Last season, it was pretty incredible to make my first turns of the season at 22,000/6,700m on the sixth highest peak in the world, Cho Oyu in Tibet.I firmly believe in the transformational power of travel. I am so privileged and grateful to have the opportunity to see the world. It does have an impact, which is why I offset all the carbon from my air travel this year.Carbon offsetting isn’t perfect. However, it’s a way to hold myself accountable for the environmental impact of my chosen path.According to the Washington Post, “carbon offsets offer a way to balance out your pollution by investing in projects that reduce emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Such offset projects can vary widely.” According to Peter Miller, a program director for the @nrdc_org, “It ranges from things like planting trees to improve forest management, where a timber company will allow trees to grow longer and increase the amount of carbon sequestered in the forest. It can be capturing of greenhouse gas emissions coming out of a landfill. It could be paying a rice farmer to adopt different practices that reduce the amount of methane coming out of their rice paddies. By developing projects and investing in these projects to reduce emissions of increase sequestration, there’s a benefit to the climate.”I spoke to my friend @katefbowman, who is the renewable energy program manager at @utahcleanenergy. She said, “things to look for with carbon offset programs are: that they are legit (a real project), permanent, and that they go above and beyond business-as-usual. So if they talk about those factors, it’s probably a good place to start.”For some of my work, flying is unavoidable. While offsetting isn’t perfect, it’s a way to negate some of my impact and can be part of an overall carbon emissions reduction strategy.
If you saw someone bleeding, wouldn’t you want to help? Period products are health necessities, not luxury items. Everyday, more than 800 million people are having their period. In the US, two-thirds of low-income women can not afford period products. Happy #NationalPeriodDay. For most of my life, I’ve found it hard to talk about my period. It wasn’t something I could talk about with my three brothers and I felt so uncomfortable talking about it with my mom or my dad. My only sources of information about periods were at school and from a book my half-sister gave me called, “Girl Talk.” When I started my period, I didn’t want to tell anyone. Luckily, my school provided a starter kit of period products so I didn’t have to miss any classes or sit out of sports. Most girls today don’t get free period products in school, but they should be as available as toilet paper and soap. I don’t want other girls to feel the sense of shame and embarrassment I felt so that’s why I’m pushing myself to write this post, to break the taboo around periods.In 35 states, menstrual products are are subject to sales tax because they are considered “non-essential goods.” 1 in 5 teens have struggled to afford period products or were not able to purchase them at all. 84% of young people have missed class or know someone who has missed class due to a lack of access. Only 31% of dads feel comfortable talking to their daughters about periods.We need to work harder to ensure that period products are widely available. We need to destigmatize talking about periods. Share your period related stories with me in the comments below or write your own post to join in the conversation! And follow @periodmovement to learn more. Photos: @meg_haywoodsullivan Luckily, Meg had a tampon when I got this nosebleed deep in the backcountry. When she took these photos, I made her promise not to post the ones with the tampon in my nose. I’ve come a long way.
Unbelievably happy to be home for more than a week! I had this moment the other day where I couldn't remember which cabinet we keep the pans in the kitchen. The days we spent on the road while Rob was riding his bike across America were fun and exciting, but the daily travel and logistics began to wear me out. Home is where I get grounded again and regain my energy to go back into the world and do big things. For the next week, I am so excited to get reacquainted with my kitchen and spent ten nights sleeping in the same bed. I have an alter ego who is very domestic and is a homebody. I call her BC – Basic Caroline. There is no shame in being basic and enjoying the wonderful day to day rhythm of life at home. Photo: @abbihearne
For Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I want to feature Jordan M, aka @nativein_la, a Lakhota athlete and founder of @rising_hearts. The painted handprint on her face represents the voices of her community, silenced by violence and racism. Jordan dedicated her 2019 Boston Marathon and San Jose half marathon races to the missing and murdered Indigenous women. She plans to continue her prayer runs until we see solutions, accountability, and justice.In her own words:“Violence against the Earth is violence against women. The first time I had ever heard of missing and murdered Indigenous womxn being an issue was in 2006, during my Native American Studies political activism courses about the growing number of First Nations Womxn and relatives going missing on the Highway of Tears. #MMIW, the deeper meaning, and hashtags became part of my knowledge in the last several years & it includes our men, elders, 2 spirit LGBTQIA family.There will be no future if those continue to be complicit, ignorant or racist when it comes to protecting our Earth. Many of us are out there on the frontlines, locking bodies down and occupying sacred lands to stop the greed that is bulldozing through to increase fossil fuel development and other extraction methods that rape our Earth. Many of us are speaking out and organizing. Many of us are documenting these tragedies. Many of us are fighting in the courts to protect human rights. Many of us are in the labs or classrooms studying the long-term effects of our human impact and climate change. These extraction methods and greed from governments and corporations are putting profit over our lives and our sacred resources. I want my future children & grandchildren to inherit a thriving, sustainable & livable future & not the problems of today created by 50 years of colonization that is stealing their future.”We must continue to elevate Indigenous voices to create a more sustainable world. #indigenouspeoplesday
