Submitted by Nicole Stevens.
Jagger and Cody Stevens, nine-year-old twin brothers from Haddam, have been hiking in some capacity ever since they were born. As babies, the boys came along in backpack carriers wherever their parents hiked, and began following the trails on foot as soon as they could walk. They started with simple rambles on blazed trails, and by the age of four, the twins had accomplished their first “big hike.” That was the year they climbed Mount Megunticook in Maine, traversing over three miles with 1,000 feet of elevation gain. They doubled that feat the following year, climbing Mount Ascutney in Vermont at age five, covering over six miles with 2,300 feet of elevation gain.
“Being so little and completing these big hikes, they always receive lots of positive feedback from the mostly adult hikers who are impressed with such little kids being able to make these climbs, many being rugged hikes with rock scrambles. We always joke that the boys are part mountain goat,” says their mother, Nicole Stevens. Given their natural enjoyment of climbing, the family decided together to set a goal of climbing the highest summit in every New England State. When Jagger and Cody were six, the Stevens’ climbed Bear Mountain in Connecticut, and just this August completed their mission by climbing Mt. Kathadin in Maine.
The twins’ father, Jeb Stevens, has always had a passion for the outdoors, and has certainly instilled the thirst for adventure in Jagger and Cody. Not only is he in charge of planning his family’s adventures, he also helps his sons train so they are able to complete these major hikes with ease. Watching his children become more fit and capable hikers and athletes is what inspired Jeb to open a unique outdoor fitness coaching business called Wild Spirit Fitness. Based out of Haddam, Jeb’s goal with Wild Spirit Fitness is to help people improve their physical vitality through cardiovascular and strength training in natural settings.
Jeb has often been sought out for advice on how parents can get their own children more interested in the outdoors, what gear they need for a camping trip, or how to organize a wilderness backpacking excursion. So now Wild Spirit Fitness has expanded to offer assistance with every aspect of adventure planning. Individuals, families, or groups can strike out into nature with confidence, and enjoy a personalized, worry-free outdoor experience of their own.
And now that Jagger and Cody have successfully completed their goal of climbing to the highest summit in each New England state (Bear Mountain in CT, Mount Mansfield in VT, Jerimoth Hill in RI, Mount Washington in NH, Mount Greylock in MA, and Mount Katahdin in Maine), they eagerly set a new goal for themselves. They plan to hike all the Presidentials in the White Mountains, as well as New England’s “Fifty Finest,” which consists of the 50 most prominent peaks in New England. The boys have already checked off several from the list, and they show no signs of slowing down. They are already asking if someday they can hike Mount Everest. Jagger and Cody may be small, but they have big goals and the drive to achieve them.
Photo courtesy of Nicole Stevens.