Several months ago, I had the privilege of covering an event that was kind of special for my town—a TEDx event put on in Peace River by local organizers and featuring speakers from both nearby and far away.
One of those speakers was Erinn Bosch, 39, of Turner Valley, Alberta, boy mom of three (aged 8-10), foster mom of a 14-year-old daughter, entrepreneur, and influencer through her brand Mom Wears Hiking Boots Adventure Co. After hearing her speak about the lessons she learned through her weight loss journey last year, I was so inspired that I contacted her and asked if she would be willing to be interviewed for my blog, and she said yes.
As her brand name implies, she is a person who enjoys the outdoors, hiking, and spending time with her kids. Originally from Winnipeg, she moved to Calgary in 2000, where she met her husband, Chase. In 2007, the family moved from Calgary to Turner Valley to raise their kids in a smaller centre and so they could be closer to the mountains for easy camping and hiking access.
Through her website, she does affiliate marketing, and she also manages social media for several other companies. Her passion for her family and her work are both obvious in whatever she does.
“I am first and foremost passionate about raising a happy, healthy family,” says Erinn. “Being an involved and available parent is extremely important to me, and so is being a devoted and loving wife to my husband. My second passion is my work. I love building networks and communities.”
Several years ago, she started an online mom’s group on Facebook that grew to 5,000 people. Eventually, she left that and started the Mom Wears Hiking Boots community. She still works hard to expand the community with an eye to help women seek adventures of their own.
“The whole idea behind this company was to positively influence women—specifically moms—to start taking care of themselves the way they deserve to. This doesn’t always mean having pedicures or spa days, but rather getting way out of your comfort zone,” she says. “Get outside into nature, learn martial arts, lift heavy weights at the gym, eat healthy food to fuel your body, take social media breaks when needed, and ask for help when things get to be too much.”
The importance of self-care became apparent in Erinn’s life in a powerful way in 2017 when she asked her husband a risky and potentially volatile question: How can I be a better wife to you?
“We were in a weird rut, nothing terrible, but I felt I could do better for him. He told me to lose some weight and start taking better care of myself. It sounds so harsh, but it sent me on a rampage of self-care, and it was the best thing that ever could have happened to me,” she says.
Chase and Erinn and their kids have always enjoyed doing things together as a family, especially outdoor activities like camping and hiking. However, as time went on and lifestyle changes took their toll on Erinn, she had become increasingly frustrated with her inability to keep up on the trails.
“Chase recently told me that he had only wanted to see me taking an hour a day to do something for myself and my health, and he is so happy that I have done just that. He truly is my best friend and has loved me all these years as I was, so it was never about needing to be skinnier for him,” says Erinn.
“He just watched me struggle through all of the hiking that I love to do and wanted me to feel better overall. I believe he knew it would trickle over into other aspects of my life. Taking care of myself has helped my health, but has also helped in the areas of business, marriage, and motherhood,” she adds.
Having so much on the go has its own challenges, and Erinn knows that available time and money can be factors that make it tricky to do what’s best for ourselves. But Erinn is a big believer in prioritizing well.
“I struggle to manage my time with balancing work, children, and my newfound love for the gym and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I remember my priority to take care of myself, though, so I work my schedule out around that. I do what I can, when I can. When you think about what you’re spending your money on, you realize that if you cut out some of the unhealthy habits, it frees up money for the healthier ones—which have a much better return on investment, in my experience,” says Erinn.
Erinn practices what she preaches, continually expanding her own horizons and getting out of her comfort zone in both her professional and personal life. She is currently taking a marketing course on a full scholarship through Hello Life Academy (https://www.hellolifeacademy.com/) and she and her kids have their first ever Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament this month.
“In my recent TEDx talk in Peace River, I discussed my fitness transformation and weight loss, but the biggest takeaway I had from that experience is that incremental changes lead to monumental shifts. I hope that everyone who thinks ‘I don’t have the time, money, or ability to take care of myself or do fun things’ just tries. Start small and work your way up,” says Erinn.
Being part of the Mom Wears Hiking Boots community has been incredibly rewarding for Erinn. She loves receiving messages from people that she has inspired them to take better care of themselves or overhearing her kids talk about what she does. It’s moments like these that keep her embarking on new adventures. She plans to continue to expand her business through developing relationships with new clients and, above all, being authentic about her journey.
“I want to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. I hope that people will celebrate the highs with me as well as be there to feel the lows. No matter how much my business grows and how much my personal life shifts, I never want to forget where I came from, and to always encourage moms to be their best self. I’m excited to see it all grow!” says Erinn.
You can check out Erinn’s online community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/momwearshikingboots/, on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/mom_wears_hiking_boots/, or through her website at www.momwearshikingboots.com.
Talena Winters is a freelance writer, editor, author, blogger, and knitwear designer who is addicted to tea and silver linings. She writes romantic suspense and young adult fantasy books, and is lead writer for Move Up magazine. Sign up for her newsletter to get a free book: www.talenawinters.com/contact.