Hi. It’s me, Kaela. I hail from the land of New Mexico. It was here in the desert that I was carved into a lover of all things outdoors.
On paper, I have some letters after my name for studies and practice in Exercise Physiology. I studied Exercise Science in Australia, lived in Germany for a few years, and remembered why I love all things OUTSIDE and NEW MEX. My time abroad really highlighted the 195,749,345 things I love about this state. Isn’t it a gift to be here in the southwest?
When I am not geeking out over “health stuff”, reading, or pulling a yoga, I am somewhere outside, probably on a bike, snowboard, in a climbing harness, with a compound bow and/or in hiking boots and probably not too far from a dog or two. I am one with the dirt and like to take a dip in the water to remain somewhat civilized and “clean” now and then.
On days that I need to “act normal”, I am working with the New Mexico Outdoor Center on various projects like DiscoverSantaFe (a mobile-phone based scavenger hunt) or am cruising through World Market and Home Depot.
What’s your favorite river, and why?
My favorite river is the Rio Grande. Cheesy and a little biased, I know, but hear me out!
It is RIGHT there. It offers an awesome variety with places like the Racecourse and the Taos Box. Not only does this international river hold some interesting history, but I can remember riding over the bridge as a kid, peering out at the water every single time, tracing the edges of the water along the car window. This river that cuts through the desert is a special thing, you know?
What’s your favorite river-related story?
One of my favorite memories from the river would have to be my first time kayaking the Rio Grande. Not only was it my first-time kayaking “in the wild”, but it was at night! I went with an organized group and guide for a full moon ride during one early October night. The whole cruise was magical. Reading the waves of the river by moonlight, tracking one another’s location with glowsticks, and hearing the sounds of the water at full volume because the hearing senses are heightened was all so unreal. At the very last bend in the route, my kayak got hooked on a tree and I flipped over. I jumped out of the water like a cat but was luckily already at the take-out location and the amazing guide had hot chocolate in my hands before I could even say “Brrrr.” I was actually really thankful for that moment because I had always been pretty nervous about flipping in the river. I got to conquer a fear, absorb some chocolate, and collect a fantastic memory to cherish forever. What a night! This was when I really started to see the river as a playground.
What other certifications, degrees, credentials, etc do you have?
My college education is in Exercise Science. I am certified to teach CPR, First Aid, AED and Group Fitness. I am a Certified Personal Trainer and Outdoor Emergency Care Technician. I am Field Certified with Search & Rescue and a certified International Ski Patroller. Like the rest of the gang, I am Leave No Trace Certified and you should be too!
I also am a certified Cob House builder and am working on getting HAM radio certified next.