Outdoor Diary: When You Don’t Want to Go Outside? That’s When You Should

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Outdoor Diary: When You Don’t Want to Go Outside? That’s When You Should

Bad attitudes and not feeling like doing something are just a part of life. So is facing conditions or circumstances that aren’t fun or pleasant. And when it comes to those things being a part of your outdoor habit? There is a reason you should move into them head-on and do the thing anyway.

Amy’s been thinking about two reasons that’s true as she battles through some of her own bad attitude feelings, and talks about them in this episode of Humans Outside.

Some of the good stuff:

[:45] A Spring-ish confession

[1:20] What “over it” means right now

[2:30] Why this is when you need to be out there

[2:50] The muscle you build when you get out there

[3:40] The outside time you’ll absolutely regret

Connect with this episode:

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

I will be the first to admit that I’ve had a bad attitude recently about my outdoor time. As excited as I am to see the weather starting to warm just a little, the very first signs of the first buds on the Cottonwood trees peeping out, the ice melted into giant ruts on my street and the sun hitting that part in the ski that hints at spring, I’m also feeling Over It. I’m over all of it in its own way.

For weeks I’ve been mostly choosing the treadmill when, if I really wanted to, I could take the run outside. I found other outdoor plans for my family rather than ski into a cabin for a final winter cabin adventure of the season. It just sounded too hard, too much.

Luke and I headed down to our largest ski resort in the state, Alyeska, for another date day skiing only to find it 38 degrees and pouring rain. If you’ve ever skied in pouring rain you don’t need me to tell you how unfun that is. Ski gear, while designed to be water resistant, is not typically designed to be soaked by rain and therefore waterproof. We got soaked to the bone and cold and, despite the three hour round trip drive, called it quits after only an hour of skiing. In fact, a skiing app that tracks your runs informed me that I spent a mere 13 minutes actually skiing down slopes, with the rest of the time shivering in a lift. At least the drive there and back was pretty.

As I drove to the ski area this weekend to practice my new-to-me-winter sport for the year, skate-style cross country or nordic skiing, really wishing I was back at home getting chores done or reading or, frankly, doing anything but driving to the ski area, it occurred to that this was the moment that I really, really NEEDED to be out there.

That’s because of two simple things I’ve learned over my more than 1,600 days outside.

First, practice makes perfect. It’s a cliche, but it rings true. When I face times that I don’t want to go outside and do it anyway, I build that muscle we so often talk about and practice the resilience that allows me to face other challenges inside and outside head on. By going outside when I’m just not feeling it I put myself in a position to learn what that’s like and to understand that, yes, I can do hard things, even if those hard things aren’t actually hard. Even if they are simply the result of my own grumpy attitude. And when I learn that while doing something that doesn’t actually have any broader consequences for my life — no financial or success risks at work, no interpersonal conflict, just me against me — I am better prepared to do things that DO have consequences.

Second — and this one is so simple but marvelous, it’s almost hard to believe it’s true. The only outside time you regret is the time you don’t do. Which is to say, I’ve never regretted going outside as a whole. Sometimes I regret MOMENTS while I’m out there, like the moment last week when somehow I fell forehead first while practicing skiing, and now have a very face rash from the ice to prove it. But I cannot remember one outside time that I actually regretted. I cannot remember one time that I went outside, and then later thought “wow that was a waste.”

And of course — of course — that was my experience when I got to the ski area and put in the time on the trails. It was a great day to ski, I only wiped out one time, and while it was a challenge because I’m still not very good at it, it was the best kind of challenge. Shocking no one, I was actually glad I went.

Listen. Not every outdoor moment is created equal. And bad attitudes and not wanting to get out there happen. It’s just a part of life. But making the conscious decision to overcome those things will serve you well in other parts of your life, too. Hunt for the good even in 38 and raining on a soaked-through date day, and you will find it. Heading outside has helped teach me that, and I hope it shows you that, too.

If you want to see pictures of my outdoor time, including that very rainy ski date, you can check out my photos on Facebook and Instagram. I post at least one photo every single day, and have since September 1, 2017. I want to see your outdoor photos too. Share them with #humansoutside365.

Until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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