Mary Anne Ivison loves the outdoors. She loves to walk, hike, bike and cross country ski. She also just started a podcast called Let's Take This Outside. We spoke to her about her love for the outdoors, making the outdoors. available and accessible for everyone, and if you are thinking about dating her - it does help to have a love of the outdoors.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:01
You May Also Like a show about the things you may Also Like things like: The Outdoors. We don't spend nearly enough time outside. It's healthy. The sun provides this vitamin D that helps keep you happy. You can walk, run, bike, play soccer baseball, or soccer baseball. In the winter, there's skiing, snowboarding, pond hockey, downhill skiing, cross country skiing, and if you bring a gun with you, you're now a biathlete. Marianne Iverson has this love of the outdoors that I can't explain, so I brought her on the show to explain it. And I started the conversation to this millennial with a very dated Bob Eubank's newlywed game reference that clearly sailed way over her head. Tell me about the first time you made whoopi outside.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:01:06
I thought you were going to ask me when was the first time you ever went outside? I'm like, I don't know.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:11
That is actually correct. That is the first question.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:01:13
Earliest memories of being outside have to be on my parents farm, which I still have. They have about a few hundred acres in Tilbury, Ontario. And my earliest memories include playing in our tree fort with my brother. It includes hoeing weeds out of the beanfield. It includes picking rocks out of the fields. It includes doing hard labor on the farm when I was four years old. No, but seriously, it includes playing the leaves with the dogs. It includes, again, playing the treehouse. It includes touching dirt and rolling in dirt and playing with nature and playing with leaves and plants and helping my aunt with her really big, beautiful garden. I spent most of my time outdoors when I was when I was a kid.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:57
So where you grew up in your area, did a lot of people also live like that and live outside and have the same sort of love for the outdoors, or did you have a set of friends who stayed inside a lot?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:02:08
Well, outdoor recreation maybe wasn't the same out there, so I grew up in a bit of a farming community, and my aunt lived down the road and then a cousin also down the road, another cousin across the street down the road. So family affair for sure, but it's very regular when I still go down there. When I'm as a 30 something year old. There's a lot of farmers outside. I don't know if you want to call it playing, but working right. Or again, my aunt has some greenhouses and we help out or we try to do gardening. They now have what is it, a beekeeping? A bee hive. So I would say it's more about the farming community and being outside than it is about outdoor recreating. Where I'm from, outdoor recreation is more now where I am in Ottawa, where it's like we purposely go outside to exercise. In Tilbury, growing up, we just took rides everywhere, we drove everywhere, even if it was a kilometer up the street. We never walked anywhere. And if I needed to go anywhere, I never rode my bike 8 km into town. Right. It was always driving. So not outdoor recreation, but it was part of life and as part of work.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:12
What's the longest you've ever been outside in terms of consecutive days? Maybe something like a camping trip or a mountain hike. Something that went for an extended period of time.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:03:22
Have to be Kilimanjaro. Was that eight days, nine days camping outside Kilimanjaro. They even had little portable bathrooms that the porters would carry. So you even went to the bathroom and a little if it wasn't behind a rock when you were hiking, if you were at camp, there would be these little tent bathrooms that we'd go into in the middle of the night at 15,000ft. That was a wild ride. That was hard.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:44
So you're telling me that this place, Kilmanjaro, is not some fictitious location in Toto's Song, Africa?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:03:52
No, it's a real mountain. It's a mountain. By the way, I don't know if.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:56
You know that it's the tallest one in Africa.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:03:58
It is the highest one in Africa. It is very high. Even though I've done some pretty gnarly hikes and adventures in my day, maybe the hardest physical day of my life was on Kilimanjaro. It was summit night. We're up at midnight. We hiked, I think, till like 04:00 p.m.. That was a very long, hard, grueling day.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:04:18
Tell me about altitude. The higher you climb, because I think a lot of first time explorers, I think you have to go through it to understand how thin the air gets when you climb. It's not as simple as just going to Denver and saying, well, it's a high altitude city and yeah, the sports is a little bit different. There's some real implications at 18,000ft don't.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:04:39
Quote me in exact numbers, but approximately 18,000ft, you're breathing 50% of the amount of oxygen that you are at sea level to give you perspective. And I've been at and above 18,000ft because that's where Kilimanjaro sits. And I think maybe Everest base camp, perhaps. I can only speak from my own personal experience. Some people do really, really well at altitude and don't have many issues. Me, on the other hand, I struggle a lot with altitude. Headaches, stomach issues. It's hard. You become a little delirious when you're that high up. Really hard to sleep. People get very sick at high altitudes, especially above, like 10,000ft. Especially above 15,000ft. That is next level stuff. That is next level. And it takes a while for your body to get used to it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:27
