Hi there! I’m Priscilla and live in the San Francisco Bay area. Welcome to my blog. I am an athlete, outdoor professional and adventuress who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) 35 years ago at age 23. In spite of the odds, I am thriving today at 57. This is the first time I have been so public about living with RA. I have never let RA define me. Most people have no clue about RA so I hope this effort will serve to shine a light on RA for the general public and inspire those who live with RA. For more on my life with RA, go to “Chronic Life” on this site.
I have a rich professional history of guiding in the Himalayas, teaching climbing and mountaineering in the NW and California, and leading sea kayak expedition courses in Alaska and Baja. Much of my work has had a particular focus on outdoor adventure programs for women and girls. Starting with Outward Bound in the 80’s, I have worked with a broad spectrum of groups from college students and adult clients to youth, as director, trainer and instructor. Outdoor adventure programs can offer profound lessons useful for our everyday life including self care, overcoming challenges, conflict resolution and leadership development, topics that are relevant on an expedition or climbing a peak. Mother nature is a great teacher and has served as a mentor for me. Currently, I work for Girl Scouts of Northern California supporting girls and women getting outdoors through volunteer run programs and troop camping. For more details on my professional background, go to my LinkedIn profile or for something a little less formal, click to Go! Girls Outdoors profile.
The outdoors has always been a refuge and teacher beginning at the early age of 5 while climbing trees in the woods of New Hampshire. From there, ski racing and sailing with my family opened my life to more adventure- the good the bad and ugly along with thriving and surviving. I am grateful for these early outdoor experiences that shaped the foundation of my character especially one of resilience and perseverance. Thriving is something I have strived for in my life through outdoor adventure, paddling, healthy choices and meaningful work alongside friends, family and community. I feel grateful for the lifestyle, privilege and opportunity I have experienced along this path.
Currently, my outdoor pursuit of choice and passion is paddling, namely outrigger canoes. For the past four years, I have been focused on learning the skills needed to compete in local races and in Hawaii, requiring significant hours of training each week. Returning to the ocean brought me full circle. I grew up sailing on the ocean and later in my teens and young adult years I started paddling rivers. In the 1990’s, I picked up a sea kayak paddle to began mastering those skills and deepen my understanding of the ocean, tides, wind and waves. Racing outrigger canoes, especially the one person canoe, brings together all of my past outdoor experience- ocean and river paddling, navigation, reading wind and waves, tides and current- and challenges me in new ways. The growth mindset keeps me open to stepping out of my comfort zone, learning and keeps me humble. The community of paddlers, from California, NW and Hawaii, has also been a gift and a teacher. I have a deep respect of the ocean and honor the Hawaiian culture that is rooted in a deep spiritual (mana) connection to our earth (honua), ocean (moana) and to each other, all one family (ohana).
This blog is dedicated to those living with chronic illness and pain who continue to pursue their dreams while navigating the journey of self care. There are many lessons to glean from living with pain. Listen to your body wisdom. I think we are inherently designed to heal. See Chronic Life on this site.
It is also dedicated to women and girls who are spunky, brave and curious and who seek the outdoors as their refuge, teacher and friend.
Check out my YouTube channel by clicking on the side panel to the right. You will find playlists that have videos of outrigger paddling, sea kayaking, paddling info, and a slide of women and girls climbing/mountaineering with Cyndi Lauper’s girls just wanna have fun. This slide show is a collection of photos from my years of working with women and girls in the outdoors. It is dedicated to Miss Dish and my dear friend Kathy Phibbs who died in a tragic mountaineering accident in 1991. Click here for slide show: Women and Girls Outdoor Adventures.
I want to thank Hammer Nutrition for supporting me through their sponsored athlete program. Also grateful to Patagonia and Ibex for their professional programs. Love all of these products and use them daily!
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