A lot of people don’t know that I struggled with substance abuse during my teens and early twenties. I abused alcohol and drugs and went to rehab. I spent a lot of time going to therapy. Those years are a part of my life I never really talk about because they are a time I want to forget. When I was in those dark times, I didn’t think I would live until I was thirty (and yet here I am, at thirty-three).According to the World Health Organization, suicide is one of the leading causes of death among 15-19 year olds, and half of all mental health conditions in adulthood start by 14 years of age.It’s taken me my entire lifetime to learn that it’s ok to talk about what’s bothering me and to be able to speak as openly and candidly about mental health as I do about having a cold or an injury.We don’t need to hide what’s hard. I’ve learned that our greatest struggles can become our greatest gifts. We don’t have to be tough and power through. We should wear our wounds, our scars, and the chips on our shoulders proudly. They don’t need to be hidden.Depression lurks in the back of my mind and I am always terrified it will come back and I won’t know what to do. Whenever life seems to be going well, I have a nagging fear that things will change because I struggle with self-esteem and have this inner narrative that I don’t deserve happiness. I have gone through most of my life, guarded and cautiously optimistic. Maybe that’s why I smile a little too big. Because I’m afraid the happiness won’t last.But talking about these issues and seeking help has given me so many amazing tools to cope, and the more work I do on it, the more tools I seem to have. It’s been a lifelong process. I know I'm a few days late for world #mentalhealthday but I felt it was important to share my struggles so that others can open up too, so we can destigmatize mental health and create a future where mental health care is supported by schools, employers and insurance.Photo: @jaybeyerimaging
Today is National Farmer’s Day and I wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to the farmers who work tirelessly to provide us with food to eat. Harvest season is one of my favorite times of the year because of the availability of fresh, local organic produce.I also want to give a shout to @gaiaherbs who has a small 350-acre organic farm in North Carolina where they grow a lot of the herbs used in their supplements. On their farm, they practice regenerative agriculture, which is a system of farming that enriches soil, improves watersheds and increases biodiversity. A lot of people don’t know that farming in this way can actually help reverse climate change by capturing carbon in soil and aboveground biomass.I get so excited about regenerative agriculture because it shows that we don’t have to choose between the economy and the environment. Regenerative agriculture can be part of the solution!As you eat today, take a moment to thank a farmer and consider where your food comes from and how your choices can be part of the solution to reverse climate change. Photo: @leecohen_pics #gaiaherbs #gaiaherbspartner #sponsored #reverseclimatechange #regenerativeagriculture #protecttheplanet
Leaf peeping in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. One of my favorite parts of crewing @rob.lea on his bike ride across America was visiting parts of the country I’ve never seen before. If we could do it all over again, I would want to slow down and savor taking the road less traveled. I can’t wait for my turn to have him crew me when I ride my bike across the country.
When someone finishes a big project, try to refrain from asking them “what’s next,” and let them celebrate what they just accomplished. We are going to be celebrating this year until the end of 2020, at least! Of course, we will go on to do more projects, but right now, the only thing on our minds is home and rest.The answer to our “what’s next” is so boring, you will laugh: laundry, food, sleep and maybe shopping for a new light fixture for our kitchen.Asking “what’s next” makes us want to cry. We put everything on the line to make our dream a reality. Our bodies, minds and bank accounts need a moment to recover. “What’s next” makes us feel that what we just did isn’t enough. We already struggle with feelings of inadequacy.Appropriate suitable replacement questions to “what’s next”:How are you going to celebrate? What did you learn? What does recovery look like? What was your favorite part?Thank you for reading my rant on “what’s next.” It’s a question that always gives me anxiety. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.Photo: @taylormboyd
Congratulations @rob.lea! Today, my husband, Rob finished his bike ride across America, touching the Atlantic Ocean. You would think that would be enough but this is also the finish of his self-created Ultimate World Triathlon: biking across America (over 3500 miles), swimming the English Channel and climbing Everest/Chomolungma, all in a six-month stretch of time (and we had a wedding in there). No one has ever done it before. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year! I am so proud of him for setting this ambitious goal and having the courage to see it through. I am also proud of him for using this triathlon to talk about men’s role in advocating for gender equality. We are capable of so much more than we can ever realize. When we dig deep, we can achieve unfathomable goals. Now, we are so excited to celebrate…and sleep.#triforequality #climbforequality #ultimateworldtri #thenbeer @fattire
My dream car is a van. Simplifying my life into a van when I traveled through New Zealand in 2016 was such a rewarding way to travel and explore. If #vanlife is something you’ve ever wanted to try, you can enter for a chance to win your own sprinter van with $40K worth of customization from @the_vansmith and support one of my favorite non-profits, the @accessfund.Learn more: omaze.com/caroline @omaze #sponsored
It won’t be long now. I love the anticipation for winter. ️This is also a reminder that we must keep up the good momentum from the climate strike so we have snowy, cold winters like this for future generations. ️Text CLIMATE to 71333 or go to patagonia.com/actionworks to connect with an environmental non profit near you. ️@patagonia #answerwithaction Video: @rob.lea
Today marks four months since my ACL reconstruction surgery. I went for a little over 2 mile run/walk on the Appalachia Trail. It may not sound like much, and I’ve certainly hiked further since surgery, but this was the first time I’ve been able to move my legs a little quicker on the trail and gosh darn it, it felt good. I began this trip by listening to @scottjurek and @jureksontherun audiobook “North,” and it felt so fitting to be able to sample a little taste of the Appalachian Trail myself today, a few weeks later. It was the perfect book to start the trip, and I highly recommend it. I loved hearing Jenny’s perspective on the challenges of crewing Scott. These athletic feats are hard for both athlete and their crew!I’ve learned with injuries and life in general that it’s good to celebrate the benchmarks along the way. I’m so glad to start returning to running and I can’t wait to get skis on my feet in a few more weeks.
