Woolx scoured the globe searching for intrepid adventurers to test out Woolx gear in the most extreme conditions, we’ve assembled this group of globetrotting daredevils into the #WoolxinAction team! Every month Woolx Life features one of our amazing Woolx in Action team members – Meet February team member of the month Jan Steves!
The 2016 Iditarod will be Jan’s 5th start in the race and her second as a member of #WoolxinAction. You can check out Jan’s website JanSteves.com and her blog Living My Dream to learn more about her team and read about how Woolx helped keep her toasty during the 2015 Iditarod.
Jan grew up loving the outdoors, from sea level to the mountain tops! Her childhood was spent camping, boating, fishing, skiing and exploring. At 50 Jan joined the mountaineers. She was soon scrambling up mountain peaks, snow shoeing, kayaking, cross country skiing, and of course still downhill skiing at every opportunity.
In August 2007, Jan visited a friend in Alaska who had sled dogs, she immediately fell in love with those incredible dogs that are born to pull. A dream was born… She wanted to drive a dog team across the wilds of Alaska. Six months later she flew to Alaska and volunteered for Iditarod 2008. She was hosted by Ted (retired Iditarod musher) and Paula English. The next year would find her living with them and running Ted’s dogs and on her way to qualifying for the Iditarod.
Jan qualified for Iditarod 2012, and at age 55 she drove her team of incredible dogs 1000 miles across Alaska to Nome. She was awarded the Red Lantern Award as the last musher across the finish line..An Iditarod finisher on her first try!
Of course we asked Jan to fill out the official “#WoolxinAction Questionnaire”, read on to delve deeper into the mind of an extreme brand ambassador!
Favorite Woolx product?
-Love ’em all! I guess my favorite would be the Blizzard 1/4 Zip Top.
Where would you live if it could be anywhere in the world?
-Right now I am very happy living in Alaska. However, I am beginning to dream of the tropics!
What’s on your bucket list, any big adventures that you dream of undertaking?
-I would love to travel the world.
What’s your favorite outdoor memory?
-One of my favorite outdoor memories is going for a “Sneak away” with my father. My dad would would come to me the night before and ask if I wanted to go on a Sneak Away…just the two of us. I can still remember my excitement and of course my answer would be “YES!” I would have to get right up in the morning and be ready to go. I remember going to sleep with my PJ’s over my clothes. We would get up early and quietly “sneak away”, careful not to wake any one up. We would spend the day fishing at Neah Bay…just the two of us. Great Childhood memory!
What’s your favorite food, or the best meal you’ve ever had?
-Bacon wrapped dates from Demetri’s in Edmonds. They are even better on the Iditarod Trail !
What’s the scariest moment you’ve had outdoors?
-Having a moose stomp through my dog team while training for Iditarod 2012. Miraculously no dogs were injured.
Do you have a favorite animal?
-That’s easy…would have to be the sled dog.
What motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough?
-This year I have really given that a lot of thought. I have had the toughest 8 months of my life, with the loss of my son, Tyler and then just nine days later, the loss of our home and Kennel to the Sockeye Wild Fire in Willow Alaska. I guess I would have to say Drive, Determination, and my Faith in God. I am hoping that this won’t be my toughest Iditarod, but I know that it has by far been my toughest “get to the start” for Iditarod.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
-Chocolate, Chocolate, and more Chocolate.
Is there anything that you’ve never done but would like to try?
-There are so many things that I have never done and would like to try. Tops on my list are to go to my son’s favorite dive spots in Hawaii and deep sea fish. To experience firsthand what he loved so much.
Friends of Jan sewing Woolx patches on her parka for the 2015 Iditarod.
What is your favorite time of year and why?
-I would have to say my favorite time of the year is the fall. I love the seasonal change with the crisp weather and beautiful fall colors. A great transition into winter!
Do you have a personal hero, or heroes who inspire you?
-That would have to be my parents. I had an incredible childhood and so grateful that my parents shared with us their love of the outdoors.
Thanks Jan! Check in next month to find out more about another one of our awesome Woolx in Action team members! You can follow along with Jan’s training and races, and even sponsor a dog, on her website JanSteves.com. You can also always keep track of the whole #WoolxinAction team with @Woolxwool on Twitter and Instagram.