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An Ode to Outdoor Rise

Friday, June 28, 2013
As a New Yorker, it always feels like we're defending our reasons for living here. We have to explain why we pay ridiculous rents and sweat on crowded subway platforms. Especially as members of the outdoors community where value is measured in inches of powder, proximity to Fourteeners, or percent of population in chacos we in New York City seem to fall short.

When you get to the core of why we're all here, what holds us to our city, what keeps us breathing under the blanket of stifling summer heat the answers all come down to a core trait of New York that any adventurer knows the power of: it's the pure energy to do.

Whatever you are pursuing whether a hobby or career there are others in New York with those same interests. But the people who can and choose to live in New York don't just dabble in these things, but rather, do them passionately. That's not to say that people in other places don't have passion or drive but in New York, everyone is brimming with this unspoken energy, which lights us all as we work to fulfill our dreams.

Last week, this energy collided with love for the outdoors during Outdoor Rise. Suddenly, with a platform to come together, the outdoor community, with it's passionate and inspired leaders created a week of adventure in the middle of New York City.

What does it mean to be surrounded by dreamers? People with boundless energy? People who are willing to make sacrifices for that which they truly believe. It makes us all more inspired; it pushes us all to be better. With over 40 community partners, Outdoor Rise is a testament to this. The creative ideas, the energetic execution and the clear vision of each partner was not deterred by any of the traditional hurdles of being in this urban metropolis. Our passion for the outdoors is stronger than the dense traffic or the myths of the Hudson River being a dead place.

We have ecosystems here in New York. From 200 species of fish in the Hudson to hundreds of types of athletes in all five boroughs.

So in response to the questionÒdoes an outdoor community exist in New York" the answer is undeniably yes. Yes, an outdoor community does exist. And not only does it exist but it is led by incredible and passionate people who know the outdoors are as close as the Hudson River or the legendary Shawangunks. The raw energy of New York is within each of us and as outdoorsmen this is translated into adventure, never deterred by the perceived limits of New York.

We are each Outdoor Rise every day when we bike to work or skip happy hour to go climbing.

Thank you New York.

Submitted by Sarah Knapp, Director of Outdoor Rise. Thanks as always to Francois Lebeau for his beautiful photos.