Do you have another next level when it comes to climbing mountains? Do you want to maybe scale K Two, perhaps, or Everest?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:05:35
No, absolutely not. That's full climbing mountaineering. I wouldn't mind doing mountaineering one day or trying it, but that is very dangerous. That is incredibly dangerous. The survival rate is not very high. I do not want to go that high. That is, I would not have a good time up there. Like, if you told me I never had to go above 10,000ft again, I'd be like, that's fine. It's a different level of suffering if you don't do well.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:00
You have a podcast called let's take this outside. Why did you start the podcast?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:06:05
Because you peer pressure me into it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:06
Let's go with another answer. For the purposes of this podcast, I.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:06:10
Want everyone to know that that's true by the way, that you peer pressure me into it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:14
When I say you should start a podcast, not everybody lands on the subject matter very quickly and efficiently like you did. So when I told you to do it, you said, we're going to do it about the outdoors, and it's going to be called let's Take this outside. You arrived at it very quickly.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:06:28
Yeah, it happened very quick. Why am I doing the podcast and why am I consistent about it and why do I love it and why is it my favorite thing in the world? So I'm so glad you did peer pressure me into it because how I feel is I have a radio background, which was a blast, but you're serving a certain audience. In this case. I built something that was meant for me. I built something that I wanted to really enjoy listening to. And whenever I put an episode out, I feel like a when I listen. So I always listen to the episodes beforehand because I'm like, do I enjoy listening to this as a listener? But secondly, do I connect with it? Is this something that I'd really like to listen to? And the answer seems to always be yes. And every time a podcast comes out, I'm like, oh my God, this is my favorite episode ever. Two weeks later, oh my gosh, this is my favorite episode. Okay, so why do we do it? It feels like my heart every time I release an episode, I feel like it's really authentically me and I feel like it's my heart outside of my body and put into nature and that people can listen to. And it's been extremely heartwarming to see people connect with it and be like, oh, I love listening to that. It's my new favorite podcast. It's been really incredible because I made it selfishly for myself and to share my love of the outdoors with others. So the fact that other people are connecting with it, I think it has something to do with the authenticity of it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:07:48
Who is Rey Zehab and why is he so popular?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:07:52
So, Ray Zehab is an ultra runner. He has run across the Atacama Desert. He has done expeditions in the Arctic. He's incredibly inspiring. Him and his whole family are incredible athletes. His wife is an amazing runner as well. She's a long distance runner. He is a true endurance explorer and his energy is infectious. And his story and his kind of late to life exploration of exploring is really impressive and also his company Impossible to Possible, which helps youth go on expeditions and have the opportunity to go on these expeditions across the world that they might not have otherwise. So not only is he inspiring, but he also opens up the outdoors and adventuring to people who might not be able to have the chance otherwise. You may Also like supports Podcasting 20 so feel free to send us a boost if you are listening on a newer podcast app. If you don't have one, you can see a full list of them at new podcastapps.com.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:59
It feels like for years we've been trying to encourage people to go outside and take advantage of the outdoors. As we record this, we're both located in Canada, which is a very spacious country and there's lots to do and we've got lots of water and we've got some mountains and we've got beaches and all this. But how can we make the outdoors more accessible to everyone?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:09:19
That's something that I explore a lot on let's Take This Outside is asking questions like this and I'm learning as I go to so what's been the.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:27
Feedback from some of your guests?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:09:29
I had a really cool conversation with Jacob from Nomad Du Park, which is an outdoor rental space in Gatineau Park, which is very close to where I'm from. And essentially they make rentals available for ebikes to bike in Gatineau Park. So people who might not be able to bike, maybe they don't have the mobility or maybe they're a bit older or maybe they've never been biking before but want to keep up with their friends who do laps all the time. So accessibility not only that way, other ways of accessibility. I would say cost is one of the biggest things. A lot of these things cost a lot, especially in the pandemic cost of bikes, cost of skis, cost of everything went up. But there are some great people, especially here locally in Ottawa and Gatineau who are helping raise they have like gear lending libraries or rentals for example, that people can try things. So accessibility kind of goes in all different directions. So that could be age, for example, that could be gender because as a female can be pretty intimidating sometimes. Like cycling, for example, these men who try to pass you or make inappropriate comments or are on their $10,000 bikes and like smoking you up a hill sometimes it's just weird and intimidating. So there's gender, there's maybe people who immigrated to Canada and they don't know where to start or they've never seen winter before and all they're looking for is like what winter coat should I buy? How do I enjoy the outdoors, what are snowshoes? There are so many different angles to it, LGBTQ plus communities as well and making sure that they have a chance to, for example, going on a hike. They know that they're welcome and they know that it's a friendly environment and that people aren't going to judge them. That's also very important as well.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:11:11
