The ALIGN Adventure Center

Integrative Body-Mind-Life Performance, Wellness, & Physiotherapy Resources for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Hi there, 

Welcome to the ALIGN Integrative Adventure Center!

I'm Dr. Elizabeth Sampey.

I believe in the power of outdoor adventure to transform lives and bring positive change on both an individual and a community level --

when pursued in a mindful, integrated, and sustainable way. 

My passion is in helping outdoor enthusiasts fulfill the adventures of our dreams, by aligning the essential areas of body, mind, life, logistics, and skills in our training -- so that we can become our best selves in and through our outdoor pursuits.
My mission with this Center and the resources, programs, and experiences I create within is to help make this possible for you. 

ALL outdoor enthusiasts are welcome here; from aspiring backyard adventurers to pros, all humans regardless of what subgroups you identify with. 

Who do I consider an "outdoor enthusiast?"

Anyone who loves being outdoors. 

Whether you already love to go on adventures, or you love the idea of it but aren't sure where to start, I promise you'll learn from and be inspired by this community and by the educational content in the Center as the foundation of these memberships. 

We can all benefit from sharing our experiences and learnings with each other. 

If you're interested in learning more about your body, mind, and life in the context of your experiences outside, and becoming your best self through your adventures, this Center is for you.

What is "integrative adventure?"

As I define it, integrative adventure is taking a well-rounded, holistic, or integrated approach to adventure training and preparation. It means  building skillsets, tools, and strategies to align all essential components that will set us up for success when we're out in the wild -- and also in our everyday lives.

Here's what using an integrative approach to adventure can look like:

  • Working on our bodies from all aspects in a functional manner to achieve fitness, endurance, strength, mobility, and stability (stability = using "motor control," the connection between our brain and our body, to achieve healthy movement patterns and alignment). *No gym is needed to complete my physical training activities.
  • Addressing any imbalances, impairments, or faulty movement patterns in our bodies to prevent injuries or recover from them if they're nagging at us. *No gym is needed to complete my physical rehabilitation activities.
  • Playing a strong and discerning mental game: yes, honing mental toughness, but also developing a strong body-mind connection: learning to listen to our bodies and talk to them in a constructive way.
  • Managing expectations and setting attainable (and sustainable) goals.
  • Navigating challenges and setbacks, and finding the gold nuggets buried within. 
  • Navigating difficult emotions, regulating our nervous systems for optimal wellness and performance, and making smart decisions with a clear head.
  • Working productively and fluidly with others involved in your adventure team to create positive interpersonal dynamics.
  • Managing the stress, uncertainty, fear, and doubt that will inevitably come with living an adventurous life (and within the adventures themselves).
  • Identifying the sort of lifestyle that is fulfilling and inspiring to you, that aligns with who you are and what you want, that gives you the freedom and flexibility to get outside and play -- and taking healthy and productive steps to steer your life in that direction. Enabling your life and your adventures to support one another. 
  • Knowing the logistical aspects needed in order to succeed in the adventures of your dreams: how to choose and plan a route, manage your fueling and hydration, what gear you need (and don't need) and how to pack/use it. 
  • Acquiring new sport-specific skills: if you want to go on an adventure involving a new manner of moving through a landscape, learning the specific technical skills to succeed (and have fun!) with this new way of backcountry travel is important. 
  • Identifying your assets and your shortcomings in all these areas: physical, psychological, sport-specific skills, logistics, and life: what do you already know, what are you already good at, what do you need to learn, acquire, or improve, and how will you accomplish that? And how do you break it all down so it doesn't seem so overwhelming? This alone is an important skill to have. 
  • And many more skills and tools beyond these. :) 

The ALIGN Center and everything within is a blending of the last 15 years of my education and experience, drawing from the fields of physical therapy, neuroscience, wellness & performance coaching, life coaching, somatic integration, and energy medicine; as well as my decade-plus of experience and education as a professional athlete in multiple backcountry sports. 

