"For me, outdoor exercise is simply an escape hatch. My running shoes are a trap door I can sink my feet into whenever life gets too chaotic, which it consistently does.
Physical activity, particularly while breathing in fresh air, helps me put it all in perspective.There is something in the monotony of repeated movement that helps me both physically and mentally reset.
Getting my heart rate up eventually makes me feel good — after it's made me feel worse.
Somehow, though, even the feeling worse part is good. It's like the physical exertion matches the level of work demanded of me in life. When I can actually match that imagined pace, even during an activity that seems totally unrelated, it makes me feel like I'm working through something. I feel that sense of competency, and it brings me back into myself, one step at a time."
- Alli H.
Palmer, Alaska USA
Via When Life Gets Too Demanding, the Outdoors is an Escape Hatch
“First it was learning how to be in a wheelchair, then how to walk with a walker, then ski poles, then a cane. Every one of those obstacles is like a climbing problem. You have to learn how to do the moves, where to put the gear, and methodically think about it. If it’s a challenging route, it takes time. You don’t just get it on your first try. When you do get it, you ask ‘what’s next?’
"As my heart condition [microvascular myopathy] seems to have resolved itself, I’m now able to run again. But I’ve decided to continue with Nordic walking. Physical benefits aside, I love that it gives me time to enjoy the scenery, smell the flowers and have great conversations along the way. In fact, I believe in it so much that I’ve registered to become a certified instructor through Urban Poling. I can’t wait to share the benefits and enjoyment of Nordic walking with others.
“I had lost my connection, literally, to the earth...Now, the earth sent me this surge of energy, like lightning. It felt like it was saying, ‘Where have you been for the last 10 years? Welcome home.’”