The Call of The Wild
The term 'free-spirit' is one that many of us would love to be thought of as... at one with nature, free to roam, embracing the elements and living your best life in the environment of your choosing.
In reality, most of us will struggle to ever attain that genuine freedom - but we take solace being outdoors and enjoy it to max, when we get the opportunity.
When we 'met' Kathryn, she immediately struck us as someone who can actually claim the right to use the term 'free spirit.' She's someone who is able to combine her passion for multi-sport with her deep and engrained love of the rugged outdoors. Looking in, it's an enviable lifestyle that she has tenaciously carved out for herself. We wanted to understand whether her free-spirit was nurtured from an early age - or was it a product of the environment? Over to Kathryn...
Where did my love and passion for the outdoors come from? I grew up in a village with hills and forestry accessible from my front door. Growing up I have always been a free spirt with a special connection to the outdoors, the older I am getting the more that connection has come apparent.
Location was a blessing for me but my parents are definitely the people I need to thank. They have played a huge role in my life, from a young age they immersed me and my younger brother into the outdoors. They gave us all of these unforgettable memories of exploring, learning about nature, being creative and finding ourselves.
We would spend our days den building, bug hunting and trying to catch fish in our local river (which we never caught), it was a really important part of my life!
Our school holidays were spent camping or in some cases tracking down the blown down sections of our tent and exploring within the mountains and along the coast. These are memories I have carried with me and will do for a lifetime. My Mum and dad are also still adventuring with me to this day.
The mountains are also somewhere I link to, as mine and my dads special place. We have spent many of a days racing each other up Snowdon at 5am for our very windy and soggy first coffee of the day and making our own adventures up Cadair Idris.. we are forever coming back down as mad people and not poets!
A lot of my can do attitude and resilience has come from my dad, I am always setting goals and planning adventures that sometimes may seem a bit unrealistic at first but as he will always tell me I can do anything, if I really work hard for it and really want it. In his younger days my dad was an endurance runner always covering big distances and regularly found running through icy waters in the Tough Guy. He is my absolute hero.
If I am not working, 95% of the time I can be found in the mountains. (The other 5% is in a Coffee shop)
I am really lucky that I live so close, it would be rude not to take advantage, right?! Hiking and Running in the mountains is where my heart is mostly. Nothing beats a big hill day with a lot of ascent and ticking off several peaks. I love being able to scramble steep techy sections of rock which changes the adventure completely. I love being so far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where everything is just so simple, the only worry being did you remember to pack the spare batteries for your head torch?
As well as this, mountain running is something that myself and my partner share the love for together - and it's a sport which we are learning about everyday and even more so learning about each-other. The last year or so I have developed a passion for climbing. The urge to want to learn more about leading and wanting to push myself up steep scary crags. I love the thrill and the rush of adrenaline when you are fully committing to a move with the uncertainty if you will make that hold. The sense of accomplishment when you complete that final move is like no other!
Climbing can take you on some awesome adventures, I recently climbed my first sea cliff route. The waves smashing against the rocks, the seals watching us and the flock of birds above hunting for a misplaced sandwich… that’s the moment I felt incredibly connected with nature and how beautiful and raw it is. I suppose I spend just as much time in and on water as I do on land.
Growing up I was a club swimmer, so as soon as I discovered the open water I was in my element. I am always scanning out lakes surrounded by the mountains ready for a swim to start or end the day on a high. The energy and uplifting feeling as soon as your skin touches the cold water is just as good as that feeling when you take your first sip of morning coffee… if not better. (I really enjoy my coffee incase you cant tell).
...All of my everyday life stresses and thoughts just disappear. I take in a big deep breath and realise it is just me and nature. I am a super keen paddler boarder. Having only discovered SUP 3 years ago when me and my brother went on a taster session, I have fallen in love with the freedom and adventure it can bring locally and further afield. I have been super lucky to spend some of my best days paddling with people closest to me and making great memories with them.
What drives my passion? I believe passion is everything. I am driven by the freedom, the ability to escape so easily and how simple it is to make your own adventure, be able to leave your own footprints and have such a positive and fulfilling impact on my life and others around me.
I have met so many awesome people in the outdoors who have the same passion as me. I have built life long friendships from having the same passion. This is also how I met my partner Matt. I spend so much time in the outdoors because it is where I most feel myself, where I most feel alive.
Follow Kathryn's outdoor adventures on Instagram @Katttlr