What is Human Powered Movement? Volume 2
Author: Adam Bratton
Read Time: 4 mins
Human Powered Movement didn’t even have a website when I wrote the original “What is Human Powered Movement?” journal exactly two years ago. The platform was a covid-born concept to bring encouragement, inspiration, and positivity to our pandemic-rattled lives. The universal appeal of being active and our mission of “facilitating greater human powered experiences in all of us” hasn’t changed since those early days, but the evolution of HPM certainly has.
“What is Human Powered Movement? Volume 2” has multiple purposes … to reminisce, celebrate, re-energize the stoke as we head into another jam-packed year of activity in 2023 and to provide some background context for all of our new followers, supporters, and brands that have recently joined the movement.
We started HPM in mid-2020 with a grassroots Instagram account and Strava Club to produce a free virtual challenge for anyone looking for motivation to move. Our inaugural challenge, “Off-Road Tri”, saw over 40 participants throughout the Southeast participate in their own Half Ironman Triathlons in a single effort or over the course of the 10 allotted days. The reach was small, but the positive reaction and impact was obvious. Since that first challenge, we’ve produced 15+ Virtual Challenges across all activity types, distances, elevations and even included anti-single use plastic challenges to raise awareness for environmental stewardship. We've reached nearly every state of the US and 10+ countries. We quickly knew we were on to something and had to add more layers to the mix.
In 2021, through the success of our challenges, the support of like-minded brands like Recover and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and an eager commitment to getting, and keeping, people active, we took a number of big leaps to formalize the HPM brand and reach. A new website was launched, a merchandise program was born, ongoing journals were posted, and our first in-person event, Rocky River Shiver: A Hellacious MTB Event, was scheduled. On top of all of that, we proudly became a 1% For The Planet Member to give back to our local environmental non-profit partners. If 2020 had outlined the foundation for HPM, 2021 clearly solidified things and left us thirsty for more.
We sprinted out of the starting blocks again in 2022 by introducing two additional in-person events, the South Fork Sampler: A Multisport Adventure Race and Psychoactive: A Last Runner Standing Event. We significantly expanded our merch program highlighted by locally and sustainably sourced items, hosted multiple online educational clinics and started producing additional short films to post on our new YouTube Channel. We also completed a few noteworthy expeditions (Bikepacking from NC to PA … Alaskan Arctic Packrafting Trip Report coming soon) that have stirred plenty of additional ideas for HPM in the future.
It’s too early to tell how 2023 will end up, but we have a boat load of reasons to be stoked for how it’s starting. We’re thrilled to be a founding partner of a brand-new collaborative retail space in the Charlotte, NC area called Confluence where art & music & outdoor rec & community is celebrated to benefit cleaner water and more recreational access to the South Fork River. Stay tuned for more on Confluence in the coming weeks and months, but know that we just introduced a Bike Rental Program, will launch a weekly run club in the spring, and are dangerously close to announcing a series of educational clinics called “Recreation 101” that will give people near and far the tools, information and knowledge to move in more ways.
We’re aware that we don’t have the largest social following in the world, our events aren’t going to attract thousands of participants each year, and we can’t retire early based on our merch sales. But since the beginning, HPM has been about authenticity above all. We measure our success on the meaningful interactions, substantive relationships, and valuable impact we have with our followers, supporters, and partner brands. In those areas, we couldn't be more inspired to keep moving forward.
So, what exactly is Human Powered Movement? It’s a community-driven platform that relentlessly stokes the fires of active seeking types. Events, programming, content, educational clinics, online support and more … Whatever may come next, we use our platform to inspire environmental stewardship and healthier lives. Join the movement and help us determined what Volume 3 looks like!
Journal - What is Human Powered Movement? Volume 2
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Human Powered Journal
Writings and musings of an active lifestyle
Adam Bratton is the Founder and Head Enabler at Human Powered Movement.
Guest Contributors are more compelling in written word and life in general.