What woman/identifying woman has made the biggest impact on you (friend, mentor, relative, historical figure, or anyone who has been influential to you)? 

TERRA: It seems cliché to say my mother, but she is the woman that’s had the biggest influence on me. Beyond giving me life, she was where I learned the value of education, curiosity, and adventure.  She grew up in the segregated South with limited opportunities and vowed that her daughters would see and do so much more.  She scraped, saved, and sacrificed so that I could take a new class or do a student exchange to Spain. She even decided to get a college degree while I was in high school.  Many mornings I would find her asleep at the kitchen table on her text books, before having to get up and go to work.  Her perseverance inspires me to this day. 


If you could give advice to the younger you, what would you say? 

TERRA: Make more mistakes. The world is constantly telling you to be perfect but it’s all an illusion. Humans are messy and emotional and experimental.  All of those things mean that sometimes we stumble.  The key is having the confidence to know that you can always recover from your mistakes.  The ability to get back up is a much stronger superpower than fake perfection. 


Do you feel the outdoor experience (from local parks to the backcountry to anywhere in between) is different for identifying women than it is for those who identify as men?  

TERRA: Absolutely. Safety is always forefront in our minds – does that path look dark…are there too many bushes…are there other people around.  It’s all that I’ve ever known but I imagine that it has to be more relaxing for male identifying people.  


What’s your favorite way to experience the simple power of being outside?   

TERRA: I live in Chicago and I have a favorite place to go on Lake Michigan called Promontory Point.  I can walk there from my house and sit on the rocks watching the sunlight sparkle off of the little waves.  It’s restorative and even better when there’s a warm breeze.