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These 7 Outdoor Athletes are Motivated

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If there’s one idea that gets at the very heart of Outside’s mission, it’s the why. Behind every passion, every pursuit, and every adventure there’s a why. It’s what motivates us to act, and action is what leads to improving ourselves and the world.

That’s why we’re launching “Why I . . .,” a video series highlighting the diversity of people and passions that power our world. We asked seven people to tell us their stories about their Indigenous heritage and culture. We hope they’ll inspire you to find your why as well.

Why should I protect

Johnathan Arakawa is an original steward and member of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. He actively advocates for the protection and preservation of the natural environment for future generations.

Why I Run

Running is much more than a sport. Dustin Martin believes that running is more than a sport. It’s a way for him to connect with mentors and other potential entrants. Dustin Martin, a founder of Wings of America, promotes running for Indigenous youth. He also strengthens representation and fosters a connection with Native history.

Why I bike

April Morlock is a proud Athabaskan woman and Outside Interactive’s Director of Integrated Marketing. Growing up in Alaska, she was raised in a family where women were central to the family and community. “I was introduced to nature through their love, respect, and need for the land, fostering a connection with fresh air that will forever be rooted in me,” she says.

Why do I practice?

The healing power of yoga saved Jessica Mehta’s life and continues to everyday. She is a Cherokee Nation citizen and uses the practices of her ancestors to build personal connection and purpose.

Why ski?

Skiing was what made Connor Ryan fall for the land and strengthened their connection with Lakota tradition. He believes that nothing can help to strengthen this bond more than a great ski day in Colorado’s mountains.

Why I Climb

Skye Kolealani Razon Olds climbs for cultural reasons. She is a Native Hawaiian and has lived in the stones she climbs for generations. Her work with Kanaka Climbers, a nonprofit organization, teaches climbers about respectful access to these sites.

Why I Run

Lydia Jennings is a soil scientist, Pascua Yaqui Tribe member, and runs to build deeper connections with the natural world.

What Inspires These 7 Outdoor Athletes

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