One of the most magical things about fall is when the first snowfall comes while the leaves are still colorful. I’m always motivated to get outside and see the juxtaposition of bright green and yellow with the starkness of the winter snow. I missed it this year in Utah, but I hope to catch more fall colors as I make my way to the eastern most stretches of the USA as Rob finishes his bike ride across the country and his Ultimate World Triathlon. @lekiusa @keen #keenambassador Photo: @rob.lea
Five years ago yesterday, one of my best friends, @liz_daley, was killed in an avalanche. Liz was a mentor and an inspiration to me. She was one of the first women I’d spent time with in the mountains who was a real girly-girl. Meeting her and spending time in the mountains together changed my life. The first day I met her, she had this bubbly confidence that was contagious. I finally felt like I was had permission to be myself, that I no longer had to conform to the norms of masculinity to be a powerful force in the mountains and beyond. When I got the news of her death, I was in shock. It took some time for it to sink in. In many ways, I’m still processing. I never got to say goodbye. We never got to publish our glacier music video on YouTube. There are so many things I wanted to share with her. I write this so we can all remember her and keep her spirit alive. Let’s never forget that you can be a girly girl, wear sparkles and be strong, powerful and aggressive! Let’s continue to create a world where people can be the best versions of themselves. Love you to pieces Liz! #livelikeliz
Last week, 7.6 million people took to the streets to strike for climate action, led by the efforts of youth activists. Let’s make sure government continues to hear their demands: text CLIMATE to 71333 to tell Congress that there is no room in government for climate deniers. Want to get more involved? Go to www.patagonia.com/actionworks and volunteer with groups near you. Thank you @jamie_s_margolin, @ariellegeismar, @azaalien, @alexandriav2005, @hevans555, @xiuhtezcatl, @marlowbaines, @linus_report, @loukinatille, and @aghajidaze.@patagonia #answerwithaction
One year ago today, I dropped down on one knee on the summit of the sixth highest peak in the world and said, Robert James Lea, will you marry me? And he said yes! And what a year it’s been! We bought a house, I tore my ACL, we climbed Everest, I had my ACL repaired, he swam the English Channel, we got married and now he’s riding his bike across the USA! @rob.lea can’t wait to see what’s next! Love you. Happy one year engagement anniversary.
Giveaway!: My goal with my work has always been to inspire people to get outside, live a healthy, active lifestyle and protect the places we love to play. One of the ways I’m doing that is by partnering with @gaiaherbs for a giveaway of a few of my favorite products: Full Spectrum Hemp Extract which helps support my relaxation and Bacopa and Nootropic Focus for brain and cognitive support. My life has been especially busy over the past few months and these supplements help me stay feeling my best. To enter you must: Follow @gaiaherbs and me and tag someone who inspires you to live your healthiest life in the comments. Winner will be announced on Wednesday 10/2. Must be 18 years to enter. This is not an international giveaway and is not associated with Instagram. Open to U.S. residents only. This giveaway starts now, Friday 9/27/2019 and ends Tuesday 10/01/2019 at 11:59 EST.#sponsored #gaiaherbspartner #gaiaherbs #hemp #bacopa #nootropics #saffron
I’m back on the road with my hubby @rob.lea as he continues his ride across the USA! So far, he’s biked over 2,500 miles/4,000 km in the last 28 days as the final leg of his Ultimate World Triathlon (his self-created challenge to climb Everest, swim the English Channel and ride across USA in six months).I think we all thought this bike ride was going to be the easy part, but we totally underestimated the physical and logistical challenges! We’ve been figuring it out as we go along. I am so jealous I can’t ride the entire thing with him due to my knee (which is feeling really good), but I’m still riding with him every day and then riding back to the car to get 20-40 miles of my own in before I return to crewing duties. I’m hoping I can stay with him through the finish of his ride, which we estimate will be in less than two weeks! Keep checking his page and website for updates and cheering him on!!! And remember what he’s doing it for: to raise awareness for men’s role in advocating for gender equality. I’m so proud of him for using his goal to talk about a bigger issue. We know an athletic endeavor isn’t going to change the world, but if we can get even one person to think about the role they play in making the world a better place, we feel like we’ve won. #triforequality #climbforequality #heforsheThanks @fattire for the support. #thenbeer
You can take me out of Minnesota but you can’t take the Minnesota out of me! I’ve lived in Utah for 18 years now, but I still say I’m from Minnesota, where I lived for the first 15 years of my life. This week, as part of @rob.lea’s bike ride across America, I got to spend a day in my hometown of Rochester, MN with my brother, his wife and their kids, my niece and nephew who still live there. I grew up climbing this tree in the park, and sharing that experience with these little ones was a joyous moment. This was where I fell in love with being outdoors and in nature, and I hope to inspire these kids to feel the same way. Photo: @harasekrub @keen #keenbambassador
