There’s something both comforting and amazing about the way nature takes the reigns no matter what happens. During a recent walk in the woods, I saw startling new growth on top of recent harm, and it was just the reminder I needed about nature’s power to reclaim itself and me.

Maybe it’s a reminder you need, too.


[00:23] Here’s what I did outside this week

[00:35] Nature just out there healing its own self

[01:37] Here’s where I face the music

[02:32] And here’s what I saw when I did

[04:03] Oh yeah, nature heals people, too

No matter how you define “hard,” heading outside offers plenty of chances to tackle it. Many people who choose to tackle hard stuff outside are pushed to do so to honor some kind of “why.”

For some of us, that “why” is health or to push our own personal boundaries. For others, the “why” is on behalf of someone else.

Ultrarunner Emily Halnon’s “why” has everything to do with her mom, who died from an aggressive form of cancer in early 2020. To honor her she headed out to tackle a major challenge running on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It’s a story she’s now shared in her new book “To The Gorge.”

Through her journey she learned the power of moving through hard stuff. In this episode you’ll hear Emily share the things she’s learned through that journey and how you can make yourself do hard things outside, too.

[4:06] Emily Halnon’s favorite outdoor space

[5:36] How Emily became someone who likes to go outside

[7:05] How Emily’s mom inspired her running career

[10:29] All about Andrea Halnon’s adventurous life

[15:27] The grief and grit in running across Oregon

[22:37] How to get mentally tough to prepare for a mega run

[30:01] Why hard stuff outside helps us prepare for life’s challenges.

[33:04] The internal dialogue of pushing through the tough stuff

[35:07] Why it’s not a bad thing to feel a little scared

[36:39] Emily’s favorite outdoor moment

There’s something special about the way spring sounds in Alaska.

Maybe it’s how dramatic the experience is as compared to the sounds of winter. Maybe it’s that they’re happy sounds that I can hear through my windows. Maybe it’s that the weather is so much nicer than it had been, that I’m outside more to hear sounds at all.

Whatever the reason, I’m loving the outdoor symphony. Here’s what I’ve been noticing.

Listen now.

[00:35] I’m feeling really grateful for my ears
[00:52] Here’s the source of my leaning into my senses challenge
[01:46] The sounds of spring are basically the best
[02:02] Here’s a few examples
[02:26] Birds, birds, birds.
[03:31] Not birds but still souds
[04:04] OK, winter has sounds, too

I do it to myself and over and over again. That feeling of overwhelm sneaks right in, and it’s entirely because of my own poor choices.

(You would think I’d learn my lesson, but I have not.)

So when the going gets crowded, what do I do? I think you’re probably going to guess. But the wild thing is just how much adding more of it to my schedule helps.

Listen now.


[00:23] Yeah, OK I do this to myself

[01:17] We know the signs — truly

[01:32] Maybe I could do this before

[02:25] This is the part where we come up with a solution

[02:43] When, in fact, the real solution is this one that doesn’t make any sense.

[03:33] The reason it helps? Priorities.

I used to hear friends talk about the crazy wonderful things they were spotting outside and wonder how it was I was missing out. Why didn’t I see that stuff? Were they trying harder? Going places I didn’t want to go? Getting up in tbe middle of the night to do it?

And then one day I stumbled upon their secret by accident. And now that I’ve figured out the trick to seeing wonders outside, I just can’t stop.

  • It’s not that hard
  • It doesn’t take any extra work
  • It does take intention

Listen now!

[00:35] Yes, I’m an early riser

[01:32] This morning experience changed my perspective

[02:12] All I had to do was take this step

[02:31] Yes, I missed stuff

[03:03] But now I see this stuff, too