Why West Lyfe? Brand Ambassador DD Goodson

Why West Lyfe? Brand Ambassador DD Goodson

We will be profiling West Lyfe ambassadors to learn what makes them tick, what the wild means to them and what we can do to preserve the wilderness.  We hope you find this series of Q&As interesting and inspiring. 

About DD Goodson

DD is a Private Strength Coach of 6 years, a lover of the Colorado outdoors of 10 years. He is an avid angler who finds peace in trail running, fly fishing, hiking, and backpacking in the Rocky Mountains. DD has a strong passion, almost obsession, for exploring and training the body to perform for competition and leisure in the outdoors.

Why West Lyfe? 

I relate and identify strongly with West Lyfe’s purpose to keep wild places wild through defending resources, educating individuals, and supporting other like-minded organizations. I also respect their commitment toward producing sustainable products. I typically only use two different brands for my outdoor garments for both outdoor activity & leisure. These two companies are both sustainable companies, but for West Lyfe to be a local Colorado outdoor retailer and committing to sustainable practices I am 100% on board with supporting West Lyfe, supporting local, and celebrating wild places with them in the near future. Anytime I can use my platform to inspire and encourage others to not only shop sustainable, but to get educated, and recreate responsibly in our wild places, I am all for it! 

What does the WILD mean to you? 

What Wild means to me is that there is some level of “unknown”. And with going somewhere “wild” there’s always an adventure to be had. Granted, I still go to known places and recreate there because I’ve enjoyed these areas, but I also still seek out areas that are “unknown”- meaning I have yet to explore. As a person of Color growing up in Houston, Texas, and spending summers in Louisiana with my family, we spent time getting “Lost” in the backwoods bayou. We did not have ties to the West so we spent all of our time in the South. All of my family still lives down South and I am still looked at as the “wild child” that lives out West. As I look back on the days when I was younger and spending summers in Louisiana with family, those were the times when I was at my most joyous; getting lost in the woods for countless hours with my brothers and cousins. It shaped me into enjoying the outdoors and connecting with nature. Protecting the wild also protects memories and stories we’ve had in these wild places along with prolonging these places for others to have future experiences and stories to tell. 

What does the WEST mean to you? 

I was drawn to the West initially by a college visit to the University of Colorado. Like I stated previously, I was a product of the South and had never been out west or even seen the mountains. The West was considered “unknown” to me completely. Growing up, I had only seen the West on television and in movies until I was about 18 years old when I first moved out to Colorado. The Colorado Rockies instantly had my heart. Yet living in Colorado for 4 years, I was still unable to explore the West because of my demanding football and class schedule, and increased risk of injury involved in any outdoor sport. After collegiate sports and traveling the world a bit- Japan, Prague, France, Italy, Hawaii- living in these places anywhere from 3 weeks to 8 months, I had one place on my mind to return to and that was the Colorado Rockies. I was in love with the vast mountain ranges, countless outdoor activities, and obviously the beer! But what I truly was drawn to that kept calling me back, was the number of wild places I had yet to explore. Colorado has been my home for more than 10 years and it is still largely unknown to me, or in other words, WILD. Always looking for new places to fly fish, trail run, and backpack into.

How have you seen the West and its Wild places change over the years as it has become more populated? 

In my short time out West (10 years) I have seen a substantial increase in the outdoor population, whether it be recreational sports, like skiing, fishing, trail running, hiking, or just leisure recreational activities. The biggest change I have seen is the increase in population outside, but no increased duty to educate the newcomers on outdoor etiquette. We see these big organizations sharing Leave No Trace flyers and How to Recreate Responsibly, but locally, in my opinion, there are minimal resources provided to take care of our own backyards and “remote” areas that are getting populated with the influx of newcomers to the West. This is a reason I am supporting West Lyfe and their mission to “locally” educate people to think differently about the outdoors. Give more than what is taken from these special wild places. In the recent years with Covid there is an increase in hybrid, and remote work opportunities. This new lifestyle has brought many people into the outdoors, especially in the West, and the way I always see it, because I was a newbie at one time, is to welcome these new people into our outdoor communities with open arms. It is our responsibility to be extremely diligent and clear on educating them on how to protect these precious resources for their longevity. 

What can we all do to protect the West, its wild places, and our lifestyle to ensure it lasts for generations to come? 

I believe the most important piece to protecting something valuable is to provide education on its vulnerabilities. Educate the locals, the out of towners, and the newcomers on outdoor etiquette, and best practices for that specific recreational area. Try to steer them in the right direction and educate them on conservation resources. Have them find information and background on what is prohibited, what is allowed, and volunteer opportunities at their favorite parks, trails, rivers, lakes, and outdoor spaces. Personally, I believe the best education is to get people outside to experience and learn while enjoying activities. That way, they develop a strong connection and attachment to these wild places. Hopefully, this will drive them to create a similar experience and educate the next person seeking advice on responsible outdoor recreation.

Join the movement & live your WEST LYFE
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