If nature is a mother, it is in our best interest to elevate the status of women, girls and mothers. We need to listen to women’s voices and support and follow women’s leadership. There is a growing body of work showing the link between climate deniers and misogynists. Climate skeptics see humans as separate from nature. They believe nature is there for humans to use and exploit. We must recognize the interconnectedness of people and environment and realize we are nature, not above it. Nature isn’t something to conquer and neither are women. I applaud the leadership of youth activists who have embraced this intersectionality in their climate activism. To make sure our government hears the demands from the youth activists, text CLIMATE to 71333 to tel Congress that there is no room in government for climate deniers.#climbforequality #actonclimate
I’ll say it again: you can drive, fly, ride a helicopter or snowmobile, work for the fossil fuel industry and still be a climate activist. Yes, continue to take action to reduce your carbon footprint, but realize we need broad, systemic change. The most important thing you can do is become a climate activist and join the #globalclimatestrike this Friday. In the past decade of my climate activism, I’ve been called a hypocritical ecoterrorist, a glacier killer, Little Miss Polluter, a dipsh*t, an egotistical stupid little girl and told to STFU for saying we need to act. At times, I allowed that name-calling and abuse to silence me. But I won’t be silent any longer. Don’t let those voices of dissent silence you, either. Scientists and young people are right, the time for climate action was 30 years ago, but we have time if we act now. Photo: standing in front of what’s left of the Franz Josef glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere in New Zealand, by @rob.lea To find a climate strike near you, go to patagonia.com/climatestrike
There is no room in government for climate deniers. This Friday, 9/20, I am striking with youth leaders and activists to protest the government’s inaction on climate change. Will you stand in solidarity with the youth and strike for the future of our planet? Find a strike near you: patagonia.com/climatestrike or text CLIMATE to 7133. #answerwithactionPhoto: supporting the youth activists last Friday in DC with @tommycaldwell and @slukenelson.
It’s hard to know the best way to get involved to help the unprecedented threats to our environment. If you want to learn how to take your skills for adventure and translate them into activism, come to my talk at @patagoniadc tonight from 7-9! If you can’t make it and want to get involved, check out @patagonia action works to connect with a grassroots non-profit near you to take action on the most pressing issues facing the world today. Patagonia.com/actionworks#answerwithaction Photo: @rob.lea
We have to elevate the voices of women and Indigenous people when it comes to acting on climate. One of my favorite parts of my trip to Washington DC was meeting @quannah.rose, a member of the Gwich’in tribe and an advocate for protection of the Arctic Refuge. Yesterday, the House passed a bill to protect the Arctic Refuge from oil and gas drilling! Taking action on climate is doing what’s best for the health of people and the planet. Thank you to the Gwich’in people for their leadership and all the work of environmental activists and athletes who have worked diligently on this issue. We have to keep the pressure on and the momentum going. #protectthearctic#standwiththegwichinPhoto 2 by @austin_siadak
I’m stoked to be in Washington, DC meeting with lawmakers and representatives to share stories of how climate change is affecting the snowsports industry and build support for climate change action.As much as we try to make this look fun on social media, this is hard and stressful work. We meet with reps on both sides of the aisle and focus on solutions that can garner bipartisan support.To help deal with the stress, I’ve been taking @gaiaherbs Adrenal Health Daily Support to support the healthy function of my adrenals and maintain a sense of well-being. I am learning more about the power of plants and herbs to nourish my body.#sponsored #gaiaherbspartner #gaiaherbs #adrenals #adrenalhealth
This is our future if we don’t act on climate. Diminishing snowpack and warming winters are melting away my livelihood. But it’s more impacting more than sport. Human life depends on the water from snowfall and glaciers. When the snow goes away and the glaciers run dry, what will we do for water?That is why I'm in DC all week to talk about climate change and protecting public lands with @pow_action_fund. There are multiple opportunities if you want to come say hi or see me speak! Tomorrow, 9/12, 11:30-1pm: I'm speaking to a Senate Democrats Special Committee on Climate Change hosted by Senator Brian Schatz, D-HI, at the US Capitol Building, SVC 202-203. This is open to the public or you can watch online: http://www.facebook.com/USSenateDemocrats/Tomorrow night 5-7 pm: There is a Protect Our Winters Reception and Capitol Hill Staffers Meet and Greet at the Liaison Washington Capitol Hotel Roof Deck at 415 New Jersey Ave.Saturday, 9/14 7-9 pm: I'm presenting my talk on Activism & Adventure at @patagoniadc. Come learn stories of how to become an activist and enjoy a @fattire with me!Hope to see you there!#answerwithaction
We had an exciting first day of meetings in DC starting with @tinasmithmn and I'm here all week to talk about climate change and protecting public lands with @pow_action_fund. There are multiple opportunities if you want to come say hi or see me speak! Tomorrow, 9/12, 11:30-1pm: I'm speaking to a Senate Democrats Special Committee on Climate Change hosted by Senator Brian Schatz, D-HI, at the US Capitol Building, SVC 202-203. This is open to the public or you can watch online: http://www.facebook.com/USSenateDemocrats/Tomorrow night 5-7 pm: There is a Protect Our Winters Reception and Capitol Hill Staffers Meet and Greet at the Liaison Washington Capitol Hotel Roof Deck at 415 New Jersey Ave.Saturday, 9/14 7-9 pm: I'm presenting my talk on Activism & Adventure at @patagoniadc. Come learn stories of how to become an activist and enjoy a @fattire with me!Hope to see you there!#answerwithaction
