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Women Who Inspire: Kari Dane

Intro: Kari Dane is a Women of Colorado ambassador and our next writer in the "Women Who Inspire" blog series. Below, she details how recognizing her passions & making smaller "mini" goals has enabled her to pursue even bigger goals in the long run. Thanks for sharing your inspiration!

When I was three, my parents passed away from cancer. My grandmother took me in at 67 years old; giving up her retirement to start back at the beginning of motherhood all over again. Not that she was a stranger to it, being the eldest daughter of 8 children in the 1930’s, my grandmother was basically born into raising children. But raising children isn’t the point I want to get at, perseverance is.

If anything I can claim I learned from her, (Aside from how to make the perfect pancake.) it’s that quitting is never an option. I also learned that means sometimes being perceived as stubborn, being doubted, and accepting failure. All of which, were extremely hard lessons in my academics when my sister was just a natural straight A/honor roll student. However, after discovering my own passion for movement in recent years, I’ve learned that sometimes I can be seen as determined, gaining support, and achieving success.

I used to be overly prideful when it came to my dedication to yoga; practicing physical asana #EveryDamnDay and posting on Instagram almost as if it were a religious requirement. But it didn’t satisfy me, particularly when I learned that many were posting screen stills of impossible postures I just believed I simply wasn’t good enough for. So, down the grapevine I began climbing, but I wasn’t very skilled at that either. I became frustrated, and borderline obsessed with how people around me were scaling the walls I desperately wanted to try. (Please read these next few lines with an open heart, as we all need hard loving every-now-and-again.)

Determined to figure this ish out, I grabbed my sketchbook, I sat down at the gym on my days off, and I watched people climb. (I promise, I’m really not creepy.) I would sit in front of one route for an hour or two and be at the gym from open to close, just drawing the way each individual maneuvered through “crux” sections differently. I would write notes at what muscles were contracting and how it was opposing from the person before. I made scales of their heights and strengths, and basically just examined people to the point that everyone thought I was a loon.

After a few weeks of observing the movement of others, the “it” everyone spoke of just clicked, it was my yoga practice & teaching which could aid me in the pursuit of my goals as a climber. I developed my yoga class structure around climbing problems I was working on, and suddenly, literally instantaneously, I-and my students-hit the little star box and leveled up. Breath to movement, stop thinking and just do, engaging and releasing different muscles at different positions, it just all made sense. My physical asana improved in my practice, my climbing became better, and I was elated with myself. Cocky, almost. I logged back online to the media world, proud to share my accomplishments, only to find the rest of the world was still just…better.

In the end of things, I learned that there is no end of things. Only check points, mini goals, tiny details within the big picture. I went from thinking, “I want to figure out a handstand!” to, “I want to hold a handstand for a complete minute!” Being impressed at 5.11 and v6 has become 5.15 and v13, and I find myself once again with my same little notebook, writing out workouts, meal plans, and just all out diving deeper…because quitting simply isn’t an option.

Women of Colorado, Kari Dane Ambassador

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