REI Mothers in the Wild Speaker Series

Debbie participated in the REI Mothers in the Wild Speaker Series at the West Hartford store. It was a tough time slot at 1:00 P.M. on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, and she deserved an audience 100 times the size, but there were a handful of folks there and if she made an impression on ONE person then it was worth the effort.

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I couldn’t think of a better mother to talk about the joys of raising children with a love for the environment and outdoor adventure. She as joined by another fantastic adventurer, educator Kae Zaino.

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Here was REI’s description of the event:

Join us with ski instructor and wilderness trip leader Kae C. Zaino and competitive runner Debbie Livingston: inspirational women who use their unique skills and passions to inspire people to bring their whole family on their journeys and to persevere as mothers in the wild. Kae fell in love with camping/hiking on family trips as a child and as fostered her passion to a point where she now inspires individuals through development of her perseverance and cognitive flexibility with the outdoors even with facing the unpredictability of Mother Nature and demands and sacrifices of the human body. Kae has suffered 3 early pregnancy losses, even miscarrying on a 4,000 footer in the Presidential Ranges. Debbie has spent countless hours running through the wilds and competing in ultra-distance races, fostering a dedication and support group from her family while teaching yoga and coaching running to both children and adults. Motherhood became its own force of nature in her life pursuing the outdoors. This event will help provide inspiration and a greater connection to motherhood, family and loss in the great outdoors. Registration is required, all are welcome.

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Of course, I was thrilled to hear Debbie speak, but I was moved by Kae’s talk, which covered her highs and lows. She has quite the inspirational story to share and it is admirable that she spends so much time giving back to children as a teacher, camp counselor, guide, ski instructor, and outdoor educator. She and Debbie have a lot in common.

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Kudos to REI for putting on this series. I enjoyed helping Debbie create a highlight reel of photos to share. I’ve got 150,000 more images, but there is only so much she had time for!

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