I dream of bringing children into this world someday. But I’m scared we won’t have a healthy planet for them to live on. That’s why I’m going to Washington DC tomorrow to advocate for climate change action with @protectourwinters. Because what’s good for the planet is good for human health too. Until I have my own kids, I love being an aunt to my nieces and nephews!#actonclimate for the future generation.
In 2012, I visited the Abaco Islands for a friends wedding. Seeing the news of the devastation from Hurricane Dorian, my heart goes out to the people in the Bahamas. I’ve made a donation to Team Rubicon to help with some of the relief, and I urge you to consider donating as well via the link below or in my profile. We must act on climate to prevent worsening hurricanes in the future. That is why I’m going to Washington, DC next week with a group from @protectourwinters to encourage lawmakers to support large-scale systemic changes to reduce carbon emissions. https://teamrubiconusa.org
Reality: in a budget motel room getting @rob.lea rehydrated while applying ointment to some painful saddle sores from a lot of miles on the bike this week. There are many different ways you can express your love. But you don’t want to see that ugly truth so I leave you with this lovely photo taken by @thehearnes. #climbforequality #triforequality
What I love about being on a bike is that when you’re riding, it’s the only thing you’re doing. You can’t be scrolling. You have to keep your eyes on the road and do one task only. I love the singular focus of it. Today was a better day. We stayed at the cutest B and B, Ruby Creek Lodge, in Cusick , WA. It was decorated with ducks and birds and reminded me of my childhood. The owners, two women from Minnesota, were so kind and made us the best huckleberry French toast for breakfast. When we told them about the plan for the day, they offered to drive our car to the next town so I could do a 40 mile ride with @rob.lea instead of the 10-15 mile out and backs rides I’ve been doing so I can get back to the car and drive it to the next spot. Rob has made it to Idaho and completed almost 500 miles in 6 days with a lot of climbing! I’ve rode almost 200 miles! We loved our trip through Washington but we are excited to cross state lines and enter Idaho. I only have a few more days and I’m already dreading saying goodbye. #climbforequality #triforequality
Happy National Wildlife Day! Today is a day we focus on endangered species, preservation and conservation efforts around the world. •It’s easy to focus on the bigger animals, but let’s not forget the important insects – the pollinators. Without pollinators, like butterflies and bees, a lot of our favorite foods would cease to exist, as pollinators spread pollen from one flower to another, fertilizing the plants. Working with @gaiaherbs, I’m stoked by their commitment to protecting them and growing 100% organic as one of the biggest threats to pollinators is the use of pesticides. So today, to celebrate #nationalwildlife day, go on a wildlife walk and take time to appreciate the insects, especially the pollinators. •#sponsored #gaiaherbspartner #gaiaherbs #protectthepollinators #pollinators #nationalwildlifeday #connectingplantsandpeople
It’s been a bit of a challenging day. The long few first days have caught up with Rob and he is exhausted. We are both beginning to realize how long and difficult his ride across the USA will be. I think are also feeling some cumulative fatigue from the events of the last year. I have a few more days with him then I’m heading back to Utah, then onto Washington DC to do some climate lobbying with @protectourwinters (I am so excited!). I feel guilty leaving Rob, but that was always the plan. What we’ve learned about love is that you can’t abandon yourself in the relationship. As brutal as it sounds to leave him on the side of the road, it would be equally brutal for me to give up an opportunity that means so much. True love is honoring yourself and each other, setting boundaries and figuring out compromises that work. Originally, when I was going to leave, Rob was going to go on self supported, hence the reason he has the bags on his bike. But he is quickly realizing that if he wants to stick to any semblance of his time plan, he will need a support vehicle. His mom graciously offered to come up and take over for a chunk of time until I can come rejoin him. I’m glad we found a solution and I hope he can recover from the first five days! He’s got a lot of miles ahead. Let’s continue giving him support and encouragement. Photo: a moment of celebrating partnership on the Devil’s Castle traverse in winter captured by @acpictures
The hardest part about crewing on the start of this adventure is worrying about @rob.lea on the road when I’m not with him. I worry that I’ll come around a corner to a scene of a few cars and him splattered across the pavement, or he will go over a guardrail into oblivion. I fear that this part of his Ultimate World Triathlon is the most dangerous. He almost took a bad spill over a guardrail this morning, somehow pulled it together but his ankle hit the guard rail hard. And later, he almost got taken out by a truck with trailer. What helps me deal with my fear is thinking about when my mom officiated our wedding. She shared a quote that she loves about parenting: "There are two lasting things we give our children. One is roots and the other is wings."It’s the same with your significant other. I can give him the support, the “roots” each day I’m here with food, water and love and then, I trust him to fly with those wings. #climbforequality #triforequality Photo: a moment of playing tourist today at the Diablo Lake overlook in the North Cascades.
