Intimacy and sexuality. Two things that are interlaced into one another and into every persons life. It is a human trait, we crave intimacy, and with some, that of intimate sexual experiences. Yet, openly communicating about intimacy and/or sexuality is taboo, something most are uncomfortable talking about.
Journal Entry: February 16, 2018 Capitol Reef (Unedited from entry)
This is what I love. To be on some strange 4x4 road, overgrown with grasses, searching out a place to rest my head for the night. I walked through the desert rock abyss until 4:30pm, the sun drifting behind the sandstone. I am out here all alone, not a soul around, and no where in sight to camp for the night. I jump in my car with just little nerves fluttering within. Will I find the place, that idealistic, magical place that is away from others, feels secure, and has a view for dinner and coffee? I lucked out today. Happened upon some very old BLM road and went for it. the road hardly visible to the naked eye, left over tracks from long ago. The sun setting quickly behind me, I gun it and search for any small clearing. I see nothing for five minute, ten minutes, and then fifteen minutes I find it -- one small block of sandstone unearthed at an arroyo. The perfect size for my car and I to slide into (without crushing any crypto!).
I am quite comfortable alone in the wilderness and I get nervous. It's funny to reflect that I was just stopping any movement every time I heard a sound. I don't get the jitters about mountain lions or critters but about people. I keep listening for noises - is that a car? I stop moving, silence. No, it is just a plane, high overhead. There are a lot of planes. Taking in my surroundings, I remember I am safe, far from much of anything, and I breathe as I sit to take in the full sunset. So, my nerves are there and that’s one of the many reasons I love doing this. To stretch my comfort, my limits. To get a little scared and feel that thrill of the blood pumping through my veins.
I sit here in silence. Not even a bird singing, just the sound of my puffy swaying on the page as I write. It’s... well it’s indescribable. The only place I can find this peace (once my unnecessary nerves subside) is in the wild, be it car camping on BLM land or walking deep into wilderness. This is what I am. This view. The rocks. The silence. The indescribable feeling.
This feeling brings me back to what I am meant to do, to connect people (myself included) deeper to themselves, one another, and the natural world, for the sake of protecting these places, these experiences. It is rooted in everything I do, from my career, to adventure, to who I spend time with. It’s why I support people to connect deeper to themselves by connecting deeper with the natural world. It is about loving these special places and protecting them in the long run. It's these wild places, be it the desert, plains, oceans, or the mountains, that we, yes we, can all see, hear, taste, smell and touch the wonders of ourselves and the world around us. And I hope it gives others what it gives me, an overwhelming sense of who I truly am and what I want to fight for.
[What do you want to fight for?]
Awareness seems to be the theme of the month for myself and a lot of my clients. It is really linked to how present in the moment someone is. Present and aware of the personal world, of others, and of what is going on in ones surroundings. It's as if every moment is a meditation, a chance to be so alive, in awe, and landed. For the eyes to open so wide they can see beyond what is right in front of them. It's about noticing what is happening within when the world is happening around you AND, at the same time, actually seeing all that is happening around you.
Maybe this circumstance will ring a bell for you... After going to an event with a friend, she's like, "...and did you see the giant clown in a hippo outfit in front of us?". You think to yourself, what hippo? What clown? How did I not see that?
t's like you were physically there but so wrapped up in whatever story was happening in your mind that you weren't really there. These moments can be frustrating or eye opening. Your choice. It's like someone is knocking on your door, WAKE UP, look around, get out of your head (or your phone), and look around. EXPERIENCE life. See life. Have an active role in life.
Trust me, I am no expert. As a constant student, I feel like someone is knocking on my door constantly. Although I am a hyper observant individual, I still catch myself missing those valuable and "invaluable" moments. And when I realize I didn't see the clown or the hippo suit, I try to get real with myself and reflect (even if it's frustrating). I literally pause, where ever I am in the moment, breathe, and choose to begin again. It's up to me how present and aware I am in this life. And to be honest, I want to see it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don't want to miss any hippo costumes.