This is the integrative work I've been doing with private clients for years, and the Center is the outcome of my desire to have a greater reach and a greater impact in my time on this planet by facilitating in community.
[And yes, ALIGN is a philosophy and also an acronym: Adventure Lifestyle Integrative Group Network.]
Inside the ALIGN Center, positive growth happens on both the individual and the community level. In community we can lift each other up to be our best selves, become greater as a whole than we are on our own, and create a ripple effect extending to the outside world and people whose lives each of us touch. 

Would you like to join us? 

I'd be so excited to welcome you into this community.

The ALIGN Integrative Adventure Center currently has two offerings:

The "ALIGN Community Membership" is our basic offering, where you'll have access to the community and to bite-sized versions of my educational content on an ongoing basis. 

It's sort of like Patreon, where you can join for a small investment amount ($9.99/mo) to have access to the bite-sized versions of my integrative educational content all in one place, and access to the ALIGN community. 

Investing this small amount helps to support my work in creating, editing, processing, and sharing my educational material and making it available, both in this format and free of charge for those who can't afford any level of investment. 

[Click here to learn more about the ALIGN Community Plan.]

The "ALIGN Premium Membership" is our highest value offering, and where I'll be dedicating most of my professional time and energy in teaching and coaching for the foreseeable future.

The Premium Membership gives you access to the Community and my bite-sized educational content, as well as expanded premium content, more live coaching opportunities, and my flagship course Movement Medicine: Foundations. It has two options for investment: monthly, and a deeply discounted yearly investment price.

For a limited time to celebrate the launch of the ALIGN Center, I'm offering both the monthly and yearly Premium plans for a discount of half-price. If you invest now, you'll get to keep that price for the duration of your membership. (If you cancel and then re-subscribe after this promotion ends, you'll have to pay the full price).

 [Click here to learn more about the ALIGN Premium Plan.] 

Ready? Let's do this! I look forward to welcoming you into this space and this community. 

~ Elizabeth ~

Curious to know more background on my development of "integrative adventure" and consequently this online Center?

Integrative Adventure is a term I started using to describe both my personal philosophy and my ambitions for my professional career; somewhere around 2012 when the lines between my sports medicine physical therapy practice, my adventure performance coaching work, and my life and work as a professional endurance athlete began to blur as I recognized the need for a more holistic and integrated approach to rehabilitation, wellness, performance, and adventure in general.

In each of these separate areas of my professional life, while observing both myself and the people I was serving, I had started to identify missing links and limitations that were negatively impacting my ability to help create a sustainable positive impact for people through my work. Some of these limitations and missing links were systematic, some were a product of others' influence, and some were personal as I didn't yet have the skills or tools I needed to work and teach differently.

In my work, I encountered:
  • People with plenty of physical strength and fitness but no joint stability, resulting in unhealthy movement patterns, improper alignment, and injury.
  •  A heavy emphasis, in work having a physical focus and foundation, placed only on the body and not enough on the mind or the lifestyle. 
  • People across the board consciously or unconsciously using their minds only to silence and suppress their bodies, not to listen to them and adapt for them.
  • Athletes of all levels and ages running themselves into the ground; resulting in injury, burnout, and mental health crises, because they neglected their physical, mental and emotional wellness needs, their body-mind connection, and the practice of creating a sustainable lifestyle. Rarely were they ever taught any of these skills, often they were unaware of their importance or that they even existed.
  • People wanting to spend more time outside, and find more inspiration and fulfillment in the world on their own terms but whose lives didn't allow it, not knowing how they got there, with no idea how to re-orient and re-direct. 
  • Talented athletes who defeat themselves before they even embark on their adventures or set foot on the starting line of a competition, because they didn't know how to prepare logistically, manage uncertainty, or navigate difficult emotions and setbacks -- who aren't aware there is a whole lot more to finding success in adventure or competition than being fit and fast.
And in my personal life...

I was an ambitious and curious outdoor enthusiast determined to be at my best in my chosen adventure pursuits. I learned and developed integrative toolsets for my own benefit, both through trial-by-fire in my adventures and through the timely and priceless mentorship of others who had already walked my path in their own way and shared their wisdom with me.