This morning, my husband @rob.lea started his bike ride across America. If I’m honest, there’s a part of me that is jealous that I can’t do the whole ride with him because my knee isn’t in shape yet (I feel like the worst wife for writing that). I was really hoping it would recover sooner, but too much mileage still puts some pain and strain on my kneecap and new ACL. I’m trying to channel that jealous green monster into stoke for him and for myself, that I was able to ride 30 miles today (my longest ride since knee surgery)!I find that when things make me jealous, it’s usually because there’s something missing in my own life and it’s a good idea to check in and see what is missing. I’m still trying to figure out my next big goal or project. And that’s ok to take some time doing to make sure it really speaks to me and I’m not just rushing into it to answer the most dreaded question, “what’s next.” I know it’s human curiosity to ask whats next, but sometimes, I don’t feel it lets us appreciate the goals we’ve achieved. Sometimes I need to a minute to reflect and regroup. And the best projects take years, not months, to come together.Anyway, riding today felt awesome and the best part of the day was meeting the dozen people who came for Rob’s send off in Anacortes at 9 am. It warmed my heart to meet you, and it made us feel so happy and welcome in Washington. It’s wonderful to be able to join Rob for the next 9 days, and I can’t wait to keep telling this story. If you want to track him, we will have a link coming soon! Thanks for your patience. #climbforequality #triforequalityPhotos:1. Rob at his starting point in Anacortes. 2. Things got wild on a sunset shoot last night with @vertizonphoto. Pro images coming soon!3. Morning send-off at the beach! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the warm welcome and good bye. 4. Some enjoyable bike paths on the way out of town. 5. Taking a dip in the river while enjoy a @fattire. Great for leg recovery.
Six months ago, I took this fall and tore my ACL. It happened exactly one day after making a final non refundable payment to climb Everest/Chomolungma. It’s still hard for me to watch. For the first two weeks after the fall, the sequence of events in this video kept playing in my head over and over. I was so scared to talk about it because I feared losing sponsors and opportunities. It kept me up at night. •But hiding it didn’t help. Writing about it and sharing my story and hearing from you made it less bad. I’ve found that showing what happened has help me overcome the trauma. •I’ve learned it’s not about how you get knocked down, it’s how you get back up. I was able to rehabilitate my knee and climb Everest without an ACL. @rylo just released a new edit of the short film about my journey with new Everest footage that you can see via the link below or in my profile. I’m finding a huge sense of redemption with this new ending. •I’m not going to lie and say this has been easy. I had ACL reconstruction surgery four days after getting home from Everest and right now, I’m almost three months out. •Healing this is just like doing any other big hard task. There are good days and there are not as good days. Emotions and energy ebb and flow. If you don’t like how it’s going, sleep and it will usually feel better in the morning. •#climbforequality #storiesthatmove•https://vimeo.com/356275108
Protecting public lands is fighting climate change. The CORE Act will protect 400,000 acres of public land in CO, establishing new wilderness areas and safeguarding existing outdoor recreation opportunities. Check out this short video with my fellow @patagonia ambassador @clare_gallagher_runs and @protectourwinters to learn more. More than one fifth (20%) of our country’s emissions come from our public lands. The CORE Act puts 200,000 acres in Colorado out of consideration for oil and gas development. This is a federal vote and we need all our elected officials to step up to protect public lands. Text COREACT to 52886 to contact your reps and ask them to vote for the CORE Act! Or visit this link: https://protectourwinters.org/our-work/support-core-act/#COREAct
Behind the excitement in @rob.lea’s eyes is fear. We are leaving right now for Anacortes, WA where Rob will start his ride across the country on Friday, August 30. This is the final leg of his self-created #ultimateworldtri and #triforequality. As far as the route goes, he will generally be sticking to what’s called the northern tier route. Rob will start by riding through the North Cascades then head for Glacier National Park. After that, it’s due east to Fargo followed by Minneapolis and a stop in my hometown, Rochester, MN, before he heads to Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Hyannis Port and then the ferry to Nantucket. I will accompany him for the first week or so before I head back to Utah to do a talk at the University of Utah September 9, and then head to Washington DC to lobby with @protectourwinters. I will also be doing a talk at @patagoniadc September 14. It should take him until the end of September. It’s approximately 4200 miles/6760 km which means he will have to average over 130 miles/209 km a day. That’s a daunting task because he’s barely had time to ride at all this summer between Everest, his English Channel crossing and our wedding! This is not going to be a gimme. Stay tuned for tracking info! Go Rob!
