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My favorite part of New Years is going through photos from the last year as a way to relive and enjoy all of my favorite memories. Since I take at least one photo outside every single day as part of my 20 minutes a day outdoor habit, that’s a lot of photos. And I’ve got literally years of this on my iphone, which is why I’m going to have to start going through them and deleting duplicates because, guys, almost 20,000 photos is a lot. But I digress.
Doing this every year reminds me of a few things. One of them is just how many different ways going outside has impacted my life. Before I started making heading into nature a purposeful, daily habit in 2017 I was most decidedly NOT someone who would purposefully spend hours and hours on a ski hill. I was not someone who would run on mountain ridges because I was not someone who would be interested in making the effort and taking the risk to get to the mountain ridge to start with.
I was not someone who would explore glaciers. I was not someone who would go ice climbing. I was not a person who tried new things on purpose. New things are risky. I like predictability. That is, until I started building that muscle for tackling news and taking risks. And now I am someone who likes predictability but who is also totally OK with trying something new … well most days, anyway.
Heading outside daily has made me a better version of me. Every day is a LOT of days – a lot of outside time, and a lot of minutes to be changed, even slowly. I used to be someone who HAD to do things quickly, just ask my childhood piano teacher and literally every other instructor or boss I’ve ever had. But when I was exposed to the pace of nature each day, I learned simply by being in it to, as cheesy as it sounds, enjoy the journey.
I can’t make things go my pace or my way through the force of my personality. I can work hard. But sometimes you just have to let nature be nature. And I cannot tell you how much learning that has helped me each and every day. What will be, will be. We can work hard and act responsibly. But nature shows us that some things are just out of our control. Whoa is it a relief to feel that.
I could go on and on about the ways heading outside has made me happier, healthier and, well, better. I think the best part, and the reason I started this podcast and sharing this challenge is that I’m worried that other people don’t know about this. It’s free and right outside the door. Why isn’t everyone going outside everyday? Why isn’t everyone making this commitment?
The answer is, of course, that it’s complicated. Barriers. Privilege. Education. We all have our own obstacles to overcome, and I know that. But it’s why I’m here to help and have been sharing this with for more than four years on Facebook and Instagram.
But I realized in early 2021, and it was that sometimes people just need an extra push, and I’m people.
So I created Challenge kits with goodies like finisher stickers and medals or a Humans Outside buff and decal, plus tons of help created by me for Challenge subscribers. It’s just an extra push that you might like or need. Plus everyone likes a reward at the end of a journey.
You can find out more about the Challenge on HumansOutside.com/challenge — and register there. With three subscription levels you can get exclusive help from me and whatever swag suits you best.
And if you don’t want to subscribe? The Humans Outside podcast is still here, still totally free. Heading outside every day is still there, still totally free. And I’m still here waiting for you to join me.
Of course you can see some of those 20,000 photos on Humans Outside on Facebook and Instagram. And please, post your photos too with #humansoutside365. We’re all in this together.
Until next time, I’ll see you out there!