10 Essential Questions: Esther Ladwig

Meet Esther Ladwig, a 7-year member and volunteer from Tacoma who wants to be that person who encourages new students to keep pushing further, like she was encouraged when she started.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
October 20, 2017
10 Essential Questions: Esther Ladwig
Photo courtesy of Inge Watson.

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to....

Name: Esther Ladwig
Hometown: Tacoma, WA
Member Since:  December 2010
Occupation: Teacher
Favorite Activities: Kayaking, cycling, and snowshoeing.

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

My husband and I were looking for a sea kayaking safety course. I searched on the internet and noticed that the Tacoma branch taught a class and the clubhouse was literally right down the street. It was a reasonable cost and we decided to join so we would have a group of people to paddle with. We quickly became a part of the committee and the rest is history.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

My motivation is really the group of people that I paddle with. As we have gained skill, we have met and paddled with other branches. I ALWAYS have a good time and I hope those that paddle with me would say the same thing. The Mountaineers kayaking community has been really good to me. I've been given lots and I want to give back. I'm excited when someone comes out of our Basic Class and wants to join our group. I want to be that person that encourages them to keep pushing further, like I was encouraged when I started.

I just entered the snowshoe world in The Mountaineers and feel like they are like-minded people. Can't wait to get out there this winter.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

A few years ago, several of us took a trip around San Juan Island. We had a GREAT time. There was lots of laughter. Later the leader put together a slide show for us, which I treasure to this day. It was the moment when I knew that I wanted to spend time in the outdoors with my kayak as my means of travel.

Who/What inspires you?

Deb Volturno is my kayaking inspriration. She has recently joined the Seattle branch of The Mountaineers, but she has been kayaking for years. She is one of the most skillful paddlers I've encountered, yet she is humble and willing to play, teach, and encourage even the newest people to the sport. I hope she continues to rub off on me.

What does adventure mean to you?

Adventure means stepping out and taking a "risk." To some it may mean a multi-day expedition, but I think it can be just pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone without being absolutely sure of the outcomes. I hope that I never stop doing that.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.
Smile or game face? Smile.
What's your 11th essential? Chocolate!!!
Post-adventure meal of choice?  Salad. A week or two of freeze dried meals will do that to you.
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Surfing with Kayaks.

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