If there’s one piece of camping equipment I can’t live without, it’s my pee bottle. This pee bottle came with me on so many adventures, from bike packing across the Northeast to the top of the world’s highest peaks. It bit the dust on Everest (it froze and I had to break it- don’t worry, I packed it out), and I need to replace it. I knew @rob.lea was husband material when he would empty my pee bottle in the morning. He earned the nickname the “pee fairy.” I highly recommend a pee canteen for all my fellow adventurers out there! Not sponsored- just a helpful tip for fall camping season. Photo: @jjamesjoiner @keen #keenambassador
Every day, consumers have a responsibility to vote with their dollars and support businesses that are using their power to do good for people and the planet. I take my role as an athlete ambassador seriously, and I’m conscientious about the brands that I work with. @gaiaherbs goes the extra step in everything they do. The hemp used in their full spectrum extracts is grown on American farms, and they donate a portion of the proceeds from their Hemp sales to support hemp farmers. It’s tested for purity and the results are all traceable through Gaia’s Meet Your Herbs program.As consumers, we have a responsibility to do our homework and support businesses that do the right thing without being told. #sponsored #gaiaherbspartner #gaiaherbs #hemp
Today is #WomensEqualityDay, which acknowledges the day that women gained the right to vote (less than a century ago, which is crazy). While I am grateful for the gains we've made for women's rights, we still have a lot of work to do. Only 11% of Everest summiteers are women, 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs (in fact, there is a higher percentage of men named James than there are female CEOs), and 12% of Republican Senators (according to @nytimes). Research shows that girls' self-esteem peaks at age nine. I'm grateful for the support of the men in my life who allow me to be a leader and to be the best version of myself. I'm grateful for the women mentors in my life in the mountains. They say you can't be what you can't see, and because of role models like @Liz_daley, @hilareenelson, @kitdski and @melissaarnot, I've been able to imagine myself on the highest peaks. Finally, I'm thankful for the brands that support me that have women in leadership positions at the highest levels – @fattire, @patagonia, @gaiaherbs, @lekiusa, and @allgoodbrand. Together, we continue to #ClimbForEquality. I'm hopeful, optimistic and excited to continue this work with you to elevate the status of women, girls, and mothers in our society. Photo: @graysonschaffer #livelikeliz #EqualityCantWait
It takes all the same skills to become an activist as it does to be an adventurer. You have to have grit and resiliency. You have to maintain a positive attitude and never give up, despite setbacks and challenges. But the motivation for activism is different. Adventures are largely selfish pursuits. Activism comes down to allyship. Are you an ally to people and the planet? Or are you a bystander? It’s as simple as speaking up and doing something when you see something that concerns you. This topic is near and dear to my heart and I’m so excited to be sharing lessons I’ve learned in a talk at @rokcclimb in Kansas City tomorrow, August 24 at 7pm. Stop by and enjoy a @fattire with me! Photo: @rob.lea#climbforequality #climbersforclimate
I want to see more coverage of women’s cycling. Despite the gains for women in some areas of society, there is a massive disparity in women’s pay in sports. One sport where there is a particular lack of opportunity and coverage for women is in cycling.The average budget for a UCI men’s World Tour cycling team is $16 million. The average for a women’s team is $200,000. Over half of pro women riders have to work a second job. While bikes exist in my small size, they are difficult to find. A high-end road bike in my size is made in such limited quantities, I have to special order them.Today is the start of the @coloradoclassicpro, the only women’s standalone pro cycling race in the Western hemisphere, and one of the most important women’s races in the world. Want to see more coverage of women’s cycling? Support this race by tuning in to their livestream or signing the “We Ride” pledge via the link below or in my profile:https://www.coloradoclassic.com/pledgeTogether, #weride. Photos: @isaacmphoto #climbforequality #triforequality
Action alert! Comments needed now through August 26! Speak up to protect our voice in the management of public lands. Right now, the @u.s.forestservice is considering some devastating changes to how it implements the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA. The agency is proposing to create loopholes that would fast-track logging, road building, and other development on public lands and eliminate public participation on the vast majority of Forest Service projects.NEPA’s been around since the 1970s to add to the transparency in decisions made by governmental agencies. It gives the public a voice. It requires agencies like the Forest Service to alert the public and evaluate the potential impacts on environment, recreation and more when considering whether to approve a project or make changes in how public lands are managed.Due to budget and staffing cuts, staff turnover and inconsistencies in how NEPA is utilized, the Forest Service is not the most efficient when undertaking a NEPA analysis. Instead of solving these inefficiencies, the agency is proposing to gut NEPA, which would fast-track industrial and extractive development. Now is your time to weigh in so the public isn’t kept in the dark on 98% of Forest Service projects. The Forest Service is accepting public comments on these proposed revisions until August 26. Thank you @winterwildlandsalliance for putting this information together and making it very easy for people to comment.Check out the link below or in my profile to make your voice heard and keep transparency in decisions made about public lands.https://winterwildlands.org/USFS-NEPA-Revisions#keepwinterwild @wasatchbackcountryalliance
