From a young age, Dawn Park grew up chasing experiences and the thrill of nature. Fueled by her love for the outdoors, this photographer, hiker, and traveler has since made it her mission to make nature accessible for others too.For Women’s Month, get to know our Human of The Day as we talk about building a community of outdoor lovers, being a "yes girl," and more!
Hey, Dawn. What have you been up to lately?
I have been super busy working my 9 to 5 and creating content on the side. My 9-to-5 really pushes me to travel a lot so I've been flying between Calgary and BC quite often. Last weekend I went on a cold plunge breath work retreat which was extremely great for my soul but generally I have been spending my free time ski touring, climbing and lifting weights. If I were to give you a breakdown of my week, Monday evenings after work I work out with my best friend, Tuesdays I go climbing at the gym, Wednesdays are typically free to either have dinner to catch up with whoever wants to hang out that week, catch up on some work. Thursdays after work I also go climbing and then Fridays are basically the beginning of my weekend and I take full advantage of the day whether that's ski touring or getting from point a to B so that Saturday is more comfortable.
Tell us about yourself and what you do!
I love bringing people to get outdoors, making information about the outdoors accessible and trying my best to create meaningful connections while sharing my most authentic self. As an extrovert I spend a lot of time with people, One of my biggest passions is bringing people together and I am 100% a yes girl, I have a lot of difficulty saying no especially if it involves fun and often I will run myself pretty close to the ground when it comes to my energy level. A lot of people that I love think that I have quite a lot more energy than the average person they've met so that's also why I'm able to say yes more than other people can take on. I am a Korean-Canadian in her mid-20s and I am absolutely loving my life. My life motto is I’m just gonna go live my life, and you should too. I truly am grateful I get to do that.
How did you get started with sports?
I always played organized sports growing up. My parents are both athletes, in their own sports: my dad a casual tennis player and my mom a professional dancer. But ever since I was little, they always would get us active wear, that I was indoors or outdoors.
What does it mean to you to be a woman athlete, especially in such male-dominated sports?
To be honest, I’ve been very fortunate to not have felt like I’ve stood out in relation to my gender. I’ve been very lucky to be surrounded by women in skiing, hiking and climbing. Now there are so many female athletes to look up to and it’s so awesome to be able to see more people of colour get out there as well. I love spending a day in the mountains with the women in my life. I feel that when I am outdoors with man it’s just a completely different experience.
What are some of the biggest barriers to becoming a woman athlete?
I think the biggest barrier to becoming an athlete is access- I know that for me getting into hiking and skiing my biggest barrier was money and transportation.
As a community, how can we support and uplift more women in sports?
By inviting more women out, by opening up the invitation, making a safe space for everyone to ask questions and learn and have vulnerable conversations.
If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?
Keep going, you’ll find your community as long as you put in the effort and show up.
Any hiking or outdoor essentials you have?
Satellite communication device. My z seat from my grandpa.
Follow Dawn and her adventures over at @dawnnpark. All photos are property of Dawn.
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