The name "Dirty Freedom" is not a new concept, but it was new to me as I prepared for and climbed Kilimanjaro in September 2016. Before we tell you about us and our company, I want to send a holla! out to Heather Thomson of Real Housewives of New York fame (and much more!) for giving us the inspiration about the name of this company--and for the opportunity to climb with her! Heather used #dirtyfreedom on Instagram as we trained and during the climb. If you see her, tell her "mambo" from Badger and RG3!
Now back to us. Before coming to Kilimanjaro in September 2016, I was a busy litigator in Seattle, spending entirely too much time (including most nights and weekends) “driving a desk,” steeped in high levels of stress. I managed multi-million dollar complex litigation against insurance companies for commercial property and casualty claims. The nature of the work required almost constant mental attention and agility—often at 3:00 in the morning. I love my work and have the best clients in the world, but it is all-consuming and not always so good for one’s health. A few decades of hard work had left me pretty much mentally and physically exhausted. I needed a serious break.
In April 2016, I received an email asking for women to apply to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with Heather Thomson (for more info, see my September 3, 2016 blog post on my site badgerblogspot.com). It was just what the doctor ordered. It had been a while since my last really epic challenge (riding my bicycle from Seattle to San Francisco in 2008), and it was time to distance myself from work for a bit and concentrate on ME, While climbing with our incredible team, I forgot that I was a lawyer for a little while and immersed myself in nature and teamwork: two things I love. I think I brought a good sense of humor and lots of support to the other climbers while getting myself to the summit. Ultimately almost all of us made it, proving to the world that women of all sizes, shapes, and ages can conquer seemingly insurmountable challenges. I want to remind people that they shouldn’t judge a proverbial book by its cover. My desire to do my Kilimanjaro journey can really be summed up in a simple quote ostensibly made by Jack Kerouac: “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. CLIMB THAT GODDAMN MOUNTAIN.” And that’s exactly what we did in September 2016. And you can, too. AND YOU SHOULD! It will change your life for the better.
For me, the story didn't end after reaching Uhuru Peak on September 25, 2016. I had the good fortune of pairing up with professional Chief Guide "RG3", a Kilimanjaro native and Kilimanjaro expert extraordinaire. RG3 and I became good friends, and I owe my life to him for safely getting me to the summit. He believed in me even when I didn't, and his excellent intuition allowed him to always know how far to push me, and how fast. RG3 and I have been a happy couple since our trek in 2016, and we want to share the Kilimanjaro experience and Tanzania with others.
In case you’re wondering, no, my parents did not name their child “Badger.” One of my law colleagues gave me that nickname over 10 years ago, and it stuck. My goal is to impart a little bit of badger in everyone who comes to climb Kilimanjaro with Dirty Freedom Adventures.
Now--join us. Get your dirty on. FIND FREEDOM.
Onward and Upward!
To read about my own climb of Kilimanjaro and my adventures in Africa, check out my "Honey Badger Don't Care" blog.