Emily Olsen

Salad-Hating Ultra Runner.

Where’s Emily? Oh, there she is! She’s the one with hair flying everywhere, glasses falling down her nose, cinnamon roll in hand/mouth, most likely chasing her dog, Cabot, down the street.

What are your three most prized accomplishments?

In no particular order: Moving from New York City to Rural Arkansas without knowing anyone or ever having been there before. Building a career that works towards leaving the world a better place than I found it. Learning to grow my own food while simultaneously running a school garden for pre-k thru 2nd-grade students- miraculously they actually like almost everything we grew and I didn’t starve.

What are your three favorite things to do?

Run ridiculously far with my friends. Be outdoors with my dog. Eat cinnamon rolls, nachos and maple syrup (on anything and everything).

Where are your three favorite places to be?

In the mountains. In Vermont. On the road/trail to somewhere new.

What keeps your passion alive?

Donuts and coffee. But for real, all of the amazing people around me who work their asses off to make their dreams and the dreams of their communities come true. Sharing ideas and collaborating with them keeps me growing as a person and reminds me that the world is full of wonderful people who will make it a better place than we found it.

What is your greatest passion?

Making the world a more equitable place both where I live and where I play.

What is one thing that people don't know about you, but should?

Despite my love of vegetables I truly dislike salads unless they are made of vegetables cooked in butter in a cast iron pan. Raw vegetables have no place in my diet.

What is your wildest adventure?

Four years ago I realized that while I loved living in New York City and all of my friends there, I didn’t love the person I was becoming or the life I was leading. I felt like I had settled for the life that I thought I should live rather than going after the life that I wanted to live. I decided that if I was going to leave the city of my dreams and the people that I loved to lead the life that I wanted to lead, I would have to take advantage of every second. Since then I have embarked on a career in food justice, something I passionately believe in, lived in a state I never thought I would visit, completed a 200hr Yoga Teacher Training, adopted a dog with more energy than I thought possible, learned to climb, run my first, second and third ultra-marathons and fallen back in love with skiing, backpacking, camping, hiking and the outdoors in general. I’ve been on more road trips and outdoor adventures than I can count, slept in the back of my car, under the stars, in the bottom of desert canyons and in mountaintop huts, taken fewer showers than my mom or boss would like and I have never been happier. It's been wild few years without nearly enough sleep but I have no plans to stop or find any balance in my life anytime soon.

If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be?

Kayak, trek and run through all of the National Parks in Chile.

What is your personal definition of feminism?

For me, feminism is about being who you want to be and society letting go of our exceptions for who we think people should be and our judgment of others for not fitting into the boxes we create to put people in.

What do you find valuable in being a woman in the adventure/outdoor industry?

I am extremely fortunate to have grown up in the outdoors with very adventurous parents. They included me in all of their adventures and never questioned my ability to keep up no matter the sport. Their unconditional belief that I am capable of anything has made me who I am today. The strength and confidence I have developed in the outdoors have transferred to so many other realms of my life. I am so thankful to both my parents and the outdoors for giving me the confidence to stand up for myself and never take shit from anyone who questions my abilities because I am a woman.

Who is another woman who inspires you?

My partner in all things D.U.M.B (Dangerous, Unmeasurable, Miserable, Beer) Zoe Rom. She is a bad-ass environmental journalist and always down to crush summits, trails and beers.

In the coming years, where would you like to see women in sports/adventure/outdoors?

Wherever they want to be.

To keep up with Emily and her cinnamon roll-fueled adventures, follow her on Instagram or check out her upcoming event March 8th with Feral Mountain Co. in Denver, CO. 

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