Twenty-five years ago, I left home to be a ski bum in Big Sky, Montana for a year. I knew in my heart that there was a whole world out there yet to be explored and the mountains were calling.
When I was a young, I was a perceptive little girl and figured out that being outside amongst nature made me happy. I used to spend summer days, and after school evenings outside. When I look back and think about my childhood, I remember this:
- Walks with my folks around the block or parks
- Riding my bike all over the neighborhood
- Playing backyard ball with the neighbor kids
- Making up games in the dirt
- Catching fireflies
- Lazy afternoons laying on the house sized rock in the backyard
- Climbing trees
When I moved away from Ohio and ventured west, I had no idea the great outdoors would become a huge part of my life. That summer in Big Sky, I explored the area every day. I would work in the Huntley Lodge dining room serving breakfast, then head to the local trails, investigating new territory. The mountain views sold me, but the crystal clear streams along side the endless paths of wildflowers held me.
This is when I learned to bring the outside within. The lessons Mother Nature provided me were vast. Going outdoors prepared was one of them. Packing your rain jacket, water, food and emergency supplies were key to not getting your butt handed to you in the backcountry. Summer thunderstorms would show up sometimes in minutes leaving you feeling cold, and like a dripping wet rag if you didn’t have your rain gear.
I found solace, and calming properties when I returned from an adventure. As a young girl in her early twenties roaming around the wilderness with friends and sometimes alone, brought a new level of fearlessness or maybe naivety. Going alone was never my first choice, but I slowly made peace with it. I didn’t let fear stop me. The feeling of empowerment that I gained by just going for it was overwhelming. Some days I would wander aimlessly into the backcountry and realize that I had hiked around five or six miles. Then, the rude awakening would come with short food and water supply and have to go back. Hence, came my lessons in being prepared.
Bringing the outside within materializes in me when I spend time on trails in nature and inherently soak in the calming healing qualities. Mother Nature is stoic and delicate at the same time and I learned to lean on her for support when my emotional health was weakening. Returning from a hike or walk outside would leave me feeling refreshed and less stressed. Nine times out of ten, I came back with a clear head, renewed clarity and more creativity.
Thankfully, I discovered these lessons at a young age and carried them with me to middle age. Moving to the mountains was undeniably a natural fit for me. The outdoors made me take charge of my life as I embraced the trials Mother Nature provided me. They became life lessons in managing my day-to-day situations by being adaptable, resilient and persistent.
The great outdoors is a secure space where I can go and know I will leave transformed and empowered to embrace life head on.
Go forth with no fear and Be Well!
About Diana – Owner of Your Adventure Rx
Ladies, if you thought you couldn’t do it, think again. If you hang out with us for too long you’ll start believing in yourself and leave knowing you can accomplish anything. Diana is an Adventurer, Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS), worked as professional outdoor recreation educator for people with and without disabilities for the last 20 years, traveled to over 20 countries and is also certified in Wilderness First Aid. She climbed many mountain peaks, biked numerous trails and paddled all around the world.