It’s a well known fact about me that I love the outdoors, just about anything and everything having to do with it. Call me a hippy at heart – nothing is better than walking barefoot through the grass with a gorgeous blue sky above, big white puffy clouds floating past, with the sun, radiant, warming my skin. NOTHING. I find peace and connect with God the most while in nature, especially when I need guidance. A run through the neighborhood or a walk in the park always helps me to connect, to find solutions to my problems, and if there are no solutions it helps me to at least find peace within.
It began when I was young. I always played outside: on the swing-set, climbing trees, in our sandbox in the back yard, riding my bike all over the neighborhood (and secretly, the neighborhoods surrounding, although I was never supposed to go that far), rolling down grassy hills, playing in the mud. I was not afraid to get dirty, and my legs are scarred from all the spills I took. I hated having to play inside, rain was my enemy.
My connection of God and nature started when I was young, too. I remember sometimes my Mom would take us to the playground behind our house. Before I could swing on my own, Mom would push my sisters and I and as we reached our toes as high as we could she’d tell us to say hi to our uncle, her brother, Alfred (who is in heaven). During thunderstorms when my sisters and I would be scared she’d tell us it was just Alfred bowling in heaven, to not worry. In 2005 I was 17 and my Grandma passed away, my mom’s mom. It was devestating, but I knew she was in heaven with her son. Every thunderstorm since makes me think she and him are bowling in heaven together (my Grandma was an avid bowler, she even paid for my two sisters and I to get lessons.) I found myself looking to the sky talking to my Grandma whenever I needed help – tears streaming down my face, walking home alone in the dark, or just feeling lonely – I’d look to the sky and I’d talk to her outloud. My Grandma was a practicing Catholic and since her death I have always associated talking to her like talking to God. While my relationship with God has improved, I used to feel like I couldn’t talk to him or pray to him, so I’d talk to my Grandma and ask her to tell God everything I told her.
It just about kills me to admit I’m stuck in my office writing this while outside it’s sunny and warm. I want to be outside, it’s such a tease gazing out the window! Thankfully daylight savings has begun and when I leave work at 5 the sun shines for more than an hour, I can’t wait until it begins to get dark at 8:30.
Because it’s not as socially acceptable for me to run around like a crazy child anymore, I feel as though I don’t spend as much time outdoors as I’d like to. I began playing disc golf with my boyfriend last year and I find that super enjoyable because there is a lot of walking (and sometimes trekking up and down hills) involved, usually it goes through some sort of woods (trees, my favorite!), and it takes at least ~2 hours to make it through the course if it’s not super busy. It’s a wonderful way to be outside and active. However there are many more outdoor activities I find myself wanting to do, yet I don’t. I want to go hiking, and every weekend I think to myself “lets go to the mountains!” yet nothing has happened thus far. I used to run far more than I do now, yet I don’t find it as enjoyable anymore which disappoints me and keeps me from doing it at all. I’d really like to try rock-climbing/scaling but I’m not sure how to get into it or if I have enough upper-body strength to do it. I’m hoping this year my boyfriend and I will get the summer pass to the White Water Rafting Center so we can take advantage of kayaking and zipling and such that the center has to offer. I LOVE camping, yet I haven’t since last year.
I’m full of excuses for why I haven’t been proactive in these activities I’d like to learn and take part in and that’s why, starting today, I’m done with excuses. This is going to be a Spring/Summer/Fall filled with outdoor activities and sports. My goals for this Summer include (but are certainly not limited to, as I plan to continue thinking of things to add to this list):
– Hike at least 3 trails.
– Summer pass to WWRC and trying all the activities: Water (whitewater rafting, flatwater kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, war canoes, whitewater kayaking) Land (canyon crossing, canyon zip, rock climbing, mountain biking, mega zip, mega jump, adventure course, climb 2 zip, eco trekking, the trail system).
– Go camping at least 3 times.
– Picnic at least 2 times.
– Lay out a blanket at the park and read.
– Visit the Grand Canyon or Rocky Mountains (!!!!!!!)
– Go tubing on a river somewhere.
– Go to as many outdoor concerts as possible.
I’m sure this list will be ever changing and evolving but I think it’s a good start for me.