Outdoor Diary: Adapting and Finishing With Pride + Our Van Name

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As promised, we have received names for our new camper van based on our your suggestions — and picked a winner. But before we go there, we have to talk about Amy’s new challenge. 

That’s right, not despite having surgery but rather because of that, Amy needs a new challenge. But what is “challenge?” And how does a challenge differ person to person? And how does doing something with purpose impact it?

Some of the good stuff:

[:52] The Marine Corps Marathon

[2:12] Amy’s new goal

[3:10] What is a challenge?

[4:22] The new van name

[5:20] This week’s Outdoor Hero

Connect with this episode:

Here’s an edited transcript of this installment of Amy’s Outdoor Diary on The Humans Outside Podcast. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts. 


It’s the Outdoor Diary you’ve all been waiting for — In just a few minutes here I’ll announce the name for our new camper van submitted by one of YOU. 


But first, I want to talk about something a little more serious and especially top of mind for me as I continue to navigate this injury and recovery — adapting to challenges and life when things don’t go your way. 


As you know, I tore my labrum in my hip and had surgery to fix it — and the road to full recovery is months long. I’m just over three weeks in. And recovery is hard work. I FEEL like I’m not doing anything, but by the end of the day I am so stinking tired. 


Still, I think we all know by now that I cannot function without a goal in play. And thus. 


Now, a little bit more background. I have run the Marine Corps Marathon 4 times – twice “just” running it, once running it while carrying a flag and once doing the 50k. I do the race with the wear blue: run the remember group, which you can hear about in the first season of the podcast in episode 20 with co-founder Lisa Hallett. And I typically run to honor a fallen service member. This year when it was announced that the in-person marathon was going virtual, I registered for that, too — and then found out I needed surgery. 

But the mission of movement as a way to process grief, as a way to honor the fallen and as a way to honor their sacrifice by living life the best you can and pushing yourself does not stop. And I just can’t handle the idea that the Marine Corps Marathon would come and go without me. 


However, I think we all know that I cannot in any way to do anything for 26.2 miles right now. No way. But over the last few weeks as I was contemplating ways I could still participate and earn my medal. “Run with purpose, finish with pride,” the Marine Corps Marathon people say. I want to do those things. 


So I realized that while I absolutely cannot run, walk or even crutch for 26 miles at one time, I most definitely can do it piecemeal, broken up over many days. After all, if you’re dedicating purposeful miles in an effort to finish pride, well, doesnt that count in a way?

So that’s what I’m doing. I’ve challenged myself to walk — and by walk I mean largely crutch — a mile a day for 26 days. I’m not running with the Marines — Im crutching with the Marines. Even if means I am breaking the mile into chunks over the day, I’m going to do it. My main job is to heal, so that comes first. But I can be purposeful around that. I can adapt and overcome. 


And this decision got me thinking about the nature of challenges and the mindset with which we tackle them. What is a pretty big challenge for me right now — even going a mile — is probably not a challenge to you. What was not a challenge to me in the past — going 15 miles — is a challenge to other people. 


A “challenge,” in short, is not defined by the parameters of the event. It is defined by the person participating. A challenge is subjective. But what really matters, what really makes a difference, is an attitude of resilience, purpose and fortitude. 


I’ve got this. You’ve got this. We’ve all got this. Whatever it might be. If a challenge is heading outside for a full 20 minutes at a time — and let’s be honest, depending on so many factors that is a huge challenge to any one of us on any give day — tackle it the best way you can. If a challenge is going a mile over the course of waking hours, do what you can, with what you have. Look at what’s in front of you, adapt, overcome and, as the Marine Corps Marathon says: run with purpose, finish with pride.


OK but enough waxing philosophical. Let’s talk about something more fun: VAN NAMES. Now, you remember that we just bought a camper van. It is not lovely. But the price was right. And you’ll remember that people love to name their vans. I don’t know why, exactly, but it’s a thing and it’s fun. 


Yet the brain collective here in the Bushatz household was feeling a little hard up for ideas. And so we asked our listeners what they think — and offered a prize of TWO Humans Outside decals to the first person to suggest the name we love. 

And the winner is …. Ben Armstrong with the name “Vanimal.” This van, henceforth known as the Vanimal, is an animal if there ever was one. I’m going to give a runner up gift to Skye Tyler, who suggested the “Taj Ma’haul,” playing off the way we refer to our huge tent as the “Taj,” because that’s really funny and word play is my favorite. 


Outdoor hero this week? You know, just a person or product that has made the outdoors the best — it’s the season to talk about my Bogs boots again. These rain boots are perfect for those in-between season when it’s chilly and rainy but not snow boot weather. They’ve been keeping my feet warm on some very wet outdoor time recently, and I appreciate them.


Thanks to everyone who submitted and van names, and I know you’ll be watching for stories and photos of us adventuring in the Vanimal soon. And of course you know where you can find those — on the Humans Outside Instagram or Facebook pages! The same place you can see pictures of me on my daily HumansOutside365 and crutching the MCM. Oh, and don’t forget to share and tag your own photos with #humansoutside365. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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