(WGHP) — After some rough outdoor experiences, Jo Proia looked everywhere for a place to get the right training and couldn’t find it, so she decided to solve her own problem.
She became a certified instructor through the American Canoe Association to teach paddle sports.
For the last 10 years, Proia has used her knowledge to teach women the skills they need to be safe while enjoying nature.
“I wanted it to be easier for them and for them not to have to go through what I went through,” she said.
Proia teaches standup paddleboarding, kayaking, horseback riding, target shooting, archery and other recreational activities through her business Outdoor Women by Jo Proia.
“We can’t rely on our muscular brawn or strength to get out there and go after it. We have to rely on good technique, so that’s what we specialize in, teaching women how to do it in an educated and empowered manner,” Proia said.
“I wanted to try something new, and Jo does a really good job of providing a safe space for lack of a better term to come learn new things, try different things,” program participant Christy Rymer said.
Proia says it’s rewarding guiding women toward their next adventure, and many instances, seeing them get part of themselves back.
“I have a folder full of testimonials of women who have said that this programming has saved their life, literally. It helped them come back from depression,” she said.
Proia says more than 3,000 women have come through her programs over the last decade