No matter what part of the country or world you are in, the transition of February into March has the outdoors calling us out of hibernation to play. Incorporating nature into your everyday fitness routine is one way to keep you motivated and on a healthy track.
Throughout my weight loss journey, I craved to be a part of nature. Prior to beginning my commitment to my goal, the outdoors made me feel like an outsider. I was admittedly intimidated by the thought of being part of the rest of the world in their journey through nature and vital health. I soon realized, it was me that was putting up those interior walls and the trees, lakes and streams were beckoning me to join them. Nature is for everyone, no matter what your size or shape. I counted my blessings and put on an old sorority T-shirt, and I am embarrassed to say, stirrup pants, laced up my sneakers and headed outdoors.
Then, I lived in the Philadelphia area and took advantage of walking along the Wissahickon Trail which is part of Fairmount Park, America’s oldest and largest urban park. They’ve done a nice job there at preserving that area complete with trinkets of history such as covered bridges. I noticed a quiet reflection yet steadfast determination in my mood as I soaked in the sounds of the waterfalls cascading over the rocks and celebrated each and every time I passed a mile marker.
My journeys were sometimes met with resistance and naysayers, not knowing how much weight I already lost or how I went an extra half a mile that day. I can remember an elderly man named Henry who basically called me fat towards the end of my walk one day, completely bursting my bubble of accomplishment. I did not let that deter me and soon the stirrup pants were way too big and I needed to find something other than my beloved sorority letters to wear while walking.
Now in Phoenix, not only have my matching outfits and sneakers changed, so has my terrain. Streams are now desert and fall leaves replaced by cactus. I now don’t always stick to the same path and go off trail with my fiancé.