Follow Your Gut: Changing Your Life, One Step at a Time

January 16, 2018

Welcome to our newest blog series, FOLLOW YOUR GUT. Each month we’ll be highlighting entrepreneurs, makers, dreamers and doers from all categories who inspire us here at Health-Ade!

We’ll be asking a variety of questions to get a better understanding of these inspiring individuals; who they are, what they do and why they follow their gut!

Read on for a special FAQ with Phillip & Karla of the 52 Hike Challenge.

EXPLAIN WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DO

Phillip: I am the CEO of the 52 Hike Challenge, my job is to make sure we’re all growing, from our challengers to our team - and that we’re all having fun together!

Karla: I am a passionate, driven, entrepreneur, mom, and lover of life! Most days you will find me working with other business owners and changing people’s lives through hiking, inspiration and motivation.  

YOUR MOTIVATION TO START 52 HIKE CHALLENGE - WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

Phillip: I had lost 80 pounds through hiking (years 2002-2004) and was already a regular hiker and trail runner when I met Karla.  We were dating and she said she wanted to go hiking with me, once a week in fact, and so I said that was like a 52 Hike Challenge.  We both liked the idea and went on quite a few adventures where we ended 2014 with a lot more than 52 hikes!  Through hiking, she became more confident in herself and had some breakthrough as I had, and since we both changed our lives through it, we wanted to share that with the rest of the world in order to help others change their lives in a positive way.  We do believe we are making a difference in society by reminding people what matters most - to be grounded in nature by being humble, appreciating the simple things, and to be compassionate as others are trying to overcoming their own adversities.

Karla: To be completely honest, it started while I was going through a rough patch in my life. Phillip took me for a hike and I felt something shift inside of me. I decided that my 2014 New Year's Resolution was to hike once a week for a year. In October 2014 we accomplished that goal, and it was one of the best years of my life! Phillip and I went on some amazing adventures and our bond grew stronger. I was able to heal and I found my confidence. I grew mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Best of all, I felt like I found myself on the trails. Taking a huge goal of hiking 52 times in a year, breaking it down to manageable steps allowed me to take that same concept and apply it to everything else in my life, including my business. It was all life-changing. So after completing the 52 hikes I had the urge to write a book about how both Phillip and I had changed our lives through hiking. Phillip thought it would be better if we shared our story and invited others to join us. So we did, and now we have helped more than 30,000 people to get outdoors, oh and our hashtag #52HikeChallenge (2016/2017/2018) has over 400k contributed images from challengers around the world.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

Phillip: I usually wake up, make coffee and check email to see if there is something urgent that need our attention, but then make a list of priorities and start on our day.  I drive the strategy and direction of the team, so there is a lot of delegation of “how stuff should work”.  We usually have a couple conference calls and somewhere in between 2-4pm I break away for a trial run.  When I’m not playing manager, I like to roll-up my sleeves and jump in to help answer emails, I believe it’s good to always have a pulse on the business and stay in touch with our challengers.

Karla: I usually wake up, make breakfast, drop my son off at school, meditate, read and write. Then get my workday going - read emails, amazing stories from people doing the challenge, lots of meetings, brainstorming on new product ideas, you will also find me managing the business accounting and events. In the evenings, I hike or exercise and take the time to cook a homemade meal.  

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Phillip: My grandfather inspire me.  He was an immigrant from Greece who created what is now a family business that is still in operation after 80 years.  He taught me that creating a legacy will outlive a person’s years on earth and I aspire to do that with the 52 Hike Challenge.

Karla: I’m inspired by Oprah and Buddha!  It is my goal to be the best version of myself I can possibly be and I try to work on this daily.  

DESCRIBE THE "HAPPIEST AND HEALTHIEST" VERSION OF YOURSELF.

Phillip: My happiest and healthiest version of myself is achieving goals, growing, then teaching others so that can achieve greatness in their lives.   

Karla: The happiest and healthiest version of myself includes, reading, writing, meditation, eating healthy whole foods, lots of hiking, taking the time to reflect, massages, traveling often, laughing a lot, loving daily, and drinking Health-Ade of course.

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?

Phillip: If you really want to get to know someone, take them on a hike!  There is no way to hide the facade of how someone deals with stress when they are tired - and something about the trails just allows us to be ourselves.

Karla: The best advice I ever received was the law of attraction, basically what we think, feel, say becomes our reality.

 

Watch your thoughts for they become words,

watch your words for they become actions,

watch your actions, for they become habits,

watch your habits for they become your character,

watch your character for it becomes your destiny.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson  

 

ONE THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?

Phillip: Climb Mt. Everest

Karla: Travel to India for meditation and to experience the culture there.  

WHAT DOES "FOLLOW YOUR GUT" MEAN TO YOU?

Phillip: As an entrepreneur, there is no perfect logical next step, it’s really chaotic and you got to follow your gut when it comes to running the show because these internal instinct are generally right!

Karla: Follow your gut means to tap into that inner voice / calling and doing as it says.  For me, I’ve always known I was an entrepreneur who wanted to help millions of people. When the idea for sharing the 52 Hike Challenge with people came to me, I had never felt a deeper desire to listen and follow through. That was one of the best decisions of my life. I have been able to see what an impact listening to your calling can make, so I urge everyone else to follow their gut too! You just never know how much of an impact it can make on others and yourself. :)

Photo credit: Cas Barbier

Follow 52 Hike Challenge on Instagram here

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