top of page

Kisha Jarrett - Black Girl In The Woods. A journey of self-discovery, documenting a thru-hike


Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Kisha in her own words:

“I grew up in Virginia, a gymnast and cheerleader, playing softball and soccer. I knew I was bound to do something special, but I didn’t know what.

When it comes to my career, I’m often called a ‘bad-ass.’ As the Managing Director of Portland's Artists Repertory Theatre, I feel at home on a stage in front of thousands of people. When it comes to spending time outside, however, I wasn’t what you would call an “outdoors woman.”

I didn’t camp. I didn’t spend hours in the woods. Yet, when I moved to Portland, I found a love I didn’t know existed: my love of hiking. Days spent exploring all of the swimming holes and waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest transitioned into my first solo trip to Reykjavнk, Iceland.

I scuba-dived, hiked through Gullfoss, Skуgafoss, Hengifoss, and fiingvellir, and I HIKED UP AND THROUGH A GLACIER! Me! All 240 pounds of me.

I became a superhuman on that trip. I’m a fat, Black woman with Lupus who hikes glaciers, mutherf*ckers! My outdoor exploration unlocked something in me. After that, I was unstoppable!

When I returned home, I wanted to hike all the time. I bought sturdy hiking shoes. I started reading outdoor magazines, watching Eco-Challenge and going into every outdoor store. I was inspired…but I never saw anyone that looked like me.

I didn’t let that stop me. I’ve been moving since, continuing to have solo journeys and proving to myself time after time that just because I look the way I do, doesn’t mean I’m not strong and powerful - nor does it mean that these adventures are not for me!”

“I’m undertaking my biggest challenge yet. I am hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail, from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean. I am hiking to change the narrative. It matters to me to share my journey because not only did I not think I couldn’t do this as a child, but I never even knew stuff like this existed.

I know my story will have bigger resonance with others. I know I can be the representation I never saw. I want to offer an invitation to a journey of self-discovery and an introduction to a lifelong passion.

And I hope we can do this together. — Kisha Jarrett”

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out.

The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons.

Support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast and subscribe - super quick and easy to do and it makes a massive difference. Thank you.

 

Listen to Kisha Now!

Click here if you can't see the link below.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Kisha and what she does

  • The traditional lands of Portland

  • Moving to Portland 5 years ago

  • Growing up in a small town in Virginia

  • Not spending time in the outdoors

  • Falling in love with hiking

  • Going on her first solo travel trip to Iceland

  • Climbing a glacier and feeling empowered

  • Being diagnosed with lupus

  • Wanting to do all the things

  • Heading to Bali in Feb 2020

  • Why Iceland

  • Being told that she couldn’t do it.

  • Becoming more aware of her body

  • The pivotal moments

  • Taking the first steps into living a life of adventure

  • Google!

  • Looking different and not seeing herself in the media

  • Black Girl in the Woods

  • The dream of thru-hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail

  • Looking for exploration and a different type of challenge

  • Deciding not to do a solo thru hike

  • How the documentary came about

  • Finding information about Native Land in USA

  • Native Land App