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Get Outside Like Your Life Depends on it

Winter has been here for a while now. The days are still short. It is often cold and wet. Maybe it is even snowing where you live. It is an easy time of year to start getting sad and missing the sun. Maybe you find yourself reminiscing about the amazing summer adventures you had, or maybe regretting the ones you didn’t. You are more likely spending more time inside. 

This is a time of year where we tend to slow down… a lot. Which is really natural. Our bodies should ideally be in a rhythm and synchronized with the changing of the seasons. Honestly, I personally really look forward to this time of year. As I write, I am cozily sitting by my partner and a roaring fire with a warm cup of tea. I love slowing down. Taking the time to be internal, reading and writing more. Playing games with family and friends. Making hearty nourishing meals. I have been doing it all and loving it. 

But, I have also been going outside. Maybe not as much as I do in the spring or summer, but a lot. I have been taking long walks everyday, often by myself. I explore through the woods and walk on the beach near where I live. Or sometimes I enjoy walking through the neighborhood or local parks. It has been so peaceful, relaxing and nourishing. Being surrounded by birds, trees, and a dynamic sky carrying weather that looks different in every direction. Sometimes my my fiancé joins me, and sometimes other friends and family. Walking with people you care about surrounded by the beauty of nature is such a wonderful way to have a conversation too. It’s different that just talking inside on couches or chairs. It flows differently and oftentimes feels more inspired. 

I don’t always go at the same pace as everyone else though. You see, we are a dog family. My little sister told me on a walk the other day that while everyone else in the family loves dogs, I am actually more like a dog. I randomly break into sprints with our dogs and run ahead. Just as the dogs get lost on a scent, I follow animals signs (clues) that often leads me to bush-whacking my way through exploring diverse terrain. Eventually, just as the dogs do, I circle back around to join my clan. I also wrestle with our dogs (and my friends) on a regular basis. To finish my point before I get too far off track, I took my sister’s comment as a compliment, and she meant it as one, mostly I think… 

Last week as I went for a walk on the beach I was doing my thing, I guess you could call it “nature parkour”. I was with my dog jumping over, under, and balancing on top of driftwood. It wasn’t a plan to “go for a run” or “get some exercise”. I was just going on a walk to enjoy being outside. But it is what the environment elicited from me. I was lost in the moment. In play. Having fun. 

So, here is my point. People too often get scared of “weather”. It is too cold. Too rainy. Too… something. So I will stay safe in my box controlled with my perfectly set thermostat. I often hear from people that they don’t like to go outside unless it is sunny or “nice out”. Trust me, I get it. I love the sun. I love warm weather. And I really love being comfy. And I am grateful for having heat in my home. But I do not let it hold me like a prisoner. I am even more grateful for a warm fireplace after I get in from a long wet adventure!

Do not let terms like “it’s not nice out” keep you captive! “Nice weather” is not actually a kind of weather. It is, in fact, a state of mind. For me, every day, “weather” is nice. I see the weather for what it is. Always unique. I enjoy the cold. The breeze. Getting wet. Do not be scarred of weather nor let it rob you of time spent adventuring outdoors. 

The sun will return soon. The warmth of its rays will soon kiss your skin. But don’t wait, get outside today, tomorrow, and the days that follow. Even it is just for a short walk. If we stay in our boxes for too long it has too many side affects and ones that I don’t want to scare you with. I would rather inspire you. So go outside, get moving, get the blood flowing, maybe even some good conversation. 

And feel free to leave a comment in our free Facebook group sharing some of your wintery outdoor adventures! 

Written by James Mauk