Soaking in the last few days of summer. Sometimes we do enjoy going to the beach! This summer has been a little different for me as my goal has been rehabbing my knee, not training for an ultramarathon, ultra bike ride, or progressing as an alpine climber. While there are times I feel tings of jealousy seeing other people accomplish their goals, it’s been nice to have a little break from structured, outdoor training. With this injury, I’ve been focused on gratitude for everything I do have and maintaining a really positive attitude. I won’t lie, I’ve had to “mute” a few of my friends on Instagram so I don’t feel too much FOMO. Right now, that’s part of taking care of myself. And it doesn’t diminish how much I love those people or appreciate what they do. This summer has been good reminder that there is beauty in every moment outside, and to soak it all in! @keen #keenambassador Photo: Scottish sunset vibes captured by @rob.lea
“Close your eyes and visualize someone you love so much or a moment where you felt the most joy.”@kpspeaks_ led us in an exercise where we were asked to do just that in my public speaking class last week. When I closed my eyes, I saw my partner, @rob.lea, on our wedding day. I saw my friends and family all around me.A few days later, I got our wedding video trailer back from @whitelocketfilms. And it was everything I saw in that moment of visualization. I’m so excited to share a little slice of our wedding day with you. May it serve as a reminder to continue to celebrate love every day. #carolineandrob2019
I’m delighted that our wedding was featured in the @nytimes vows section! Thanks to my sister @jendemonte for giving them the suggestion. They are going to write a correction this Sunday to make it known that “he said yes.”#carolineandrob2019 Online article via link below or in profile:https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/10/fashion/weddings/theyd-climb-the-highest-mountain-but-not-necessarily-for-each-other.html
PWD: post-wedding depression. As my friends and family leave, and the flowers from my bouquet start to dry, I find myself feeling one of the biggest letdowns of my life. I start crying whenever I look at the ring box or other details from the wedding. It seems so weird to be struck with this sadness after such an unbelievably happy life event. I’m delighted about my marriage and my future with @rob.lea, but the stressful lead up to the wedding- and all the events this year- has taken me on some of the highest highs and lowest lows. I poured my heart and soul into planning my wedding. And it was everything I dreamed of and more. Depression after big life events isn’t something we normally talk about. I want to continue to break the stigma of discussing mental health issues by sharing my own struggles with bouts of depression. I’m learning to navigate these ups and downs with exercise, self-compassion, acceptance and by staying busy. I give myself space to cry. And while talking about it, I’ve learned that so many other people have dealt with the same thing, and that makes me feel a little better. Thanks to those who love all parts of me- the happy Carolina and the sad one and everything in between. #carolineandrob2019Photo: @erinorthcutt
08.10.19 – we got married! When a historic landslide covered Little Cottonwood Canyon road on Thursday night, it threatened to shut our wedding down. I realized everything in the last year had prepared me for this. Of course, I had a moment of grieving for the possible loss of 8 months of planning, but I quickly remembered that our wedding wasn't about where we got married. For us, it was about the people and an opportunity to share our love with our large family and friend group. I realized it wouldn't matter if we moved the wedding to the backyard or if some details fell apart. I knew that the adversity would bring us together, and that the universe would still provide for the wedding of my dreams. With everything else we had going on this year, a fully torn ACL weeks before Everest/Chomolungma, a summit of the highest peak in the world during a short weather window, a major knee surgery, Rob's English Channel crossing and upcoming ride across America, it seemed crazy to add a wedding. But we couldn't wait any longer to marry each other. In the end, the canyon road reopened in time for our friends and family to make it to the summit of Hidden Peak for an unforgettable celebration at 11,000'. It was everything I could have dreamed of and more. I loved every second of the wedding weekend. Smiles and laughs and hugs so big, you never wanted them to end. I will forever relish the outpouring of love, the support of our community and the bonds of our family. I am so happy to gain the most wonderful in-laws and to be part of the Lea family. We're so excited to go forward as Mr and Mrs., husband and wife. When people ask us what's next, we say marriage will be our greatest adventure yet. It will challenge us, and take grit, resilience and consistent nurturing. I'm confident we are up for the challenge. Photo: My grandma smiling at us through the moon captured by @erin.northcutt #carolineandrob2019