Share:

A Moment Off the Saddle with Brittany Greer

#WomenInTheWild

07.19.18

Start Exploring
A Moment Off the Saddle with Brittany Greer

Share:

Article
Contributor

I’m not sure if interviews with significant others is a good or a bad thing. It certainly violates some ethical and journalistic conflict of interest concerns, but I think referring to adventure athlete profiles as journalism is an insult to real journalists. It was fun interviewing Brittany, and I hope it will be fun to read, since I get to ask these questions from a unique (I hope!) perspective. 

Brittany certainly chases her passions, and as someone who shares a garden and laundry bin with her, it was fun getting to ask questions about what drives her decisions and how the world looks from inside her skin. From the outside, Britt is a courageous, thoughtful, motivated, loving human who is embarrassingly fast on bike (if you’re her boyfriend trying to keep up). She is curious and adventurous, and she's always looking to expand her personal perspective. She chases what she wants in life with impressive diligence, persistence, and consistency. It’s one of my life’s greatest privileges to come along for the ride!

Ian Fohrman: How is it that you make this face (left) going 1,000 mph on two 27.5’’ tires, whizzing by trees and flying over face-shredding rocks. And THIS (right) going 0 mph standing on a steel stair rung, double protected with gear that could hold up two Sprinter Vans filled with Clif product?

Brittany Greer: Ha! Biking is my happy place! I trust myself and my bike, I feel completely in control (85% of the time), and I have a choice with how scary I want it to be. With climbing, I don’t have the luxury of having that choice because I have a debilitating fear of heights. Clearly I cried tears of terror on that Via Ferrata mission in Telluride, ha! I wish I wasn't afraid of heights, because lately I’ve been really enjoying climbing and love the idea of a using my body and fascinating equipment (which I don’t yet fully trust) to climb up mountains. Experienced climbers say my fear will pass with time, but I’m not so sure. It feels like it runs pretty damn deep inside of me. When I’m up there, all I can think about is my intense desire to have wheels on dirt! 

IF: So, I’ve heard you’re almost ready to break Honnold and Caldwell’s record on the Nose! Tell me about your recent multi-pitch climbing experience. I heard there was a pee related incident?

BG: Oh man. Such respect for those guys!! I’ve never done a multi pitch (I barely knew what that meant), I’ve been climbing outside maybe 8 to 10 times in my life, and I have an intense fear of heights. Somehow, I let Ian Fohrman convince me to do the Royal Flush in Frisco, Colorado, last weekend. All was okay for the first few pitches. I had to pee and thought it seemed efficient to pee with harness on, so I did, and I ended up peeing on my equipment. Better than the alternative, though! We didn’t pack nearly enough food and water, nor did we expect it to be an over eight-hour day in those awful shoes. After the eighth or ninth pitch I was tapped out and running on low. Perfect opportunity for my fear to come running through the open door, ablaze with vengeance at 1,200 feet up. Those last three pitches were such a mental challenge. I couldn’t look anywhere but forward and up. I went through my entire chalk bag in an effort to counteract my sweaty palms, I shed a few tears of panic, but after eight and half hours on that wall…I MADE IT TO THE TOP!!!! I’ve never felt so proud of myself outdoors! I’m my own personal super woman! 

IF: How many different kinds of roasted/toasted nuts are within 20 feet of you right now?

BG: Let’s see… I have pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Oh, and truffled almonds, too! 

IF: Speaking of food and athletics. Tell me about your diet. I’ve heard you had chickens and a garden? You’re kinda-sorta a vegetarian? 

BG: I’m an ethical pescatarian. Not because I think animals shouldn’t be consumed by mankind; I do, but just not in the way we’re doing it currently. The “farming” approach in today’s world has enormous environmental impacts, not to mention that it’s a bit disgusting. So, I vote with my dollars three meals a day and choose not to support it. For me, it’s an easy sacrifice and it’s a small step toward a better earth and a healthier me. My boyfriend is a hunter, so we get to spoil ourselves with elk from time to time. Oh, and the luscious garden is in full bloom right now!! We’ve been eating garden salads all summer long, and it’s so rewarding! 

IF: What’s your favorite trail snack?

BG: Pancakes! The batter is just oats, banana and egg, and we put walnuts, cocoa nibs, and blueberries in there. So delicious! Real food…it’s all about real food. Uri @ Inner Wild Nutrition has drilled that into me, and it makes all the difference in the world! 

IF: Your bike life/career has many facets. Tell us how you balance racing, coaching, trail advocacy, ambassadorship and photo shoots? It seems like a lot of balls to keep in the air. 

BG: I also run a business full time working with the national parks, so there’s that. As far as bike life/career, I just make it work. I’ve definitely learned how and when to say “no” (which is a life-enhancing lesson) and to listen when my heart is screaming “YES, just make it work!” I race enduro in the pro field but joke that I’m “semi-pro” because I don’t really train or take my racing “career” too seriously. I just love that it pushes me to be a better rider and embrace challenge. Coaching, on the other hand, is my greatest passion, and I give that my all no matter what! I consciously make time for it and am constantly training to be the best coach I can be. The rest, I just make time for it when I can and try to not let it be all consuming. 

IF: What is it about coaching that you find so rewarding?

BG: Everything. Biking has changed my life and who I am in so many ways, and I just desperately want to give that back to as many people as possible. There’s something intrinsically so rewarding for me (far more so than a podium finish) to walk away from the day leaving a group of ladies inspired, having a whole new skill set, having pushed their boundaries of comfort, and having accomplished things they never thought they could. It’s so much more than just passing along bike skills. It brings them a deep sense of internal empowerment, strength and confidence that translates to all aspects of their lives. And if I can be just a sliver of that, I’m stoked and fulfilled! 

