When I was growing up, I didn’t have a ton of exposure to outdoorsy activities. I played sports, we went to the beach, but I didn’t spend a lot of time in the natural world. The woods, mountains, rivers – these were all foreign entities, things I read about in books but didn’t explore in real life.
I credit AmeriCorps with inspiring me to love the natural world. Ever since my first year of AmeriCorps, I’ve been an avid outdoors enthusiast. And now, Tee and I live right by a gorgeous river and like to venture into the woods on the weekends for some #body and #soul nourishment.
Nowadays, I can’t imagine my life without my love of the outdoors. Today was a perfect example – Tee and I rushed home after market, quickly changed into our swimsuits, crammed our tubes into the car, and drove to Deer Creek to go tubing. Excellent #heart, #body, and #soul food!
I remember a brief conversation I had with my brother last year, when he, self-deprecatingly laughing to himself, asked me, “So what is tubing?” He laughed more when I explained that tubing is, literally, taking a tube to a body of water, usually a river, sitting in the tube, and floating.
Yup. That’s it.
This was hysterical, even more so because I remember having a similar moment in college. When I moved to Boston for undergrad, I met friends from all around the country, many of whom originated in areas where outdoorsy activities were commonplace. They talked about “going hiking.” They’d “go for a hike” outside the city over the weekend. I imagined them with tools -machetes – forging their way through the wilderness. I imagined them scaling walls, climbing un-climbable mountains.
It’s strange to think back to a time when I didn’t have a love of the woods, mountains, and rivers. When it comes to balance, the natural world is an incredible tool – utilizing your body to engage in outdoor activities, with friends, offering your soul a break from the chaos of everyday life in the peace of nature. Spending time in nature can often be #mind food for me, too; Tee and I used to hike down to the river every Sunday morning with our coffees, our journals, and our books, and spend hours next to a little waterfall, engaged and content.
Things have been a little stressful lately; the wait is wearing on both of us. Which makes my quest for balance even more important; there needs to be time for work and play, for mind and heart, for body and soul.