Self Belief is Powerful and Exploring our World.

I hope your weekend was a great one and that you get to start off your week with a run or whatever makes you feel good.  Today’s post is sponsored by Backcountry.   I’m sure many of you experience the same deep love that I share below when it comes to being active outdoors.


Self Belief is Powerful. <– I saw these words on Shalane Flanagan’s Instagram a few weeks ago and it gave me all of the feelings.  It is something I know to be true in my life and something that I see daily with my children.  I know that self belief is what finally got me to my sub 3 marathon.  I know that when we believe in ourselves and uncover our strengths that sometimes get hidden in the craziness of life, we are unstoppable.


When our mind TRULY believes something, it connects to our bodies and takes it there.  The mind-body connection is so real.   I cannot wait to see where self-belief gets me over the next few months as I train for a new goal… a 50 miler trail race.


(100s of miles of my training will be in this Backcountry Matilda Baselayer)

With self belief you are confident in your own skin and you understand your worth and your strength.  Self belief is one of the many things that I gain each and every time I am outside experiencing nature and fresh air.  It doesn’t matter what the temperature is, what I actually accomplish or the things that I’ve seen along the way, confidence in myself seeps into me during my time outdoors and I come home a better person.


There are approximately 39,402 benefits for children when they are outside and active but I have to say that I think my favorite benefit is the confidence and self-belief they develop from the outdoors and doing hard things.

If I can help my children to see their potential and have confidence in the greatness they can offer the world, I’ve done my job.  I think that nature is the best classroom for these things.


(Knox: Marmot Jacket, Backcountry Nordic Pom BeanieNike Flex Contact.  Brooke, Marmot Jacket, Backcountry Nordic Pom Beanie, Sorel Out N About Plus Boot)

A few weeks ago we took the kids to Pine Hollow (up American Fork Canyon) to explore a new hike that none of us had done before.

We see the front side of Mt Timpanogos daily and loved getting to soak in the gorgeousness from the back side.


(Andrew: Backcountry Goat Logo T-shirt, Under Armor Fleece Jogger, Dragon Mansfield Sunglasses, RVCA Bomber Jacket.  Skye: Bogs Elliot Whale Boot, Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket)

We had an absolute blast out there on this trail.  It’s a great one if you have kids!  We all feel so accomplished by the end of a hike together.


(I’m wearing: Patagonia Better Sweater Gloves, Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket, Sorel Out N About Plus Boot, Filson Day Pack Backpack, Backcountry Marled Beanie, Backcountry Matilda Baselayer, Electric Encelia Sunglasses)

We are huge fans of Backcountry over here for our outdoor adventures year-round.  The fact that they carry all of our favorite outdoor brands and products for our entire family is just the best.  The only problem is that I want to buy every item on the website for us to take on adventures ha.  I love that they offer 2-day shipping anytime you spend over $50 so your gear arrives and you get to get OUT and adventure asap!


Knox was calling to the birds from the tree:)


Seeing her little brain work a million miles an hour as she sees, touches and hears new things makes my mama heart incredibly full.


Her current favorite game is seeing if she can rip my sunglasses off in 3 seconds flat.


Another GOAT (greatest of all time) moment for our family.  We’ve got quite the bucket list of hikes for our family to do together this winter and I can’t wait.


Get out and experience all that you can and if you come to Utah I’ll show you around my favorite spots:)


Use my code RUNNER15 for 15% off your first purchase at!  Get everything that you need for you and your people to get outdoors this winter and gain all of the benefits possible from our gorgeous world.  PS If you have questions on anything that Backcountry has they have their gearheads available 24/7 (via chat, email, and phone) to help you find exactly what you want!  We had a question about sizing for Skye’s boots and the gearhead emailed over the perfect sizing chart that we could print out to find her exact size.  They’ve always been so helpful with any questions that we have!



How do you plan to stay active this winter?

If you were offered a free dream-home and you could choose between having it in the mountains or on the beach… What would you choose?

-I think you know my answer:)  Mountains.

Random but what are your favorite hiking snacks (for you and if you have kids)… I need to update some of our snacks that we take (<— The kids have requested this haha)

What benefits do you see kids experience from being outside?   

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I love the family time y’all are getting together hiking outside and staying active! I would absolutely choose the beach over the mountains. I do love hiking, though. Thankfully, there are a lot of great canyons and hills with trails in the area to hike, and the mountains aren’t too far from here, either.

