Monday, January 26, 2015

Get You & the Kids Outside for Your Nature Prescription: A Dose of Nature a Day Keeps the Docs Away. From the Vault


Have you and your kids had your daily dose of the outdoors today?

You know when we’re on a hike. And we’re climbing up a single track path. Maybe surrounded by Aspen trees if we were, say, at 9,000+ft heading up a trail to an alpine lake in Colorado.

It’s late spring. And all around us are gentle, wispy wildflowers poking their delicate heads through the fresh, green grass. A group of birds, possibly mountain chickadees, flitter in leaves of the trees around us, tweeting out to each other. Chicka-dee-dee-dee-dee.

I call up to my friend I’m hiking with because we’ve popped out of the grove of aspens and I pause to take in the heart-stopping grandeur of our view. A babbling, rocky stream below cutting the valley, snow-topped 14ers jaggedy up high, and Electric Pass and a scree field in my footsteps’ future at my back. Each way I turn, as I break and sip from my Camelback and nibble my gorp, I am bombarded with the awe of Nature.

And I feel GOOD. My head is clear, my breath is challenged but strong, my body feels worked, like it was meant to Hunter & Gatherer style and some deep level of contentment is present. I feel GOOD.
 
Cathedral Lake Hike, Aspen, Colorado
I’m curious about this feeling, because it’s the same sort of GOOD I feel when we’ve spent a stormy day in deep powder on a Wasatch Mountain in Utah. Chatting with my friends, the conversation about our runs turns to words like “epic” “unbelievable” and there is a giddy, juiced, almost spiritually happy vibe flowing through the group.

Using our bodies as two legged plows, we carve through the fluffy snowpack, dodging trees and branches or floating down big, Western bowls. Flakes stick to our goggles, red, raw faces, we occasionally get engulfed by a tidal-wave of powder – spitting it out and hooting with joy at the same time. I feel GOOD.

A daily dose of this could be all we need.

And though the dose need not be as extreme as dangling off a cliff in Nepal or bungee jumping from a helicopter onto a snow covered mountain in the Alps, it could just be as simple as taking a few steps towards a green patch in our neighborhoods or wild backyards. Finding a space. Where we can feast our eyes on an emerald bush dotted with flowers, a sprawl of unkempt grass where I can take off my shoes and feel the scrubby scrub of the earth, or enjoy the simplicity of an intricate dandelion and its tiny little parachutes.

Where do you go to take your daily prescription of Nature? I can’t wait for my next dose.


Be. Breathe. Do it. – OM

For more information & related articles:

Note: This post was originally published on March 31, 2014. To start off 2015 with a bang and a reason and a reminder of why we all do this, i've decided to dust this off and bring it out into the January sunshine again. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I’m Excited to Announce 2015 Partnership with Outdoors Empowered Network – Giving Back to Organizations who Get Kids Outside


My daughter’s nine year old head pops out of the bright yellow, Teton Sports one man tent I’ve just set up. A huge smile on her face, we’re at a campground on Mt Tamalpais, San Francisco’s hovering green giant, a mountain playground for the Bay Area in California.  

We’re surrounded by camping gear: tents, sleeping bags, filters, dehydrated food, camping stoves, bug dope, s’mores makings, and dirt. Lots of dirt.

She hums as she helps organize my sleeping pad and bag, remembering to put the headlamp somewhere accessible and finds a long lost Farm to Feet hiking sock in the bottom of my sleeping bag. Treasure!

She now turns to me to help her set up the tent she’ll share with her twin sister. Engaged, curious, happy. She’s in the flow of outdoor goodness, working with nature and in nature to connect to the basics in life. The outdoors.

THIS is what drives me to my exciting announcement for my blog’s and my outdoors passion’s journey to Give Back in 2015. I am stoked, thrilled, psyched, and pumped to announce my partnership with the Outdoors Empowered Network. A leader in the non-profit world who’s goal, mission, intent, every breath is geared towards creating the infrastructure so that kids from every background have the chance to have the same experience that my own children have: connecting kids to the outdoors.

Getting kids outside is vital to their education and growth.
I have dedicated time this year to help them spread word about their mission through my incredibly awesome, stewards of the outdoors, social networks. And I’ll be writing and sharing stories about Outdoors Empowered Network, the outdoor organizations they support like Bay Area Wilderness Training, and the large numbers of kids that they impact nationwide by getting these kids out into the wilderness safely and happily.

More to come! Stay tuned. In the meantime, please take a moment to sign-up for Outdoors Empowered Network’s newsletter for a short, informative, monthly recap on the work they are doing with outdoor organizations and kids throughout the country. Newsletter Sign-Up

It’s going to be a great year. See you on the trails! -OM

For more information: 


Monday, January 5, 2015

Joining the "Hike It Baby 30 Challenge" Means Getting Me and a Kiddo Out on the Trails for 30 Minutes, 3 Days a Week in the New Year. And You Can Win Prizes, Too.

Hike it Baby connects & inspires parents to get outside with their kiddos to battle the baby-blues...

Moms of newborns, dads of a toddlers, parents of twins... remember your life BK - Before Kids - when you loved to hike but now have a new creature in your life who's all soft arms and legs and diapers and organic baby food and doo-doo.... and you're just not sure what to do with yourself anymore....

I recently found out about a newish group called, appropriately, "Hike It Baby" and their Hike It Baby 30 Challenge starting NOW, this month of January. 

Their goal is to inspire us to get our fannies outside, even during these coldest of months, with all the snow and ice and rain and harsh weather that Mother Nature throws at us in the New Year....Yes, HIB is urging us to get outside with our kiddos - bundle up those babies - for 30 minutes at a time, 3 days a week for these 31 days of January. 

And, for that effort, not only do we get to join a motivating group, but also, you get entered to win outdoorsy prizes, too. 

Hike It Baby's ultimate mission is to get mamas, and dads, back outside into the fresh air to minimize the "baby-blues" post-partum-depression that can creep in to an unsuspecting parent's life. And to help us find like minded people who are in the same "oh-my-god-i-now-have-a-kid" boat -- to either meet up to hike with, or at the very least, support each other online. 

I've been so impressed by the enthusiasm of the group and their fearless leader, Shanti, I've decided to give this a shot myself, even though my kids are older. 

I'm going to grab one of my 9 year old twins and have her join me. She may not be in diapers, but she can throw a great tween-attitude here and there, so it's a different kind of parental challenge to get us outside after a long day at school... "Don't be so embarrassing, Mommmmmmmmm." For breathing...

Let's see how this goes.... join me? 

-Outdoorsy Mama

For more information:
Hike It Baby 30 Challenge
Hike It Baby - Shanti's Story
Outdoorsy Mama - Hiking with Kids, what to pack
Outdoorsy Mama - Bay Area Kids Hike on Mt Tam