Being outside is truly one of the greatest gifts. The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of being active and enjoying nature are unbelievable. Yet, I believe often our experiences outside are hindered. That is, our goals are very narrow sighted. Ski this line, summit this mountain, reach this lake, then go home. That’s what I do most the time-and that’s great! Get out there and get stuff done. However, slow down a little. Instead of barreling full speed ahead to get that objective done, look around. Really search your surroundings and think deeply about the world around you. You share this earth with some truly amazing organisms. These flora and fauna inhabit the places we seek to explore. They are the true masters of the land. Enduring the elements, traversing brutal terrain, and surviving on limited food sources. That’s a normal day for the plants and animals that we encounter on every adventure. It’s beautiful. I’m reminded of this arctic fox kit, who I stumbled across on a hike to a light house (I have a previous post regarding this journey). I was so determined to get to that light house, that I almost missed this incredible creature. One who so easily lives in the conditions I was complaining about. A living, breathing creature that looked at me with question and intelligence. I was truly moved by this experience, and I encourage you seek similar experiences.
On your next brutal approach, take a second, lay down and observe what’s under your feet, touch the plants and admire the tiny world crawling around. Next time your find yourself 10 pitches up a climb and see a Pika prance by with ease, remember you’re no more badass than that ridiculously adorable rodent (I’ve got a Pika bias).
Observe, respect, and be inspired.
P.S. To everyone who spends the time to read what I have to say, thank you! My single goal is to improve my own skill and encourage/inspire. love you all!