It’s been four years since Amy started her daily outdoor habit. In this episode of her weekly outdoor diary, Amy reflects on how keeping that habit has not just influenced her, but impacted the people around — her friends, family and even you.

[:28] How it all began

[1:40] The impact of four years outside

[2:16] Heading outside as a spouse

[2:59] Spending time outside as a parent

[4:08] How heading outside impacts those around us

When Amy first started her outdoor challenge it wasn’t to inspire anyone but herself to make getting into nature a daily habit. It wasn’t even because she had found heading outside to be so transformative she had to do it every day. Originally, the 20 minute daily challenge was born of a question: how would her life change if she went outside for a certain amount of time every day for a year?

The experiment started September 1, 2017. And there at the beginning was Amy’s friend Holly Wise, helping her develop the concept just as she had for all of Amy’s big ideas since 2004.

Today, four years after starting her experiment hundreds and hundreds of hours outside as part of her daily practice Amy and Holly discuss what Amy has learned over the course of her habit — and what you can learn, too.

[2:42] Amy’s favorite outdoor space

[4:37] A question no one is asking

[5:47] What Amy has learned over the last four years

[9:02] Was this a surprise?

[12:00] The importance of incremental changes

[16:24] How doing hard things outside helps with life inside

[20:45] How she gets herself to do hard things

[31:49] The stories we tell ourselves and why they matter

[37:49] The going outside pep talks

[49:02] Amy’s relationship with nature

[51:28] Amy’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[55:51] Amy’s favorite outdoor moment

Even in summer in Alaska it can be hard to make yourself do things outside when inside life is calling or the outside isn’t exactly what you want it to be. So how do you get yourself out there?

In this episode of Humans Outside’s Outdoor Diary Amy talks through three situations she recently faced where she didn’t want to go outside, and thinks through what it takes to get out anyway.

[:28] Deciding to make an effort

[2:43] The Lost Lake Race

[4:43] Worth it

[6:11] How do you take risks?

[7:14] Awareness

Do you love where you live? If you’ve been listening to Humans Outside you know Amy loves her small town, Palmer Alaska. But she hasn’t always lived there — or loved it.

In this episode Amy reflects on how spending time outside has helped her love where she lives, and why that matters.

[:30] Do you love where you live?

[1:37] Palmer, Alaska

[3:14] The Alaska State Fair

[5:17] Where to find Humans Outside

When trauma or difficult events seep into your life, it’s easy to get angry or sad — and hard to process them. Thanks to some advice from a past podcast guest, this week Amy hit the great outdoors to process some tough stuff going on, and use nature as a “container” for that work.

[:26] Some current events and emotions

[1:46] Using the outdoors as a safe place

[3:23] Brainstorming outside

[4:30] Changing seasons

[4:56] Where to find Humans Outside

When Amy headed outside to run again in January following a rehab time from her September surgery, she had one goal: get ready for the Resurrection Pass 100 ultra trail race. Crazy? Maybe.

The race was July 30, and while it didn’t go exactly as Amy hoped it would, she learned plenty about herself, nature and doing hard things along the way.

[:26] Amy’s slightly neurotic, yet productive, schedule

[1:25] Trying something new

[2:20] The race

[6:00] A different achievement

[6:49] The small wins

When a podcast guest for the upcoming Humans Outside Season 4 suggested a new outdoor tradition she has with her kids, Amy knew she had to do it. Now that it’s in the bag, she’s got one thought on how to make it better: focus.

[:27] A brilliant idea

[1:47] A new tradition

[2:30] Visiting Seward with David

[3:21] Camping with Huck

[4:00] Lessons for next time

We talk about all of the benefits of heading outside and the things you can learn there, but what can it teach you about your relationships?

In this episode Amy ponders the surprising lesson conquering tough things outside has given her about her marriage to her husband, Luke.

[:26] Letting your brain be bored

[1:12] The stories we tell ourselves

[2:47] Amy and Luke

[5:10] How to connect with Humans Outside

Have you ever stopped to think about the stories you tell yourself about who you are in the world — or about how they change how you approach time in nature?

Amy’s been thinking about how her perception of herself as “not that outdoorsy” has hindered her ability to enjoy nature as much as she could be. Hear about her journey to this point and why confronting these internal narratives matters.

[:30] A fact about Amy you might not believe

[:40] What’s been on her mind

[1:30] The story of who she used to be

[2:43] Luke’s attempts to get Amy outside (not good)

[3:15] What got us outside

[4:15] What happens when you like something too much

[5:22] Humans Outside’s original tagline

[5:32] Why Amy has trouble seeing herself as outdoorsy

[5:45] Why this matters