Making Adventure a Priority
By: Indy Chamber
Charging up and down the hills on narrow single track on mountain bikes, encouraging one another through the last stretch of their trail run, dripping wet from the splashes during white water rafting, married duo Danielle and Kate Nolan are always looking for their next adventure. After sharing their experiences with family and friends, a spark of wanderlust grew among the group leading the two to form DNK Presents.
Rather than suggesting where to go and what to do, DNK Presents offers guided tours for people seeking an active lifestyle. Their mission is to provide opportunities for people to “re-charge” themselves in nature, getting away from their technology driven lives.
Both Kate and Danielle are inherently adventurous and regularly go backpacking, kayaking, or mountain biking, which inspired them to start DNK Presents. Outdoor adventures are physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy for you, and are very beneficial to job performance.
Studies have shown that when exposed to nature, people build stronger relationships, improve productivity, increase motivation, foster problem solving, encourage creativity, promote a healthy lifestyle, etc. Additionally, pushing your limits through an outdoor adventure builds confidence, specifically in women.
“We recently had a woman who was a life coach go with us on a caving adventure. She was claustrophobic and had to face her fears of one tight spot in the cave. She buckled down and had to practice what she preached to get through it. Afterwards, she was so pleased with herself for completing the adventure!” Kate recalled.
On an overnight backpacking trip composed of 17 women, Kate and Danielle simply asked, “What does adventure mean to you?” They compiled a video of the women’s answers, including a woman who just turned 50 and decided to do 50 new things.
“We want women to gain confidence. There needs to be more women leaders in executive positions in the workforce. Women should be empowered, step outside of their comfort zone, and take their confidence to the next level.” Kate says.
DNK Presents is holding a Women’s Adventure Contest giving people the opportunity to nominate a woman in their lives who needs adventure. The four women who win will spend four days exploring the backcountry, trails, and lakes in Indiana. “We want to give back to the community, and feel that this is the best way to do it,” Danielle says. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.
If you are longing for adventure close to Indy on your own, Danielle and Kate recommend Eagle Creek Park, Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park, and Brown County State Park.
“We love being in Indy. We love the opportunities to be adventurous, like the bike paths and multi-use cultural trail. It is an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming city that allows you to be yourself,” Kate says.
DNK Presents recently signed on as a supporter of Indiana Competes, a business coalition united in the belief that Indiana is and should remain a welcoming place for all. “Indiana Competes has recently made headlines sending an inspiring and encouraging message, and we love being a part of that momentum,” Danielle explains.
Kate and Danielle took a chance, starting a business doing something they love, and that risk has proven to be worth the reward. So what advice do they have for future entrepreneurs?
“Start now, there is no reason to wait.,” Danielle says, a member of NAWBO and the Start-Up Ladies out of Launch Fishers.
The duo has also benefitted from free business coaching through the Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneurial Services division.
“The Indy Chamber has so many resources that we have taken advantage of, like business coaching, networking, and their willingness to help. It’s a great forward-thinking group to be a part of. We tell all of our friends that are starting a business to join!” the couple agrees.
To learn more about DNK Presents, please visit dnkpresents.com.
This weekend we got the opportunity to be part of the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Brown County Epic. The epic is not a race, rather a group ride with over three hundred of your closest friends. The weekend includes camping, live music, giveaways and local craft beer on tap!
This event is especially memorable for Kate and I because 3 years ago at this event was my first real attempt at mountain biking! I had only ridden once before at Ft Ben on a beginner trail during the Hoosier Outdoor Experience. The first day of the event (back then) was demo day, so you get to ride bikes from Trek, Giant, Surly, Specialized and Rocky Mountain. Some of these bikes could have cost more than my car. I think I rode a full suspension Trek and what I really fell in love with, was the Giant Anthem. I loved mountain biking, after road biking for so long I felt like, “I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this the whole time!”
The next day I was riding Kate’s old bike – a hard tail Cannondale. Which at the time meant nothing to me, and if you don’t know it basically means you feel everything – in the worst way! After our first route I was like seriously why does anyone even make bikes like this?! It was a little painful, especially after riding luxury bikes the day before, but I rode through the day and absolutely loved it. I made it to the top of hesitation point. It was rainy that day and some of our friends chose not to ride, back then I felt like I didn’t know any better. I played outdoor sports growing up so I thought, “what’s a little rain going to do?” Turns out rocks and roots can be kind of slippery on your bike tires in the rain, but that didn’t stop us from riding all day! It was awesome.
This year unfortunately we did not ride, but we did get to support our friends with HMBA who are responsible for all the wonderful trails. We also got to run at Yellowwood State Forest. Kate broke her rib 4 weeks to the day on Sunday, her doctor cleared her to run at 4 weeks and cleared her to ride at 6 weeks. Through that time Kate had a few minor breakdowns but what I admired and love so much was that instead of focusing on what she couldn’t do like running, biking, boxing, and many of the things she loves to do. She focused on things she COULD do! Like John Wooden once said, “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” There was a lot of walking, yoga, but she also got to go on our last canoeing trip of the year. It was a time that we were able to think about those who live with disease or impairments throughout their entire lives. It was Kate’s first broken bone, but it was a lifelong lesson for us both.
In life we sometimes take for granted what we have and often times are always wishing and complaining about what everyone else has or gets. From this weekend and through these past few weeks it has opened our eyes to be thankful for our health, happiness, family and friends.
By: Danielle Wolter Nolan