Make an Excuse for Adventure: Tips for Spending More Time Outdoors from Rock Climber Zoe Beauchemin

Need a little more outdoor inspiration in your life? Follow rock climber and Rumble athlete Zoe Beauchemin on Instagram. The young bouldering phenom is making it her mission to explore Canada coast-to-coast, while working her way up the climbing world’s competitive ladder AND studying full-time at Concordia.

We asked Zoe how her life ended up looking like Banff Mountain Film Festival highlight reel, and how the rest of us can get more nature in our lives.

Q: How did you get started rock climbing? What drew you to bouldering?

A: I originally started with my friend and our dads as a fun activity to do together, but wasn’t until 2014, when I needed something to help fill out my online-PE class hours, that I started climbing seriously. I joined a recreational team at 14 and the competitive team at 15.  

I actually didn’t specialize, though until a few years ago. My coach had always advocated to engage in a variety of sports while young and wait until later to specialize in a sport.

In 2017, I competed in the “combined” format (boulder, lead, and speed) in my last year of youth at the Youth World Championships in Austria. I decided to specialize in bouldering afterwards, since I would be entering the adult category, starting university (less time to train 3 sports at once), and because I absolutely love bouldering and the training it entails.

My favourite parts of bouldering competitions are the problem-solving, time-focused, and community aspects. Competitions are short, intense, and sweet! I love it.

Q: You’re also working on a B.Comm in Marketing - how do you balance school with climbing and other outdoor activities?

A: I can’t lie, it can be super hectic sometimes! I think the two words that best sum up how I organize my life are ‘balance’ and ‘efficiency’.

For me, it comes down to being very conscious about where my passions lie and aligning all of my resources (time, money, energy) to support what I want to do. If you pursue what makes you happy, you will work extra hard and have the most amount of fun doing it. 

Q: Your Instagram is full of incredible climbing and adventure photographs (jealous!). Has outdoor recreation always been an important part of your life?

A: Aw, thank you! I feel lucky that my boyfriend is an aspiring adventure photographer and that we can capture content from the adventures we go on.

I grew up being very outdoorsy and spent a lot of time winter camping, hiking, and surfing, among other things. I honestly did not come to appreciate the outdoor landscapes and potential for adventure that we have in BC and Canada until the past few years. I’ve now made it a bit of a personal mission to explore more of our country from coast-to-coast – however I can.

Q: You make a point of tagging indigenous place names in your photographs on Instagram, and you link to an interactive ‘Native Land Map’ in your profile. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

A: That’s super cool you noticed! I use the “location tag” on Instagram to incorporate land acknowledgements into my everyday life. I feel like it’s a modern and accessible way to increase awareness about, and pay respects to, the people who have called this land home forever, as well as the struggles that they continue to face.

 By including a land acknowledgement on Instagram I hope to;

  • demystify what it means to acknowledge the lands upon which we play,
  • show awareness and respect for the people who live and have lived with this land,
  • spark curiosity about new nations, cultures, traditions, and parts of history,
  • and to kickstart conversation from which we can continue to learn and grow.

It is in no way 'enough', but each post I have made so far has spurred a conversation which makes me feel like there’s real worth behind the location tag. Small action is better than no action!

Q: Do you have any tips or insights for those of us who would like to spend more time in nature, but struggle to find the time or have a hard time prioritizing it?

  • 1. Plan ahead! Often, we let work, school, and other daily responsibilities (that we plan for) get in the way of play. I find that I am more likely to actually get outside if I schedule or block it off in my calendar – and then plan an activity to do. Spontaneity is fun, but actually getting outdoors is more fun!

  • 2. Make different excuses. It’s easy to make excuses as to why not to go outdoors when you live in the city (not enough time, no car, meetings on Monday morning, have to do x, too much effort to plan … you name it). I find it helpful to force myself to think about the why I can and should get outdoors.

    For example: I can hike after the rain stops on Sunday afternoon and catch the sunset at the top. 
    Or: If I leave at 6am I can catch the swell on Friday morning and be back by mid-day to catch up on school/work.

  • 3. Just do it. This season, with international travel off the table, I made a list of all the Canadian activities I have wanted to do but haven’t had a chance to do yet.

    I grew up on the West Coast surfing and camping but have hardly done anything in the snow. On my list this year is; explore the national and provincial parks in Quebec, cross-country ski, snowshoe, skate on a frozen canal or lake, climb as many different local Quebec crags as I can, climb at the Niagara Glen, visit the East Coast, and explore northern Quebec.

    By having a list of things that I want to do ready in my head, it’s easier to brainstorm how I can make a free day or weekend an epic outdoor adventure.

  • Q: How does Rumble Supershake fit your lifestyle?

    A: Rumble to me is the best post-workout fuel or healthy on-the-go snack. Rumble’s macronutrients help me hit my performance goals when I’m on the run, and the thought put into the ingredients reflects my eco-conscious values.

     

    Are you our next Rumble Ambassador? Apply now to join our 2021 group of incredible athletes and adventurers.