Featured American Mule Miss September 2016
Our September feature has arrived! Meet Carli Weber. Carli is from Dubuque, Iowa and currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. We discovered her on Instagram and we were dazed by her breathtaking photos.
A note from Carli:
This was the year (2016) when I started posting pictures of my adventures on Instagram. I love being outdoors.
I hike. I rock climb. I camp.
I’m always looking for the next place to explore. Shortly after posting some photos, people started reaching out to me and asking for hiking recommendations. They said that my pictures inspired them to start or get back into hiking and climbing. Others were inspired just to get outside and experience what’s around them. I was floored by the positive effects of these pictures. It opened my eyes to see all of the people who just need a little boost or advice to have the confidence to get out in the world and explore.
Like many others, I wanted so badly to learn how to climb, but I didn’t have anyone to go with. I started reaching out to other female climbers on Instagram and would ask them how they got started. I kept making new contacts and started surrounding myself with people who were doing the same things that I wanted to be doing. I was way outside of my comfort zone. But, I knew that I needed to conquer my fears. I had a fear of reaching out to other climbers and I feared that I would be embarrassed by my skills, wondering if they weren’t as good as the others.
I lost one of my best friends, Sam, to cancer over 2 years ago. After I started climbing, I found out that Sam tried getting into climbing too. He had purchased a bunch of gear and he was a natural. His biggest challenge was the same challenge that I was faced with. I was told that Sam didn’t have people to climb with, so he didn’t pursue his passion beyond the way he wanted to.
I often think about how lucky I am to be able-bodied and able-minded. When Sam was sick, he wanted to be out living, but he just couldn’t. I was given Sam’s chalk bag and lo and behold it still had chalk in it from the last time he climbed. Call it a coincidence or meant to be that I could carry on his dream. I had lost my chalk bag on my first outdoor climb. His chalk bag replaced my own. I love having something of Sam’s to take with me on every climb. It’s almost as if he gets to explore all of the cool places that he wasn’t able to see. It’s a constant reminder of how blessed I am to be able to go on so many adventures.
I’m reminded that there are people like Sam, who just need a little help and a boost of confidence to get out there and do it. We’re all hard on ourselves and it’s easy to talk ourselves out of experiencing the wonders of life. You’re not too old, too young, too big, too small or too out of shape. I want to encourage people like you to stay true to yourself and to surround yourself with people who push you and not pull. To continue being you and do what makes you feel alive! Never quit and keep pushing yourself regardless of what everyone else is doing.
As for me, I plan to continue experiencing, growing and learning. I want to keep being inspired and continue to live a life that inspires others. If I ever have a day where I’m tempted to pass up an opportunity for no good reason, I remember how lucky I am to have the opportunities presented to me. I’ve let too many days go by where I didn’t do anything to better myself or someone around me.
NEVER. QUIT. DREAMING.
I am proud to call myself an American. I’m fortunate to have the life that I do. As Americans, we are lucky to have freedom to have our own dreams and explore them. Don’t let anyone discourage you from not chasing your dreams and be willing to let your dreams evolve as you grow and experience more of life. Make yourself proud and give your future something to smile about.
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