Our friend Morgan Brechler, @morganbrechler, and her soon-to-be four-year-old daughter, Hadlie, are the badass duo often found bouldering in the deserts of Arizona or camping and hiking at high country lakes. We're big fans of Morgan and Hadlie's adventures and wanted to catch up with them for our new "Mountain Life Mindset" feature. Here's what Morgan had to share with us.
NAME: Morgan Brechler
LOCATION: Born & Raised in Arizona
OCCUPATION: I work for a landscape design company and currently am a student in urban farming, sustainability and sustainable agriculture.
MORNING RISER OR LATE NIGHTS? Both! Which actually isn't a good thing. ;) I stay up late and my body hardly ever allows me to sleep in past 6 am. Meanwhile H seems to have hit the "teenage" stage of sleeping. Girl would sleep until 10 am, if I let her.
YOUR CURRENT FAVORITE SONG? Oh geez. Don't dont this to me. There's too many! I can never pick a current favorite song. But I will say Lord Huron is probably my most played camping / adventuring albums.
HADLIE'S CURRENT FAVORITE SONG? Anything Taylor Swift is singing. Perhaps not the best lyrics but hey it could be worse. And we are no shame T-Swift lovers. She constantly demands Bad Blood be played while we are in the car, she's really into cover songs of T-Swift as well.
FAVORITE PLACE YOU'VE BEEN? Out of the places I have been so far (and there's still an overwhelming amount to see), my favorite places are right here in Arizona. I love this state. I can't pick just one. That's nearly impossible. Each place has its own reason as to why it's on my favorite list.
HOW DID YOUR LOVE FOR THE OUTDOORS START? My love for the outdoors started when I was very young. I have an older brother and I spent a lot of time playing in the dirt with him and his friends. Although they always tried to get rid of me and I was the annoying little sister. Major tomboy. I hated wearing shirts, shoes, brushing my hair and refused to wear girl underwear.
We had quads and an RV growing up and were always traveling. Once I started riding and my parents surprised me with my first pony I spent every day at the stables. You could have found me mostly riding around bareback without shoes on with nothing but a halter and lead rope on my horse.
HOW DO YOU INSTILL A LOVE FOR THE OUTDOORS IN HADLIE? This is very important, as our younger generations need to have a love for the outdoors as they are the ones that will need to help protect these places. If children are not shown the outdoors, these places in the could become trashed and destroyed.
Instilling a love for the outdoors for Hadlie was never a plan. It was just what was natural for us. We are outside as much as possible. We have a lot of fun. There isn't much I need to do besides show her these beautiful places to make her have a love for it.
WHAT 5 THINGS DO YOU NEVER LEAVE FOR CAMPING WITHOUT? Well, I'll tell you what Hadlie never leaves the house with out / always has camping. Her silky blanket. She has tons of these. She's always carrying at least one. Her binky. She's still trying to kick the habit, despite our multiple interventions and offers to send her to binky rehab. Girl still keeps one in her pocket at all times. Toy horses or my little ponies. Never, ever does she forget these. I've seen some horse crazy little girls. Most people thought I was the most horse crazy girl growing up. Hadlie's got me beat. Her water colors. She most always paint at least one picture while we are camping. Another one of her obsessions, chocolate. Which I would consider an obviously essential. Let's be real. You can never have too much dark chocolate while exploring.
WHAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW?
What isn't going on!? I like to think being so busy is a good thing but boy, these last few months have been crazy! Right now, I am working full time, going to school and fitting in all of our adventures.
I'd like to think I have found a great balance for all of that! Even if it means I need to backpack in 10 pounds of biology books so that I can study for an exam over a weekend adventure. (This just happened, LOL!)
We are getting excited for some cooler weather which will allow us to start hiking, climbing and camping more in our local areas. Although we will miss swimming in the rivers and lakes. We miss "send temps" much more!
Hadlie will be four this week and of course, we will be spending it outside. A combination of horseback riding and camping. Every girls dream right? Well at least Hadlies and I's! :P
And I have some very exciting things upcoming for 2016. One of the biggest things and most exciting is a documentary film I'm lucky enough to be apart of.
Obviously I'm inspired by adventurous mothers, so I'm super excited about a film project I'm working on with fellow moms Brooke, Shannon and filmmaker Aly Nicklas. We're headed off an epic adventure, children in tow, to explore the topics of adventure, risk and motherhood.
We want to celebrate and inspire women, with children or without, to follow their dreams passionately. We are to begin shooting next month and the film is to be released in 2016. We are currently in the pre-production stages are and currently looking for sponsors.
BEST OUTDOOR MEMORY WITH HADLIE? We have endless best and favorite memories! I'm going to go with my most recent favorite moment. We were bouldering in Flagstaff a few weeks ago and Hadlie was kind of having a sassy day. She mostly wanted to hangout alone and play with her toy horses while we climbed.
Towards the end of our day she walks up behind me with her hands covered in chalk and announced it was her turn and she was ready to climb! After that moment, I saw her climb to the top of multiple boulders, back to back. It was amazing! Of course I've seen her climb before but there was something different about this. She had so much confidence and belief in herself, more than most adults.
This is what we have been instilling in her since she was just a baby. Confidence.
She picked this one boulder, to her a high ball. We pulled the crash pads over and I spot her as she made each move. She mantled the top on her own and as she stood so tall and proud at the top we asked her what she wanted to name her new "FA" (first accent) she said "Focused."
HOW DO YOU TRUST THE WILD? I trust the wild because I am wild. I feel more comfortable sleeping outside under the stars than I do inside. The thought of spending my free time indoors is just not an option. Being in the wild is what makes me feel alive. Recharges my soul. And feels like home.