I love the outdoors. I think over the years I’ve forgotten that part of myself. My childhood was spent running through 40 acres of forest with our German shepherd. I had a pink bike that I would ride full-speed through the woods … like some kind of high-topped, blonde-haired, bat out of hell. I’m sure my parents thought I’d end up in the ER with a broken limb at some point but miraculously, I never did.

I spent many hours by myself paddling our metal canoe from one side of the lake to the other, looking through the murky water at the fish and turtles. Growing up in the middle of nowhere cultivated something in me that I want to inspire in my own children … imagination, independence, and a certain fearlessness.

Somewhere between ages 13 and 30, I lost myself. I forgot the best parts of me. Where did that strong girl go? My priorites changed, my attitude changed, and my outlook changed. Now I have my own little boy and I keep thinking that I want him to experience digging in the mud and riding a bike as fast as it can go. I think that is one of the blessings of having a child … it forces you to remember what is really important to you. What gives you life. What gives you the energy you need to LIVE that life.

Now that I’m 30 I’ve started to return to my roots. I don’t know if this is a natural evolution or simply a concious decision to be a happier, healthier person. Being outside rejuventates my spirit in a way that I can’t explain. I’ve spent too many hours of my life holed up in classrooms and now, in my mauve cubicle at work under florescent lights. As of … RIGHT NOW … I’m going to spend more time outside enjoying everything that life has to offer. Me and the Toddler are going to make some mudpies.

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