Definitely take some Gushers and Fruit-by-the-Foot snacks with you. They’re the BEST!! Apple slices are always good, too. :)


VERY good call on the Gushers… I’ve been eating those like crazy:) How are they so good? You seriously have some awesome trails near you and the fact you get both worlds = the best. Have a wonderful day Natalie and I hope you are feeling well!


True story about the Pine Hollow trail. Running with my husband but I was a couple corners ahead of him when a carefree runner came barreling down the trail with no shorts on. Just shoes actually. He seemed real surprised to see me and jumped behind some shrubs so I mentioned to him it was kind of a popular family trail. After that terrifying sight, we then came upon a moose and just decided to call it quits for the day. Too much wildlife!


WHAT!?! NOOOO way. Who in the world does that?! That is definitely a popular family trail… and a moose! Okay, maybe that was our last time on that trail;) I hope you are having a wonderful day and feel free to share any other trails you love in the area so we can try them out!


Oh I love hiking! I know I complain about the cold but I’d so much rather have a house in the mountains than on the beach. Beaches are more for vacations.

We love taking starbursts, hi-chews, and lemons to squeeze into lemonade with candy sticks for straws. I literally dreamed about it last night haha.


I have never even thought about the lemonade with candy sticks idea… brilliant! My kids would love that. Thanks Jenny! Are you guys staying around here for Thanksgiving?


It’s such a fun way to distract them from tired legs and a great sweet treat once it’s ready. It is a little hard the first time doing it because the kids will ask about 300000 times if the lemon is ready before they are haha.


Hahaha well, we will definitely be copying you! Thanks Jenny!


Nice pics…love all the sunbeams. All the hats seem really great though I’m really picky about my hats because most of them give me headaches.

I’m a huge fan of being outside and having grown up playing outside ALL day long I think the health benefits are endless both mentally and physically. Sadly, I don’t spend enough time outside lately. Not sure if it’s because as I’ve gotten old (!!!) I have a hard time with temp changes plus I’ve beaten up myself health-wise (mentally and physically). Long sordid story….

I love the beach but mountains are so much more interesting and I just love all the foliage. I think I would get tired of the beach’s “same-ness”

As for trail/hiking snacks I find that I crave healthy not too sweet foods like apples/bananas/etc, pb sandwiches, pretzels, GORP and not too sweet granola bars even cold pizza. Also diet Cokes taste doubly better on the trails! Candy just doesn’t satisfy me and just tastes “wrong” out on the trails.


Oh no about hats giving you headaches… when they are tight or any hats? I hope you are doing okay and that you are able to get outside for a few minutes today. It’s crazy how much harder (lack of time etc) it is to get out as we get older even though the benefits are so unreal! Oh my family would love cold pizza on a hike, great idea! I hope your week is a beautiful one Kolya!


I just started a new workout program – LIIFT 4 from Beachbody. I really like it so far! Focused on strength training and HIIT for a little variety this winter, plus running on the weekends.
I think I’d have to pick the beach! I prefer warmth and sunshine. :)
You have such an adorable family! I can’t believe how big the kids are getting!


I am so so happy you are liking this program and it’s perfect after your half marathon. Strength in the winter… I’m joining you on that. Have a wonderful day Rhiannon!


Definitely would pick the mountains for my dream house. We kind of live up a mountain now and I never want to leave.
I love skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. One of my favorite winter hikes is donut falls. Usually you don’t even need snowshoes because it gets pretty packed down. If you climb up to the actual falls it can get a little sketchy but so cool if you climb into the snow cave that has formed around the falls.
We usually bring Individual packs of trail mix from Costco on our hikes, along with applesauce packs and fruit snacks.
I’m a big hiker and we take our kids on a lot of hikes, but I have not found a way to get them to stop complaining. We try to stick to family friendly, easy and shorter trails that have some sort of cool feature, and Try to make it as fun as possible, but they still complain. So if you have any tips, let me know. I want them to appreciate nature, but sometimes it is just sooo hard! My kids are 7, 4 and 19 months.


I’m with you on the mountains and how I never ever want to leave. Okay, you just inspired me to go snowshoeing this winter with Andrew… we will do this for a date! I have never done donut falls and I’ve always wanted to, we will have to do that this winter too… thanks Karin! Those are hard ages (you must be so so busy)!! So we probably do the wrong thing and we bribe them… they know that we always go for a special treat after a hike and so we tell them if they are complaining during the hike then no treat. We followed through on it one time when they were complaining and that really helped them to stop after that BUT 4 and 19 months is especially hard. The more we do it the more they love it too and we love playing games while hiking or singing songs or STORY TELLING. Knox gets so lost in story telling (he loves it so much) so during harder portions of hikes Andrew starts telling stories about army men and Knox forgets all about what he is doing (and for Brooke I tell her stories of my poodle ha:). Let me know of any other hikes you are loving and have a wonderful day Karin!