Adventure. It's defined many different ways by many different people. I mean, I can define adventure in a different way throughout the course of one day. Adventure can be an epic journey into the high country, conquering a mountain peak, or a short walk by the river. Shoot, an adventure can be meeting someone new and connecting, getting to know one another. I love adventure -- on any scale and at any level. Adventure is like the beat of my heart - it keeps me going, it exhilarates my whole being, it literally and metaphorically pumps my blood.
I was recently ill for the whole month of April. Out. Laid up in bed for days at a time. I would feel healthy again, go outside, try to have a little adventure and BAM - in bed again for a whole day. It was a challenge for me. A challenge to just chill, relax, and not to push it. No skiing. No running. No biking. Hardly any yoga. Once May came around and I was feeling better I wanted to jump back in full force. Bike, ski, run... I wanted it all. I had to SLOW DOWN, remind myself to ease back in, and enjoy the simple adventures.
So over two weeks I eased back in. A short trail run in the red dirt, clouds drifting above and flowers blossoming. An "epic" mountain bike date that ended with me pushing my bike up the trail, in the dark, exhausted and cold. A hike up my favorite trail, overlooking Mount Sopris - a constant inspiration. And two days of climbing, thanks to a close friend who supported and pushed me to get back on the rock and face some heavy fears rooted deep in my psyche from a climbing fall last year.
And just this Saturday, I got my yearly ski up that inspirational mountain that looms high above Carbondale in all its glory. A six mile hike and skin to the peak of Mount Sopris at 12,996ft, with four other amazing women. A perfect 29th birthday celebration for Courtney. It was grueling, yet so satisfying. My body, strong yet not as strong as it was. We started the morning around 5am at the trailhead, coffee streaming through our veins, hooting and hollering before we began our trek up. Skis and boots strapped to our back, we hiked for just under two miles to the overlook meadow. The sun rising, beaming behind the Holy Cross Wilderness ridgeline, illuminated Sopris peak in a pink hue.
Leaving our shoes behind we started to skin through the woods, over minimal dirt patches, up to Thomas Lakes. Playing a game of leap frog with two guys heading up, we passed the trees and into the Thomas Lakes Bowl. Just slick and steep enough that ski crampons would have been helpful (Kendall was crushing with those crampons). But at least falling is entertaining, if not momentarily terrifying that one might slide all the way down the pitch.
About half way up the bowl my legs started giving way. This was definitely the most activity I had done in weeks, like 5 weeks. Especially after two days of rock climbing. I'd go about twenty steps and bam, my quads would seize up. Harnessing by breathe I would stop, slow my breathing, moan, and after a few moments do it again. Every twenty to fifty steps, I would stop. Aching. I felt like I was birthing a child through my legs. Intense. Once to the ridge I stretched, ate some salts, and layered up to stay warm from the howling winds. We cruised up the ridge to the summit. Cider and birthday cake to celebrate the birthday girl and reaching the summit! All worth it. No matter my quads thoughts.
The ski down was so delightful! Spring corn, a pocket of fresh turns, and four other magnificent women smiling as each cruised down. A party ski down the "best backcountry blue" and then to seriously wrap up the ski - Courtney crushed a backcountry pond skim. We skied out to our shoes, packed up, ski pants off, and hiked back to the car, chatting about how we take care of our hair and onward to brunch. It was a true adventure. And better yet, it was a lady adventure. Thats a whole different category!
I realized every moment can be an adventure as long as I keep my eyes open and notice what I am experiencing, how it is impacting me, what it is showing me. I am interwound in my adventures.
Adventure is what I make of it. Sometimes things don't go as planned, sometimes my body might come to a dead halt, sometimes I might push for more, taking myself to my limit. And what I am realizing is no matter what happens it really is all an adventure. Life is full of momentary adventures, be it a 6 hour journey up and down a mountain, an afternoon of climbing, a blind date, being sick for a month, or a daring conversation with a loved one. It's those moments that bring out the truth, allowing me to discover who I am -- my core values, my fears, my truths, and my joys. Adventure is my beating heart.