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The Power of the Outdoors

I have grown up with a love of the outdoors. Dirt, bugs, plants and all manner of critters were a normal part of life since before I can remember (there is picture proof). Nature formed my personal religion, acted as my reprieve to the chaos and stressors of life and became another way I challenged myself.

It was about six years ago that I started to notice small changes in my body. I was not acutely aware of the what or the why, just that things were not going as usual. I have always had the no pain, no gain mentality. Toeing the line of my physical limits was a routine part of my existence. Whether it was running long distances, biking farther, skiing harder or any range of physical activity, a part of me always wanted to see just how far I could go. My body was a tool, to be sculpted and developed, the outdoors were the testing ground. But my body started to fail, in subtle ways at first (hindsight is 20-20), then eventually in scary ways, ways that jeopardized my safety in the activities I enjoyed participating in.

 

The journey for answers could inhabit its own novel and is still a daily effort, but eventually they started to come. Autoimmune disease imposed what I saw as limitation at first, but slowly, over the years, I have continued to explore what my life now means with it. I have been lucky to have incredible support from my family, friends and an unbelievably patient and compassionate partner. One thing remains constant though I journey through this new adventure, and that is the power of the outdoors. The power to find peace and to test myself. To dream and to learn.





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