When I look back on my life and think about all of the different times that I have gone through difficult trials or heart ache of any kind, I see that throughout time, I have evolved into a person who prefers to find my solace in the outdoors. It comes naturally to me there and gives me a sense of peace that I am only able to find there. When I get busy in life and don't make time to go for a trail run or a hike, I notice a difference in my attitude and the way that I feel internally. It's almost like a disconnect and I know that I need to make time to go be in the mountains. In my twenties and early thirties, I tried to escape my problems by drinking them away. I wanted to numb my pain and forget about it or I just wanted to go out and have fun at the bar and would end up getting sick almost every single time. I began to notice that every time something bad happened to me, it was usually a repercussion of me being in a blurry state of mind. So after years of living that type of life, I realized it wasn't doing any good for any part of my life. My heart wasn't healing positively, my soul wasn't being nourished and getting what she needed and I was destroying my mind one brain cell at a time. I knew that I needed a change and so I changed everything. Where I lived, my lifestyle, my job and I left it all with a severely broken heart that I knew was going to take awhile to heal.
I have always been a lover of the Outdoors. I grew up traveling from Iowa and Oklahoma to Colorado twice a year to visit grandparents in Evergreen and Salida, Colorado. My parents would take our cute family of 9 camping in the beautiful Colorado Rockies in the summers. That instilled a deep love in my heart for the mountains and I have always considered myself a mountain girl. From a young age, I always had the desire to rock climb, backpack, camp and hike, even though at a young age, I would complain when my dad would take us for hikes:) Luckily, I didn't end up hating it. I dated a guy who knew I loved to run and he introduced me to trail running. That quickly stole my heart and I developed a deep love for being outside on the trail instead of in the gym on a treadmill. I wanted to be on the trail everyday. I am so thankful for that time in my life because it has brought me to where I am today. My love for the Outdoors has been the medicine for my soul that I had been looking for. It has helped get me through many difficult moments in my life when I needed something, anything to get me through those times. With that being said, everyday, whether amazing or not, I need the mountains or nature in some form or another in my life. It grounds me. It reminds me to live simply and enjoy the little things. I find beauty in everything outside. Some of my very favorite pictures that I have taken are from hikes or trail runs that I've been on. I find hearts in raindrops on leaves and I know that Nature is showing me that love is all around us. That we need to be open to it and that we need to find that love within ourselves before we can ever find it with anyone else. I see reflections in water on rocks that give me an alternative view and perspective to something I wouldn't have seen otherwise.
Nature will teach you so much if you will just listen and participate in her lessons. "The mountains are my playground and Nature is my true love." These are my words and I live by them. I have gotten to know who I truly am by being in Nature. I have developed a love and respect for myself the past couple of years that nobody can ever take away from me by spending time alone kayaking or walking/running the trails and exploring by myself, slowly gaining confidence by going on unfamiliar territory and pushing past my fear of being alone outside. I didn't want to wait for someone to take me with them, so I just started going alone. That was the best remedy for my broken heart. I am constantly impressed by what I see here in this magnificent place. It blows me away that this is my backyard. The Wasatch Front is constantly showing off for me and every person who gets out and explores what she has to offer. We have the best playground ever. The trails, rivers, lakes and places to climb and backpack are endless. I am grateful everyday for my love for the mountains and for Mother Nature. She will soothe your soul and rejuvenate your spirit if you will let Her. She doesn't care what you are going through or what you have done. She doesn't judge. She is just there for you. She will calm you, heal you and make you a better person every single time you leave Her presence. She knows what She is doing. So whether you are backpacking, hiking, kayaking, river rafting, camping, snowboarding/skiing, trail running, climbing, fishing, whatever your groove is, take some time to be alone in Nature and just be still. Listen to your heart and listen to what Mother Nature has to say to you. Watch and observe, the show is always pretty and you will walk away sometimes with your mind completely and totally blown. You will push yourself past limits you had no idea you were capable of and you will hold your head a little taller and little more proud. What I have learned is that I will take my body, heart and soul for a walk in the woods, out for a paddle on a lake or for a run in the mountains any day to find solace that is healthy and lasting over trying to drown out the noise that life sometimes brings to us. It's nice to figure out your life in a real, natural, fulfilling way. It might take awhile, but you will eventually make sense of it all. Most of all, you yourself will make sense and you will learn to love yourself for everything that you are. Flaws and all. Love Tress, xxoo
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