something and don’t want to do it again
[7:45] How business coaching meshes with body challenges
[9:10] Why women struggle with courage
[12:00] About Nailah’s retreats
[15:02] Why a retreat outside helps you learn
[17:37] Finding peace to be productive
[20:20] How spending time outside impacts Nailah
[21:50] Some of Nailah’s retreat secrets
[25:33] How our outdoor culture discourages women of color from going outside
[29:38] The microaggressions outdoors
[32:51] Talking about taking up space
[34:30] Nailah’s favorite gear
[36:55] Nailah’s most essential gear
[38:10] Nailah’s most favorite outdoor moment