Outdoor fitness startup helps people connect with nature

Sarah Lingley is a civil engineer by day, but by night she is building an outdoor fitness startup that provides a highly attractive alternative to the gym. Interactive and awe-inspiring hikes around Eastern Washington’s rugged landscapes, gentle yoga sessions, guided meditations and even some wine tasting.

She helps her customers work out in nature and come away with mindfulness practices they can apply in their everyday lives.

This summer she’ll be kick starting Thrive Fitness Adventures.

“This is an opportunity for people to leave their worries at the trailhead,” said Lingley. “I want people to disconnect from their troubles, connect with themselves, connect with nature and get a chance to meet other people in a positive and supportive way.”

Her guided hikes around Eastern Washington wilderness are meant to offer a reboot for the body, mind, and soul. Her main goal is help people reconnect with themselves through nature by lowering the barrier to entry. Lingley customizes hikes based on distance, elevation gain, and intensity levels so there will always be something for someone regardless of fitness levels.

This holistic approach to fitness and outdoor recreation hopes to integrate mindfulness practices that individuals can incorporate into their everyday life, something that has become a challenge in this age of past-paced, high-stress lifestyles.

Adventures are designed to support exploration of both the internal and natural world through guided hikes, yoga sessions, meditations and other mind-body exercises. Mindfulness exercises may include practicing gratitude, developing power thoughts, engaging in group sharing, and readings.

“My mission is to help people get outside and connect with nature,” she said.

Her first event, or series of events, is called Yoga in the Vines, a unique wine country wellness and fitness experience.

“We’ll hike through the Red Mountain vineyards, then we’ll come back for a yoga session led by a certified yoga instructor, then we’ll do some wine tasting, the whole purpose of including the wine is to have it as a sensory experience,” she said.

The first one is planned for May 21 at MonteScarlatto Estate Winery followed by Frichette Winery on June 4. The price is $30 per event.

She is also planning a guided hike through Rattlesnake Slope, a six-mile loop at the base of Rattlesnake Mountain.

The idea has been several months in the making, but it’s been Lingley’s passion for much longer.

It’s also one of the businesses that sprouted through Fuse’s Launch University. Lingley moved to the Tri-Cities a year ago after accepting a job offer. She immediately became an active member of the coworking space, even undergoing its successful Launch University. She said the program gave her the tools and resources she needed to move forward with the business.

She has always been an avid yoga and outdoor enthusiast and wanted to create a business that fueled that passion and empowered people to reconnect with themselves and the natural world.

“I love being outdoors, I love nature and I love being active,” said Lingley. “It’s been such an enjoyable experience, I get so excited when I get a chance to work on this and it’s something that I feel very passionate about.”

This year, she’ll focus most of her outdoor excursions on Eastern Washington. But next year she plans to offer opportunities exploring the Cascades and do more rigorous challenges like backpacking and summit hikes.

“It’s not like going to the gym,” she said. “I am trying to create a completely different experience, where you can workout your body and exercise in by learning how to work out your muscles in the outdoors.”

Lingley said as she plans and leads more adventures, she’ll have a better understanding of what works best for her customers.

Before hikes, she sends out preparation material to participants to let them know how to pack, what to take and what to expect.

Safety of her clients is also a top priority. She successfully passed an intensive 10-day course to receive her Wilderness First Responder certification, which means she’ll be able to administer first aid, CPR, and emergency medical care in remote locations.

In general, most adventures will have a cap on the number of people that can sign up. She said that cap ensures everyone gets the attention and care they deserve.  For bigger hikes, such as the Rattlesnake Slope hike, the event will be limited to 10 people.

For more information on future events, hikes, and outdoor adventures visit thrivefitnessadventures.com or find them on Facebook.

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