One of the things that came to mind as I've been thinking and listening to your show, my first reaction when I heard this is, who can't go outside? What's the accessibility issue all about? And as I thought, it sort of on the subject matter of new Canadians, I think there's an opportunity to make it more accessible by offering free skating lessons and free swimming lessons. Because I think growing up Canadian, the two things that all kids really learn to do in Canada is you'll learn to swim in the summer and you'll learn to skate for the winter. And if you can have those two things, you're really going to have a great social life.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:11:45
I think that's a huge part of it, too. And that's a big part of the gear lending libraries, making these things free for people to be able to get on cross country skis or whatever that may be. And even we really didn't have many ski hills growing up in southern Ontario, for example. But a lot of kids in the Ottawa area grew up like they were put on skis the moment they would walk, right. So there's also a difference, too, in how you grew up culturally as well. There's so many different angles to it. But I think making the outdoors friendlier, making it more welcoming, again, it's very multilayered, and I'm trying to navigate that in an appropriate way, it's my guess, and seeing how we can do that. And as a white woman and having a podcast, how can I use my voice to help others?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:12:28
I also look at city and city structure, and how you build your city has a lot to do with how well we're going to be able to go outside. So, for instance, in Finland, the kids all bike to school in the middle of winter. And you look at in Winnipeg, there was a city councilor named Jeff BroadI who called winter cyclists extremists. I mean, listen, some of the people who get elected are clearly not very smart. But when you see and hear stuff like this, how important do you think it is the way we build our cities in order to contribute to an outdoor lifestyle?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:13:03
Very important, because being able to bike to school safe, safety is a huge part of this, too, of accessibility. If there aren't proper bike lanes, if there aren't proper pathways, people are not inspired to bike anywhere. Luckily, there's a lot of green space here. But if you have to drive 2 hours to get to a hiking trail, that doesn't feel very good. Another part of accessibility, too, is here in Ottawa. They do bus shuttles to get in a park, especially during the fall, so people can come and hike. And so that's a huge part of it, too, is get like people without cars like, how are they getting to these hiking trails, right? Are they taking a bus and walking? So that's also a huge part of it. But I think building a city in a way that has great pathways for biking, maybe cross country skiing in the winter, walking, running, that is a huge, huge part of it. For example, I'm moving in like a month. And a big part of it for me was, am I still going to be close enough to bike to Gatineau Park? Right? It's only an extra 10 minutes for me now too. But when I was actually looking at my lifestyle and what's important, it's important for me to be able to hop on my bike and bike to the places that I love or bike along the pathways, or bike along the parkways and really enjoy it. So that's just me speaking. I can imagine a lot of other people feel the same way.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:14:15
What are some of your favorite outdoor brands?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:14:18
Some of my favorite outdoor brands? I have had a lot of great luck with Icebreaker for Merino Wool. The bass layers are fantastic. I have lots of gear. Also, I want to point out I was a guide for them, aka like an influencer for Falraven. I have a lot of their gear still, which I love. A great rain jacket too. Some of their tubes, some of their base layers too. Solomon is very tried and true for me. Segoy is a really great kind of not lower end, but like price wise. They're on the lower end for good quality biking gear and cycling gear. I really, really like their stuff. I also have their fleece pants for cross country skiing, this is more fancy, but Rafa, their cycling gear is really fancy. But it's really good. I'd rather invest in something and have it last year's. And also, I just got some new running shoes called Norda, and they are from Quebec, and they are blowing up in the outdoor trail running scene. And I'm really, really loving those shoes. You can't see it, but I have this whole thing hanging off the back of my door, and it has all these little pockets and it has all my outdoor gear. So there's like, pockets of, like, hand warmers and there's like, cross country ski wax and there's gloves and tuks and mitts and buffs, and there's 1000 different things in there, so I'm going to regret not mentioning certain ones.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:15:36
As we record this, you're listed as single. How important is it to find a partner who also likes the outdoors? On a scale of one to ten?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:15:46