I sharpened these tools through falling splat on my face and achieving huge wins both in adventure and in life. Through practicing, being terrible at it, and slowly but surely improving. The process of pursuing my potential in the outdoors was making me not only a better, stronger athlete, but a better, stronger person in the rest of my life.

Over the years, parallel to my pursuits of backcountry adventure, I navigated challenges, hardships, and "little t and big T" trauma in my personal life as well. A heart-wrenching divorce, starting over and reinventing myself at age 28, complex physical injuries requiring surgery and intensive rehab, intimate partner abuse, having all my financial assets stolen while living in a foreign country where I didn't know the language, a life-threatening experience, a major episode of complex post-traumatic stress disorder, reinventing myself again, losing all my income due to our global pandemic, a diagnosis of severe ADHD as a 37 year old adult, and most recently a mild traumatic brain injury complete with ongoing post-concussion syndrome impairments.

Through all of these physical and psychological hardships, I directly and intentionally drew strength and wisdom from my experiences as an adventurer: taking the learnings, tools and strategies I'd developed through my backcountry pursuits over the course of my lifetime and translating and adapting them to my personal life challenges

Combined with the essential support of mentors who helped me facilitate this translation and level up my mastery of these tools, my integrative adventure skills have helped immensely in my process of navigating through, adapting for, overcoming, and growing from these rough times; finding the gold nuggets buried within them to use in my own life moving forward (and eventually to share with others). 

What I learned over time was this: 

Sometimes we need a mentor to help us cross these tools, strategies, and learnings over between disciplines, especially when it's new. But the crossover isn't a far reach at all: They directly translate. I used the exact same skills to become a doctor and scientist, that I used to succeed in a difficult month-long Alaskan expedition, that I used to recover from PTSD, that I'm using to create an amazing life-partnership with my love.

This "gradual epiphany" blew my mind, and I realized this is what it's all about for me. It's who I am, and what my entire life has revolved around. Adventure feeding life, and thus, life enabling adventure. Parallel journeys having a positive impact on each other when integrated. Using my outdoor pursuits to become the best version of me. 

For many years I kept this to myself, turning inward and focusing on my own personal development, athletic career, adventure ambitions, and life trajectory.

The integration:

Slowly the separate lines of work I was doing to help others, that fit neatly into very well-defined conventional boxes of "physical therapist" and "endurance coach" and "mountain bike skills coach," started to feel very confining. So did my own adventure pursuits. My adventures were making me a better person, but I had a growing desire to share what I was learning to help others in a more integrative way, and I had no outlet for that. I knew my work needed to evolve. 

Over the next years I dedicated myself to learning how to teach the "softer skills" that involved mental, emotional, and energetic management, optimal lifestyle design, and facilitating cross-discipline translation. I sprinkled them into my physical therapy and coaching practices where I could, while still mastering and emphasizing my foundational education and work with the physical body, and pursuing my own adventures and athlete goals that kept me inspired and learning from experience.

Eventually I was able to close my professional gap between rehabilitation, wellness, and performance; merging them into one and aligning the elements of body, mind, and life into my work dedicated to serving my fellow outdoor enthusiasts: 
using a variety of frameworks to teach and facilitate the principles and practice of what I now call "integrative adventure."

Since evolving my work in this way, I've noticed a much greater impact and higher level of success and fulfillment with the people I serve. "Training for adventure" doesn't just mean completing workouts to improve fitness, going to the gym to get stronger, and rehabbing the injuries we get along the way. 

With an integrative philosophy and approach, aligning all essential elements, the pursuit of adventure and adventure itself can become, and create, so much more. The possibilities to explore are endless. 

The integrative, mindful, and sustainable pursuit of adventure empowers us to be at our best, in the outdoor activities we love and in our lives, creating positive change for ourselves and those around us.

Inside the Integrative Adventure Center, positive change happens on both the individual and the community level. In community, we can inspire each other and lift each other up to be greater as a whole than we can on our own. 

Would you like to join us? 

It would be my greatest pleasure and honor to welcome you into this community.

~ Elizabeth ~

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