I always wonder that answer myself – I love the beach, it’s soul-reviving…but I feel for me personally there’s more I could do in the mountains (bike, ski) as I’m not a good swimmer hah. I do think about moving to the mountains one day.

Love that Patagonia jacket you’re wearing! It doesn’t look too poofy like a lot of those jackets can. Did you find it was true to size?

Also, are you still using Mary as your coach for ultr-running?


Hey Jen!! I am! She is great! It is true to size… I have a small (same as in most things) and it fits perfectly and I was looking for something that wasn’t too puffy also! I’m a big fan. Come move to the mountains and trail run with me:) Have a wonderful day Jen and let me know if you have any other questions!


Love all of this! Being outside and playing sports growing up made a HUGE difference in my confidence and happiness, and taught me both important skills and to appreciate the world around me. Today, I see kids get so naturally curious when they are outside, in ways they don’t when they’re indoors. It’s never time you regret. And your kids will be grateful for these opportunities when they’re older.

And self belief? SO IMPORTANT. I really think that’s what got me through recovery from major surgery a couple years ago–just believing that I could. If I didn’t, I don’t think I would have been struggling through PT exercises every day or continuing to stay as active as I could. Be stubborn in your self belief.


Kristin, I loved everything you said today. I 1000% agree with you. You are an incredible example and so strong for your comeback after your huge surgery. Thanks for sharing… you inspire me! “Be stubborn in your self belief” <--- YES!


Working at a kids’ summer camp, I definitely agree that being outside is great for kids… and adults! Our counselors, who spend most of the summer not using cell phones or cars and spending 90% of the day outside, are definitely sad to leave at the end of the season!

I would take mountains over beach any day… I miss them here in Florida!


By the way, awesome to hear that your brother is in marathon training now!! Kinda like him, I went from running no more than 2-3 miles at a time to running my first marathon in less than 18 months! I’m now getting ready for my fourth… had my second-to-last long run today of 21 miles.


Your story is amazing Grant. What marathon is it for your fourth? Way to go on 21 miles… boom! I bet you see huge benefits for both the kids and adults at the camp. I want my family to all join you there next summer (Alaska, right?).


The Jacksonville Marathon on December 15; it’ll be my third time running it. And yep, Juneau, Alaska (where my other marathon was!). I hope your family gets to visit Alaska someday! It’s the most beautiful place I know.


I’m cheering for you!! Best month in Florida for a marathon:) We would love that so so much! Have a wonderful evening and enjoy the taper coming your way!


I love these posts of your family hiking trips. My question is how do the kids go? Do they get tired, have you had to build up their endurance or do you bribe them when they get tired?? Just wanting to know your tips and tricks! I have a just turned four year old boy who does enjoy being outdoors but I don’t find he can go super far, maybe 1.5 miles (though his dad says he goes much further if I’m not there ?) anyway I’d love to hear how you do it! I love being outdoors with the kids but I’m not quite strong enough to then carry them if they won’t walk further. (We have a just turned 2 year old too but he can go in the hiking backpack)


Oh thank you Leigh! They definitely get tired and have to build up their endurance just like we do. 1.5 miles is pretty great for a four year old! Thank goodness for the hiking backpack. Our kids know now that we will go out for a special treat after a hike together if they don’t complain (they learned the hard way one time when they did complain and didn’t get the treat after). We bring lots of snacks and take a trillion rest/water breaks. We play games (I spy is a crowd pleaser over here) and we sing songs and tell them stories when they get tired (which helps them forget that they are tired:) I think consistency is key and after a bit of time he will love it more and more (and his little sibling will love it because of their older sibling loving it:) GOOD LUCK!


As always, love the new gear.
I choose mountains!! I love the rainbow trail mix at TJs. also good is their dried fruit.


Oh thank you Krista! I need to try that rainbow trail mix… thank you for the ideas! Have a wonderful evening Krista!


LOVE Backcountry :) I have been absolutely living in my Patagonia puffy since moving to SLC.

I plan to do a lot of hiking and learn to ski while I’m here this winter…also adding this trail to my list of hikes that I want to do!

I would 100% choose to have a mountain house…I love the beach but the mountains will always feel like home to me.

Walgreens has tons of great trail mix and other snacks for hiking (I got some there before hiking this weekend) – they’re small and super affordable so you can take options for the kids :)

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