That's a bold question. That might be your boldest question. I don't know how to answer this because I want someone who would love to. That's a sliding scale. It's a weird balance because if this person is like a hardcore athlete and I feel bad not being able to keep up, that might suck a little bit. But does this person want to go for a nice hike with me? That would be wonderful. They have to be able to want to go for a hike with me or be like, oh, I would love to try cross country skiing, or I'd love to try cycling, or I'd love to try this, or other way around. Maybe they introduced me to a sport I haven't tried, which I can't really name at this point. Kitesurfing or something. I'm like, sure, why not? Let's do it. Or let's try downhill skiing again. And I'm like, sure, I guess. I don't know what that looks like. It's high on the priority list for me, but there are other things that are more important in a partner.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:16:37
Well, you mentioned sliding scale. Immediately my mind goes to the hot crazy scale. I know that scale easily. How hot is she? How crazy is she? Can we balance this out?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:16:47
Yeah. So what would this scale be? How athletic are they versus it's a.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:16:53
Hotness to how often you go outside.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:16:56
Okay, so if they go outside more, they can be more ugly.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:16:59
That's the sliding part.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:17:01
There has to be a whole other access for money.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:05
Again, it's your scale.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:17:08
How financially secure are you? I'm getting pickier the older I get.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:12
Give me one hack to staying warm in the winter.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:17:16
Great bass layers. Merino wool or synthetic. Do not wear cotton. Do not do it synthetics or merino wool is great. Wicks sweat off your skin so you don't get over chilled. And a great, you know, something to keep your head warm, to keep that heat in.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:31
One of the guests you had on your podcast was Ted Kalil. And we discovered a great hack one day in the parking lot of Rich Stadium in Buffalo, New York. It was 09:00 a.m.. It was really super damp and our feet were cold, and this guy opened up his pickup truck and threw us some cardboard and said, Here, stand on this. And we instantly warmed up.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:17:50
What do you mean? Oh, you put it in between or shoot, like, with your boots on?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:17:54
Yeah, we had our boots on and we stood on it and we got warm.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:17:57
Was it a buffer between you and the coolness of the earth? Were you on snow?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:02
Yes. Then we kept the cardboard to go and sit on at the game.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:18:06
Super smart. I've never heard that before.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:08
I know it worked. We can't believe it either. When Ted and I talk about cardboard, we know what we're talking about. We're talking about staying warm.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:18:15
I'm going to keep cardboard in my car.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:17
Now, Ted's also on the absolutely no cotton train.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:18:21
I bet he is, because he knows what he's talking about, so of course he knows.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:27
What do you think your last podcast episode is going to be about?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:18:30
What do you mean last?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:31
There's no end to it, right?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:18:33
Yeah, I don't see that happening right now. I have like eight podcasts already recorded. I'm ahead like three months. I'm going to be soon. I'm going to have a whole year's worth of podcast recorded, I think.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:47
Do you think it's a little bit weird that people are building these bigger and bigger houses often right to the property line? They have no need for a backyard, apparently. Do you see that as a bit of a disturbing trend?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:18:59
I've never thought about that, to be honest. If people don't have dogs or kids, I could see why. Maybe that's why I go outside so often is because I really don't have an outdoor space at my current apartment or my next one, because I crave it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:10
What's one outdoor sport you want to take out that you haven't tried yet?
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:19:14
No, I have too many. I have too many that I want to get better at, that I want to do more, like, rock climbing and bouldering and ice climbing. One of the funnest things I've ever done in my entire life. You just, like, take a pickaxe and you got, like, these picks on your feet. You just ram them into the ice. And I know it's supposed to be more like delicate and elegant than that, but like, I love it because you just drive the picks into the ice and you're, like, hulking yourself up a wall of ice. It's the coolest. Literally, the coolest. It's also very cold.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:44
Thanks for being on the show, Mary Ann.
Mary Anne Ivison (Guest) 00:19:46
Thank you for having me.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:48
Mary Anne's podcast is one of the most successful released in 2022 in Canada. If you would like to be a part of it, head on over to let's Take This Outside CA thanks for listening to You May Also Like you may Also Like our website at you May Also Like net the show is produced by Evan Sir Minsky and built for your ears by everyone of the Sound Off media company.