We're very excited to introduce our inaugural class of Tru Flask Adventure Correspondents. Throughout 2022 you'll be seeing posts on social media from these amazing adventurers, so we thought you'd like to get to know them!
Today we're featuring Kelly Mcgovern. Kelly is a mental healthcare professional born and raised in Arizona. We're thrilled to have her as part of our group!
Q: What made you want to be an Adventure Correspondent?
I wanted to be an Adventure Correspondent to inspire others to get outside and enjoy nature. Nature has been a massive component of my growth and healing over the last few years and it’s important to me to encourage and inspire others to get outside and take care of themselves and nature and take in all it has to offer!
Q: What do you love most about mother nature?
What I love most about nature and adventuring is that it’s ever-changing. I’ve done the same hikes so many times yet every time I go - it’s a different scene. I love finding wildflowers or encountering different weather patterns. Nature also reminds me that I can slow down in life and take in the present moment. So much of life these days is filled with being “productive” and moving on to the next thing- but nature doesn’t work on anyone’s timetable and it’s a great reminder to take a step back and enjoy the journey along the way.
Q: How does spending time outdoors affect you?
Spending time outside completely resets my mental state! I spend a lot of time in front of a screen or working in stressful situations and when I step outside, all the “to-dos” of life subside. I’m able to refocus and re-prioritize and I am so grateful for the mental clarity that comes with a completed adventure.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to explore nature but they don’t know where to start?
Giving advice on where to start is difficult, but I always want to tell people who are thinking of taking on hiking or camping or backpacking to start small. It’s a gradual build. You don’t need the best gear to get going or to be ready to conquer a '14er.' If you want to hike but are concerned, start with walks around your neighborhood - and always listen to your body. There is no shame in gradually building up to a peak or summit. It’s better to make it up and down in one piece than to overdo it and find yourself in a tough situation. For gear, get some great hiking boots and a backpack and go from there. Research where you want to go, 1,000 ft elevation gain feels a lot different over 2 miles than it does over half a mile.
Q: Name one outdoor place you could explore over and over and never get tired of it?
One outdoor place I could explore over and over is the Superstitions. I’ve lived in a lot of mountainous towns over the last few years and I think they’re an underrated range overall. They have so many hikes for all experience levels and I can’t ever see myself getting tired of them
Q: What/Who is your spirit animal?
My spirit animal?! Why is this the toughest question?! I love the mentality of a wolf. I work in mental health and a message I’m constantly communicating is that when you’re in trouble, reach out for help (to your pack). Wolves do that, too. The vulnerable are protected by the pack leaders and I admire and respect how individually they are all strong, but together they’re a force.
Q: On most days, you can be found________?
On most days, I am actually found in front of a computer. I live so close to several mountain ranges that I start my morning with a dark and early hike before gearing up for the day! I love backpacking and camping on weekends or getting in those longer hikes.
Q: What’s the secret to happiness and joy in life?
Oh man. The secret to happiness and joy in life is connection. Find your connection (whether that is to a person, people, a place, an idea) and the passage of time will be filled with contentment and joy.
Q: Best piece of advice you’re ever received?
The best piece of life advice I’ve ever received is, “wherever you go, there you are.” I’ve moved a lot in the last decade and I had a friend’s dad tell me that quote. At the time I brushed it off and thought I knew exactly what he was talking about. Come to find out, I didn’t have a clue. It wasn’t until I was a few moves in and across several state lines when I realized that the challenges/problems I thought I could escape followed me (who knew?!) and I had to do the work to deal with them or they would continue to be a part of me wherever I was- moving wasn’t the cure-all I thought it would be. That was the quote that opened the door for me to get some additional support and work through some ‘pieces of life’ (as I call it).
Follow along with Kelly's adventures on Instagram @kells.mcgovern