Wild and Weightless’ mission is to promote positive body image and confidence through outdoor adventures and mentorship. Wild and Weightless provides experiences and resources to support those affected by eating disorders to live healthy, and adventurous lives.
how wild and weightless works
Through outdoor adventure trips Wild and Weightless will provide a supportive environment where participants can celebrate their bodies for all that they can DO, rather than what they look like.
Participants will leave trips with a new support system and network of friends who they can connect with after their adventure.
Through take home curriculum and increased confidence through facing challenges in the outdoors, participants will be more equipped to handle the challenges they face at home.
On a larger scale Wild and Weightless will create a community that inspires all to live authentically and to find pride and compassion for themselves and their bodies.
About the Founder
Hello! My name is Kristen. You could say I like being outside. I am drawn to the ocean, the mountains, the desert and the places in between. I am fueled by my desire to play outside. To say that I am expert at any outdoor activity would be a huge overstatement. But the joy it brings is me—well its everything.
I have spent most of my young life struggling from an eating disorder. Recovery for me started when I began working outdoors as a guide and naturalist in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Yosemite Valley. You can read my full story here.
For me, there is a freedom that comes with being outside—freedom from the thoughts of doubt or shame. No longer do I feel weighed down by my body, I have become grateful for the power and muscle in my limbs and thankful for all that they do. I believe in the healing power of activity in the outdoors, I believe in the magic. That magic moment when you are on your skis, surfboard, reaching the top of a climb or taking the last steps to the top of a peak; it is these magic moments where even for just a second you are weightless. This is what freedom feels like.
I hold a Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with a concentration in Wilderness Therapy. My education has inspired Wild and Weightless, and has laid a clinical foundation for my work with clients one on one and in groups. I work as a coach, therapist, and group facilitator for retreats, events, and schools.
Interested in working with me? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about Kristen by listening to the She Explores podcast here.
Erica Ales brings years of experience in the documentary film and social impact spaces. She has managed global impact campaign strategy, implementation, and evaluation for a number of films, including award-winning documentaries Unrest and He Named Me Malala. Through her impact campaign work, Erica has collaborated with a breadth of nonprofit organizations that serve social issues such as LGBTQ rights, girls' global education, the US criminal justice and foster care systems, chronic illness, and sexual abuse. Prior to impact campaign work, Erica helped produce capacity-building short films for local nonprofits in the Washington, DC area. Erica currently resides in Los Angeles, where she loves to spend time in the nearby mountains, deserts, and beaches.
Growing up in Santa Cruz, California, I always had a love for being outside. From running around barefoot on the beach to climbing trees, nothing made me feel more free as a kid. But, at some point, you have to grow up and start wearing shoes regularly. I moved away from the beach for college where I spent more time studying and being social than anything else. After graduation, I moved to the Bay Area to start my career in Public Relations and spent more time in gridlock traffic and at a desk under florescent lights than I’d care to admit. Over the years, I lost my passion for the outdoors. I couldn’t remember the last time I went on a hike, slept in a tent, or climbed anything other than the corporate ladder. In 2014 I left San Francisco for Seattle and fell in love the Pacific North West. After accepting a job doing PR in the outdoor industry, I found myself not only inspiring and enabling others to get outside through my work, but remembering the importance of it myself. Today, my career has taken me rock climbing in Joshua Tree, hiking in Hawaii and fly fishing in Santa Fe. These places have reminded me to reconnect with myself in the outdoors and the people I’ve met have proven the power of community. Wild and Weightless promotes body positivity, confidence and community – all things I too have come to find through outdoor adventure – which is why I’m so excited to be a part of this organization.