IF: What is the most common piece of coaching advice you give to students?

BG: Trust the bike and believe it yourself. It’s hard, and it’s never going to get easy, so embrace that difficulty and believe that you’re capable! 

IF: You recently started racing in the Pro category. Tell us about that journey. How did you make the decision? How is it working out?

BG: I raced for three years or so as amateur / expert and in the last year started getting first or second at all my races, so I knew it was time to make the jump. I was excited to be with my friends again (all my girls are racing pro­).

­­

IF: What’s been your most challenging moment on a bike? 

BG: That’s a tough one. There have been a lot of challenging moments. Three days ago I crashed jumping on Jimmy’s Mom at Teton Pass and shattered my clavicle. That’s certainly been a struggle. But the biggest challenges are those days where you’re extremely frustrated with yourself and can’t seem to do anything the way you want to or know you’re capable of. On those days, I’ve learned to just remind myself to “meet myself where I’m at” instead of fighting against it. Not every day can be an A-game day, and that’s okay. 

IF: Travel seems like a big part of your life. What does it mean to you? 

BG: Travel has always been an important part of my life. I’ve had this goal since I was 18 years old to keep the number of countries I’ve visited higher than my age. So far, so good. I’m even ahead of the game right now at 33 countries. Travel brings me perspective and connection. It’s such an important part of who I am and has shaped how I view the world and my everyday interactions with people. It makes me more open minded and open hearted. Plus, when you’re traveling, around every corner is a new adventure! I just love the feeling of being out of your element and exploring something completely foreign. 

IF: Trips on the horizon?

BG: Lots! I’m headed to Yellowstone/Jackson/Tetons for 10 days in a @NativeCampervans this weekend with my bike in tow. I’m going on a sailing trip in Greece with the Icelantic crew and Ian Fohrman in October! Excited to learn how to sail and will get a bit of climbing on the Greek Isles. Some city adventures in London after that. Then headed to Cuba in November for culture, food and history. Packing up the camper and headed to the Pacific Northwest at the end of the year for ski/snow fun. Lots of great local stuff too! 

IF: You’re a confident female solo traveler. What does that mean to you? Where do you think that desire came from?

BG: It means trusting yourself. Having the confidence to do it the way YOU want to do it. My parents traveled a little with us when we were kids (mostly to scuba diving destinations), but my real desire and solo confidence came from my study abroad in Spain when I was 20 years old. I had no choice but to do it all on my own, in my own special way, and I loved that. After college, while everyone was fretting about careers, I packed up my suitcase and solo moved to Argentina with very little plans and a one way ticket. The desire has deeply embedded itself in me, and I’m so excited to see where it takes me in the years to come! 

IF: I know the idea is scary to some people. What advice to you have to other people (women especially) that might want to do the same?

BG: Trust yourself. Have confidence. Stand up for yourself and don’t be afraid. Fear can so easily ruin us…don’t let it! Do it how you want to do it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Also, trust your instincts…if something doesn’t feel quite right, or you don’t quite trust that person, just turn around and walk away. It’s okay to say no. 

IF: You must spend a LOT of time packing and unpacking! Do you have any advice for fast and efficient packing for travel?

BG: Hahahahah. No. I don’t. I’m not efficient at all. I’m a little OCD and extremely methodical, so I still make packing lists for every trip I go on just to make sure I’m not missing anything at all! I do stay organized on a regular basis, which is helpful because that way, if I’m biking, I just grab the biking duffel and it’s all there. Same with climbing, camping, etc. 

IF: I once had a friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while answer my question, “What’s up bud? How’ve you been?” with, “What most people mean when they ask that, if they really want any kind of answer, is…‘What personal existential crisis/dilemma have you been wrestling with recently? And how’s that going for you?’” So yeah, how’ve you been?

BG: Oh, I’ve been better. Like I said, three days ago I shattered my collar bone and I’m going into surgery today actually (thought I’d write this before the pain meds took me off into outer space). I battled with the pity hole for the first few hours: You know the standard, “My life is over, I have to cancel ___ trip and ___ obligation, what will I do if I can’t ride my bike, I’m going to be miserable and fat, so many cupcakes!” But I quickly snapped out of that and went into, “Okay, let’s get his damn hardware in and get the show on the road already! I’m ready to recover and get back on that bike as soon as I can!” I’m bummed, yes, but I have no regrets. For me mountain biking is worth the risk involved, and here I am paying the price that I bargained for. So yeah, right now I have tunnel vision on that; otherwise, I’m fantastic and life is great! No existential crisis to deal with…life is so amazing and beautiful that I typically don’t get caught up in the crisis bit. 

Learn more about Brittany and follow along on her adventures via Instagram!

Published in collaboration with
Published By

Published by

Contributor

Published in collaboration with Women In The Wild

Women in the Wild is a movement that recognizes the amazing women athletes and enthusiasts who enrich the outdoor community with their passions, inspirations, and accomplishments every day. With support from OluKai, KEEN, and Mountain Hardwear and many more organizations, Outdoor Project is proud to grow this campaign in 2018 and to be a platform for the incredible stories and photography of women throughout our community. From in-depth interviews to female-focused content from the community to phenomenal gear and travel giveaway packages, each and every article is a celebration of the fortitude, strength, and camaraderie that comes with being part of Women in the Wild.

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info