In the most basic form, we need a few things to live: water, sunlight, food. However there are many elements, mostly internal and emotional, that help us “remain alive”. That could mean surrounding yourself with people you love. Creating something with your bare hands. The sunlight warming your face on a chilly afternoon. Breaking barriers.
In an effort to find what inspires women to live and how they remain present, I will be interviewing women from all walks of life. This is the “Live” series…
For Jenny Crespo, an entrepreneur and pioneer, home is usually where ever her heart is. When she’s not exploring new trails and paths, training for her next crazy race, or supporting her kids, you might catch her working on a freelance project as a designer one day, perhaps a project manager the next. Jenny is a soccer coach on weekends, has produced events across the country, and even works as a substitute teacher. One day, she hopes to put her skills into an international exploration company focused on discovering the history, culture and natural beauty of South America, her home away from home. She likes to advertise that there is no limit to what you can do!
Do you feel that being outdoors teaches you about yourself?
I feel like being outdoors teaches me to be me; where I get to be focused on simply existing in nature, feeling free and at peace with myself. It just feels so effortless – walking, hiking, rucking, climbing, running out there – having fun and enjoying myself.
To be out there, with all of the natural world around you, you earn and appreciate the bigger picture. For example, you don’t necessarily realize or see from below how much commitment it takes you to get to the summit. But at the top, you realize that there are moments in our lives that are much larger than we are; but that we are capable of more than we give ourselves credit for.
Being outdoors teaches me that life has so much more to it than we are trained to consider every day. All that we need to do is to take step back, to breathe it in, to truly live in it. See the details that makes it so amazing.
And that’s when you’re free; when you let yourself fully feel and see.
Why an all-female hiking tribe? What drew you to this idea?
I like the idea of women empowering women – we need a lot more of that, rather than trying to compete; it is invaluable what we can teach one another.
There are a lot of organizations popping up left and right, opening chapters and creating a bigger female outdoor community. Girls Who Hike, is the organization I found on Instagram, and learned they were starting a chapter in NJ. Now, I’m a part of such an incredible community!
What does femininity mean to you? How does being outdoors enhance those ideas or break barriers of what femininity means?
Femininity is being confident in who you are.
Because of my family setting (very old-school Spanish), I grew up with strict rules regarding what the male and female roles are. I got in a lot of trouble, because I couldn’t accept that was the way to live. No way was I going to marry just because I had to; or limit myself to only staying home to cook, clean and tend to my husband.
The characteristics and beliefs of femininity have definitely changed over the years and have been breaking barriers on the daily. Women are allowing themselves to be so much more.
Being outdoors, you see strong, smart, independent women climbing and conquering mountains on their own, often internally as well as literally. These are the women who go out and see the world by themselves, women working together, inspiring each other to finish through. These are the women who know tell the world what they want.
Break the barriers! Cause I sure as hell did and will continue to!
You’re an entrepreneur. Do you have any advice for women starting their own business or wanting to ditch the 9 to 5 for a more adventure-friendly lifestyle?
It’s going to be hard, I won’t sugarcoat it for anyone. The most important thing is to tune out the negativity and believe in yourself. If you have kids, do you want to teach them to ignore their dreams and settle, or do you want to teach them to overcome the obstacles that face them? There’s a reason dreams linger – it is your calling.
Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. There will be some lows, maybe even more than you thought of. In due time, you’ll know you’re on the right course when you’re happy, enthusiastic and driven to keep doing what you need to until you get where you want to be. It is a lot, but it’s not work if you love it.
Follow Jenny and her adventures: