Welcome to my little corner of the web. My nametag reads Elizabeth; you can call me Eliza or Liz.
I’m a student and a teacher of creative living. I wear many hats: adventure seeker, bad idea instigator, bike racer, Doctor of Physical Therapy, writer, speaker, coach, facilitator, alchemist, pro airport sleeper, mediocre musician, craft beer enthusiast, skinny dipping evangelist, dance opportunist, and dog-mama to my big fuzzy old man wolf-bear, Cody Oats World Traveler. I’m a lover and a disruptor by nature; you can find me in a rousing conversation about things that matter or falling head over heels for people and places around the world. I’m a weirdo and a goofball at heart and folks say my laugh echoes across mountains. I’m inspired by the expansion of human potential in all areas of life and this keeps me constantly curious. I have been a competitive endurance athlete since age four, and I’ve lived on the road full-time since 2015.
VITAL MOTION LIFE is a celebration of the adventures, challenges, people, places, lessons and insights that a life full of movement has brought me. These are what capture my interest every day I’m alive. I hope you can find some inspiration in these pages as well. Keep reading to learn a bit more about me, the work I do, and some of the ways we can create together.
What I'm about:
Adventure + Impact. I have a unique opportunity in that my platform as a professional athlete, my background of a doctoral-level education and advanced trainings, and my personal life experiences have woven together and positioned me perfectly to create a blend of work I love to do.
Throughout the year, I partner with people and companies in the outdoor, wellness, leadership, and entrepreneurial realms to do adventure projects and creative work around the world that capture my interest and spark my creativity.
But my passion isn't just in the adventure itself. It's in telling the stories of my own human experience and that of others I meet along the way; insights and lessons from my travels in all corners of the world back home to share with others who are curious about creating a life of adventure, inspiration, and impact. It’s in the balance of give-and-take: leaving the world a little bit better than I found it, and learning from my experiences and the wisdom of those I meet to become the best version of myself.
Those of us called to adventure have a unique opportunity. We can seek adventure simply for the sake of itself, and that alone is a worthy goal. But if we look a little deeper and connect the dots, we can mold our pursuits of adventure to create a positive impact on ourselves and our world. ♡
The Work I Do: Combining Adventure and Movement with Personal Growth and Social Impact
Multisport Expedition-Style Projects:
I love to engage in creative projects combining bikepacking, mountain biking, mountain running, packrafting, fat biking, backcountry skiing, and ski mountaineering. With a background in endurance mountain bike racing and a knowledge of moving through mountains thanks to my 15-year experience in backcountry skiing and mountaineering, I have been able to combine my multiple passions in adventure to create exploratory expedition-style projects around the world. This has been my athletic focus since 2015. In these projects I get to challenge myself, work closely with others, experience different cultures, create inspiring content to share, and leave in awe of the world's most incredible places and intriguing people. I like to create my own adventures and participate in others’ as well. I have been involved in two adventure documentary film projects, which have inspired my own creativity and expanded my sense of what’s possible.
Ultra-Endurance Mountain Bike Races:
I spent seven years focused solely on bike racing: from road to cross country mountain bike to marathon mountain bike and finally to ultramarathon and stage races. Although racing is no longer my main focus, I still compete in ultraendurance bikepacking and stage races that have a strong adventure component to them. Adventure-style races are a great way to hone the skills I need for expeditions, from proper fueling, pacing, and routefinding to the strong and clear mindset needed to succeed when on a backcountry expedition far from civilization. Recently my interest has turned to self-supported bikepack racing; riding for multiple days through the day and night while sleeping as little as possible and carrying everything I need on my bike!
Personal Coaching: Creating Transformation through Movement and Adventure
The ancient concept of alchemy involved transforming common metals into gold. I believe in the power of adventure and physical movement to transform lives; therefore my interpersonal work is focused around being a facilitator of what I like to call adventure alchemy. I received my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Colorado Medical School in 2008. Since then I have rounded out my education with certification in athletic performance training, an apprenticeship in psychoemotional methodology, continuing study in trauma-sensitive somatic integration work, and a certification in Reiki energetic healing techniques. Through education and experience I hold a strong belief in the importance of involving the whole person, body-mind-soul, in our ability to actualize our full potential.
I started coaching private clients in 2013 after a traumatic bike crash left me with a broken pelvis and dislocated shoulder. Through a year of surgery and rehab I realized exactly how much injuries and illness can impact the body, mind, spirit, and relationships. I also had a personal journey with psychological trauma, complex PTSD, and recovery related to intimate partner abuse. During this process I realized that the mind and the body are more connected than most of us think. I also realized how the skills I had learned in my years of outdoor adventure pursuits directly translated to helping me through healing and recovery to a place of strength, self-confidence, inner peace, and freedom following both physical and psychological trauma and challenges.
Recently I have expanded to working with a different type of client in private and small group coaching and retreat settings. I have found one of my life's callings in helping people with adventurous souls who are motivated to evolve or expand, and have done some personal work but haven't yet achieved the breakthrough they want — whether that is feeling strong and capable in their bodies and minds, learning to feel good internally regardless of their external setting, knowing how to use their bodies to their fullest potential in any circumstance, navigating challenges with grace and grit, transforming tears of suffering into tears of gratitude and moments of insight, taking care of their bodies so their bodies take care of them, making smart decisions in tough moments, being confident in having both physical and mental skills in their toolbox to pull out in times of need, trusting themselves and their abilities, reaching an outdoor adventure goal, reaching a life goal, or breaking out of their comfort zone in a multitude of ways.
I know there are many people out there who are held back by physical or psychological limitations, trauma, or conditioning to be afraid of the unknown — I’ve been there myself. I’m still there to some extent, every time I uplevel and play a bigger game in sport or in my life. I still get uncomfortable when I’m out on a limb, when I’m asking my body or mind to do something they haven’t done before. But now I have the tools, confidence, and support to work my way through and be successful. When reaching an important goal or dream, whether it’s in outdoor pursuits, competition, or being more adventurous in other aspects of life, I know the importance of having people on your team who have been where you are and who are well-trained in the process of reaching the other side, coming out stronger, and putting more success deposits in the bank. It is both humbling and an honor to have come to in a place in my own life where I can play that role for others as a coach and mentor.
Creating Social Impact through Adventure: Storytelling, Workshops, and Online Media
There aren’t many square feet of land on this planet that human feet haven’t touched. There are very few truly unexplored places in the world. I believe the final frontier of exploration is the concept of heading outside to go within: exploring the inner human experience through physical adventure and interaction with the outer world.
Hundreds of people can walk the same miles and have a different experience. What we all share is the ability to improve ourselves and our lives by exploring ideas that are relatable to us all. These ideas are inevitably catalyzed by adventure, and when explored, can create a massive impact on ourselves and consequently on the world around us. Adventure can break us out of our comfort zones, cultivate our creativity, teach us to move through fear, motivate us to set and attain goals, bring us face-to-face with our subconscious beliefs, pique our curiosity, tap into our ability to think outside the box, become strong leaders of ourselves and others, learn to communicate well with our teams, and learn to make skilled and smart choices, priorities, and boundaries. Honing all these life skills can help us in the outdoors, and can also enable us to create lives we love and feel inspired to live. People who are inspired to live are also inspired to have their own impact on the world in ways that matter to them.
My favorite way to share impact through adventure is to speak to groups and lead workshops designed to start an inquiry into these topics for people in all walks of life. I use stories and relatable examples from my adventures along with tangible tools I have learned from my years as an athlete, therapist, coach, and facilitator to inspire and enable my audience to rise above their own challenges, expand their view of what is possible for themselves, become the person they desire to be in their body, mind, and soul, and choose the adventures that inspire them in the outdoors and in their lives.
My social media presence is an extension of my in-person experience: a blend of sharing adventures and creating impact. My style is to keep it real: I share my moments of success and failure, my personal challenges, fears I rumble with, things that inspire me and light me up, my lifestyle of movement and exploration and the insights and tools I’ve learned along the way. It’s a weaving of inspiration and education and connection, intentionally co-creating the world I want to live in with others both online and offline.
The people, companies, and brands who work with me through events and media typically have a similar message: inspire and enable people to get outside, have fun, challenge themselves to be at their best, and choose their own adventures across the world or in their own backyards.