Head shot of L.L.Bean Ambassador Jessie Diggins.

Jessie Diggins


4 Min. Read | Ambassadors

Before she could walk, Jessie was skiing. Her passion for the sport would eventually lead her to winning a world championship and becoming one of the world’s top cross-country skiers. But this celebrated athlete isn’t just revered for her many awards and accomplishments, her undying spirit and drive to push herself to new limits has inspired so many to reach for their own goals. And when she’s not training, racing, or chasing a new adrenaline-packed thrills, she enjoys spending time outside with her friends and family camping, canoeing, gardening, or just enjoying a good book in the sun.

What has been your most significant life moment or favorite outdoor experience this year? 

My favorite outdoor experience was during our honeymoon this past June, in Glacier National Park! My husband and I biked up the Going To The Sun road, and when we got to The Loop, hiked up a winding mountain trail, ended up following snowshoe tracks through a couple feet of snow, and made it up to the Granite Parks Chalet where we had the sunny deck to ourselves to just relax and enjoy the panoramic view of gorgeous mountain peaks in every direction! It was a beautiful day, and we had so much fun spending the whole day outside in this beautiful national park exploring together. 

What projects or adventures do you have on the horizon that you’re most excited about? 

This season I’m excited about the World Championship races in Planica, Slovenia, at the end of February! I’ve been training hard for these so I’m excited to test myself against the best in the world alongside my wonderful teammates.  And in the summer a little closer to home, I want to plan some new running routes in the Adirondack mountains closer to Lake Placid, New York! Perhaps a new epic long run adventure, who knows? 

“Even 10 minutes spent enjoying fresh air outside can reset my mood and help me gain a fresh perspective on my day.”

Jessie Diggins

What is your best advice for someone who wants to live an active life in the outdoors?

Any amount of time and any place is worth it! I think we sometimes think that if it’s not a gorgeous setting or a large chunk of time, it might not be worth it…but even 10 minutes spent enjoying fresh air outside can reset my mood and help me gain a fresh perspective on my day. So, whether it’s walking in a park in the middle of a city or strolling through the countryside, any chance you can get…take it!  And secondly…layers of clothing! If you have the right clothes, any day is a day you can and should get outside. It’s no fun getting cold or chilled so making sure you have options so that you’re appropriately dressed makes being outside a good experience every time. 

When faced with doubt or discouragement, how does time outdoors help you remain inspired and optimistic?

I kind of think of being outdoors the way I think about having a dog…a dog is always happy to see you no matter what kind of day you’ve had, and the outdoors is always big and fresh and waiting for you to get out there, no matter what’s happening in your personal life. If I’ve had a great day or a tough one, getting out to glide through the woods on a beautiful snowy trail will always make me feel at peace and in awe of how beautiful our world is, and I know that the outdoors will always be there to offer that for me. So, when I need to reset my mood, or get the creative juices flowing, or just get out of my own head to cheer up a little, getting outside and purposely focusing on the natural beauty around me is an option that I know will always work. 

How do you think that nature and the outdoors help us learn about resilience?  

I think being outdoors offers us perspective and helps us feel small. The outdoors can give us challenges we can learn to take on to boost our self-confidence, like hiking up a mountain, but it can also help us relax and see examples of resilience all around us, like trees able to grow in the most unlikely places. 

A concept that we love from your book is “The Big Stupid,” describing how you would pursue certain fun outdoor activities during training. Can you tell our readers what “The Big Stupid” is and what you have gained by pursuing soul-feeding adventures? 

One of the things I love every year is my one huge adventure that I get to plan, called “The Big Stupid”, because from a training perspective it’s actually not that smart…running for 9.5 hours as a skier doesn’t really help me ski fast at all, but it sure does feed my soul and sense of adventure! Which is why my coach and I settled upon the agreement that I could have one big adventure per year. The last couple have been running the Pemi Loop, which is a loop circling the Pemigewasset wilderness up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I love these adventures because I’m not trying to go fast or race anyone, just looking to experience that deep sense of triumph I feel when I’ve challenged myself with a big task and had the chance to test myself to see if I can finish it. These adventures are usually planned in gorgeous and less-traveled mountains, so I love the rough rock scrambling and being the only person out on top of a windy peak. And at the end of it, I know I can make it through a tough training session or a hard race if I can go run and hike for 9.5 hours straight, so it definitely boosts my self-confidence when faced with a hard day!

What is something that the outdoors gives you that no other place, award, or accomplishment can give you?

A sense of being small and simultaneously at peace. When I’m outside I am reminded that in the grand scale of things, my triumphs and my problems aren’t as big as they seem, and it’s ok for me to slow down and just enjoy being at ease in a beautiful place.

What's your favorite L.L.Bean Product?

I adore the PrimaLoft Packaway Long Vest! This is my favorite layering piece during the winter because it’s long enough to keep me warm during a ski, it’s lightweight and has a cute hood, but keeps my arms free while skiing or running. I can wear it under or over a jacket, or just over long sleeves.

Primaloft Packaway Long Vest

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