Ibex Community Profile: Lisa Roberts on the Importance of International Women’s Day

We put out a simple query to the Ibex community: who is a woman in your life you want to publicly celebrate for International Women’s Day? We could’ve honored a pro athlete or other well-recognized person but our goal was to give shine to the women in our community who are kicking ass at a high level in everyday life. We think we struck gold with our winning recipient, Lisa Roberts.

Let’s meet her.

Tell us who you are and where you live? 

Lisa_2I live in Elverson, Pennsylvania. I am a wife, a mother to two amazing boys, a sister to three brothers, and a friend to many.

Are you an athlete? An artist? A professional?

I’m a full-time systems engineer in the defense industry.

I have been skiing, ice skating, biking, whitewater rafting and hiking since I was a child. I try to seize every opportunity to get outside. It could be a family night hike after a long week at work or a quick mountain bike ride before picking up the kids, there is nothing better than breathing in fresh air and drinking in nature to balance and rejuvenate me.

My family and I also volunteer. We make meals and deliver food and gifts to the underprivileged, homebound and, in some cases, homeless. This year I also volunteered to lead training rides for my older son’s mountain bike team.

What does International Women’s Day (and, moreover, women’s history month) mean to you?

For me, International Women’s Day is about honoring the women that have come and gone before us, those that have made sacrifices for us (women we know personally and pioneers we know only from history books), those in our lives now and those women in generations to come, with goals yet to be realized.

I’m thankful for the women that worked tirelessly to give women in this country the right to vote, the right to compete alongside men and the right to choose a career in or outside the home. I honor the women throughout history and of today who either serve in our Armed Forces or serve at home, supporting deployed loved ones who are defending freedom around the world.  

Moreover, I honor all the women of the world, some despite not having ANY freedom, who demonstrate faith, hope and love and simply try to leave this world a better place than when they entered it. Women are often the ones behind the scenes, multi-tasking, comforting, being strong, patient, wise, supporting and loving. We often don’t slow down long enough to be recognized or even worry about being recognized.  

There are so many women in this world and in our lives that are facing and dealing with adversity and challenges with grace and dignity – we all know them; I simply cannot compare and am humbled to have been selected. But, nonetheless, I am honored! Thank you for letting me share a few words!

Who nominated you to celebrate International Women’s Day?

lisa_1My husband, Josh Roberts, nominated me. He is a fellow adventurer and outdoor lover. He was always active, but would tease me when we first began dating in college about being “pretty outdoorsy” for a gal. During finals week one year, I took him to the local state park so that we could study in the peace and solitude of the woods (perhaps we aced our finals that semester?).

Josh joins me and our boys in most of our outdoor adventures. He is a talented long-distance trail runner, and I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished and the person he’s become. We recently added camping to our repertoire of activities when we purchased a travel trailer this year. Being able to spend the weekend camping in the woods affords us more time and opportunity to do the things we love as a family.

How do you influence those around you?

I never think much about how I influence others, but I do know that my love for the outdoors and desire to live a healthy lifestyle is apparent; perhaps the joy that it gives me will inspire others to explore it and “try it on for size.” It has certainly improved the health and lives of my family; and when you’re healthy and feel good, there’s more energy to do great things. I always think: “There’s nothing to lose – last time I checked, a breath of fresh air and a walk in the woods were free, but the potential benefits … priceless.”

Now it’s time to pay it forward: who do YOU nominate to celebrate International Women’s Day?

My mom, Mary Janicki. She was outdoorsy (still skis at age 71!) and lived simply before it was trendy. Most importantly, she allowed me to grow up in a loving and laughter-filled, faith-filled home. Her playful spirit and own admiration for nature gave me the opportunity to spend my childhood running around barefoot on a 10-acre property filled with trees and waterfalls to climb, creeks to fish in, and trails to ski, hike, sled and run.

image3She often had a bucket of hot soapy “feet washing” water at the bottom of the basement steps waiting for me when I finally came in from a day spent outside.

She taught me faith and provided guidance and support in a way that allowed me to explore my creativity, to appreciate the world around me and to pursue the things I love. I became a well-rounded, balanced, hardworking woman because of her, and I hope to honor her by teaching the same things to my children and those around me.

Let’s keep International Women’s Day top of mind today, next week, next month and beyond. If there is a woman you’d like to nominate for a profile, let us know on social. Happy #IWD!