• Lizzie Shutt

I led my first TRiP!!! "Surf and Yoga St. Augustine"

Since the beginning of this year I have been training to become a TRiP leader for the University of Florida. From one-on-one and group interviews last fall I was selected along with eleven other students to become part of an adventurous, unique, warm and fuzzy group of people who have had a great impact on my life. Part of the process to becoming a TRiP Leader included overnight canoe and day-trip water sports trainings, a weekly 3-hour class in the Spring semester where we learned hard and soft skills, Wilderness First Responder and CPR certification, and a physically and mentally intense backpacking trip over spring break.

Sunrise yoga was stunning and left us all with a peaceful energy to carry with us throughout the day and to breakfast (vegan pancakes)!! Nearly everyone had not taken a yoga class or gone surfing prior, but they all showed determination and joy on their faces.

Last weekend I got to lead my first trip alongside my best friend Kali (it was her first one too)! Its been a long time coming, but worth every second that I’ve dedicated to learning these priceless skills.

We drove the 12-passenger van + trailer filled with camping gear and surfboards over to St. Augustine for an overnight “Surf and Yoga” experience. The participants ranged from 21-35 yrs old with a majority of them being international students coming from Europe and China. Our trips attract a lot of students studying abroad, which adds a special touch to the group dynamic.

As a certified yoga instructor I naturally led the yoga classes and Kali taught surfing, but we didn’t confine ourselves to these roles. Throughout the weekend we switched off leading intentional mindfulness activities and both helped all our participants catch waves. In addition we exposed them to the many ways to eat peanut butter (from the jar, peanut butter pretzels, on a bagel or banana, PB&J, in pancakes). “It’s such an American thing.”

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be an outdoor leader where I can share my passion for adventure and help to facilitate self discovery in nature. Kali and I often found ourselves in shock that we were getting paid to be doing this! Although I have gone through much training I will always be a student and continue to work on building my self-confidence. The skills and friendships I've developed through TRiP will only grow stronger over the next two years and I have a feeling they are going to come in handy for the rest of my life!

*If you are a freshman or sophomore at UF interested in becoming a trip leader reach out to me or check out more info here. We are recruiting next years leaders now!*

"Live Dirty, Eat Clean",

-Lizzie Shutt


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