Meet our #GWHAmbassador: LeAnn Weathers
Name: LeAnn Weathers
Hometown: Charleston, SC
Currentown: Greenville, SC
What chapter are you an Ambassador for?: South Carolina - Upstate
How did you find the Girls Who Hike organization?: I found out about GWH when I lived in Arizona during Graduate school. I was searching on Instagram and Facebook for hikes around Arizona and Utah and stumbled upon several Girls Who Hike pages and members. After learning more about the organization, I began following different media outlets and was constantly inspired about the community it fostered and the mission they followed.
What made you want to become a Girls Who Hike Ambassador?: You know what I love more than an experience? Sharing that experience with others. I am passionate about building healthy relationships, getting outside and exploring America’s backyard, and delving into new adventures. Being an ambassador not only brings me those opportunities, but helps me grow as a leader, as a hiker, and as a friend.
How did you get into hiking?: It was kind of like a “one thing led to another” situation! I grew up in a pretty sedentary household. The most exercise I got when growing up was during P.E., which was playing Four Corners at best. When I turned 15, I got into a major car accident and was ejected from the passenger side window. This accident left glass in my face, arms, and torso and compressed my entire spine leaving me in a scoliosis brace for over a year. I didn’t have the opportunity to foster friendships like everyone else during Freshman and Sophomore year and I was extremely weak from not being able to function independently for so long. Once I had recovered enough to live without the brace, I decided it was time to make a change. I became passionate about exercising and focusing on building up my strength. I made a friend who was into soccer and swimming, which piqued my interest in sports. I eventually starting Lifeguarding and getting into more activities outdoors. After college, I needed to move somewhere where I could continue to explore, find new adventures, and push my boundaries. So, within 2 short weeks of applying to graduate school, I was off to Flagstaff, AZ where the Grand Canyon was in my backyard. This is where my passion for hiking and meeting like-minded people began -- and boy did I love every minute of it!!
What's your favorite thing about spending time in the outdoors?: The feeling of being so small in the grand scheme of life. When I’m surrounded by trees towering over me, or standing on the summit of a mountain, or sitting at the bottom of a gorge - I realize how much bigger life is around me and how small my problems really are. It’s a really humbling experience. In those moments, I forget about the work stress, and how much my anxiety consumes me at times, and how I feel during the week “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good enough”. It all disappears, and I keep moving forward, enjoying moment of life around me.
List three things you can't go hiking without: Lots of water, fresh fruit (Halo oranges are the BEST), and someone to experience it with!
What do you love the most about being a Girls Who Hike Ambassador?: Hosting a hike and meeting the ladies who are getting their boots dirty for the first time! It’s a wonderful experience to see them fall in love with the outdoors, one step at a time.