biking, hiking, life, Personal development

Mt. Jackson – 2/3/19, bike rides, and embracing current reality

What’s up buttercups? Happy Wednesday 🙂

Hoping all of you wonderful humans reading this had a great weekend and are having a good week thus far!

I headed North to hike on Sunday with Laura (the Explorer). We frolicked our way up Mt. Jackson and I had some good deja-vu moments of my recent hike up Jackson in November. The difference? Laura and I didn’t have to break through 1-3 feet of snow the entire hike and let me tell you my hips were uber happy about that.

img_0854
Laura and her pup enjoying an already broken out trail

This is my first hike since a jaunt up Mt. Tecumseh December 16th, so a month and a half!  Reality check: 1.5 months isn’t THAT long, and there isn’t anything wrong with a break.

It felt really goon on many levels to be back hiking in the mountains. Jackson in particular feels like home a little bit inside as it was my first 4000 footer, and a regularly repeated summit. The more I hike, the more I become in love with the HIKING more than the SUMMITING. Summits are stellar and gorgeous and feels like a pat on the back. But, hiking, the whole process of base to summit, that’s where the magics located.

img_0821
Stellar summit views

It feels as if I didn’t even take time off, I think because I love it so much. I was able to just do other things with my time and know that I would get back hiking when the bod was ready and that the world would be ok. Going to use my experience of six stress fractures from mainly my teen years to say how I was able to calmly not fully lose my shit when I could barely walk for two weeks because of the hip in mid-December. I said fully lose, there were most definitely some minor meltdowns sprinkled in.

In a way, this all feels like I’ve been taking an off season per se. This is a topic I’ve been placing some solid mental energy on lately – rest and cycles of rest. As a previous competitive jump-roper that had an off season, a weightlifter that cycled programming and rest weeks, and a biker that heads out for less miles in the winter months than summer –  hiking is the thing that wasn’t being cycled. While summer might have more aggressive miles from time to time, winter places different stressors on the body (e.g thermoregulation, the trail warrants different muscles to be utilized, heavier pack, ect.).

If we pull it back a notch:

The moon has phases

There are seasons

Us ladies have cycles

ect. ect.

While I feel like a total badass hiking a ton in the winter, I’m choosing to keep it dialed back a level for the next few months. Historically I’ve found where some hikers love and prefer winter hiking, I dig it but my body hates it. I forced it last year and felt sore/pain (in not normal ways) more often than not. And, you know what, doing something that my body doesn’t feel good doing just isn’t worth it for me anymore. Longevity > instant gratification at this point. Total trial and error learning process. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE hiking, thoroughly enjoy pushing my limit and have since I was about 4 years old, and heading to the mountains for the sake of wandering in the forest feels so deeply right… It has changed my life trajectory, provided me so much space for healing, and allowed me to develop a new relationship with my being and grow new friendships. I wouldn’t trade it for the damn world.

And, that’s the thing. Pushing through body signals because I want/need to hike isn’t worth it for me right now. I would rather hike less in the winter and allow my body time to just be a human and sleep a little more, do a little less physically, and then be out in the mountains multiple times a week Spring through Fall, than push push push year-round but always feel sub-par, or get injured and have to take indefinite time off. Been there, done that, over it.

img_0840
One pre summit view

As someone who used to workout 2-3 times a day 6-7 days a week, being able to take a moment and evaluate where I’m at, what my body is telling me, and re-navigate to be able to heal whatever niggle my hip was getting is really awesome. The fact that I used to just push through pain until I ended up with a stress fracture, other injury, or taking time off and subsequently using super unuseful coping mechanisms, and I just took 6 weeks “off” where I spent most of my time working on personal development, other areas of my life, and enjoying some walks and solo yoga sessions (hi, #misophoniaproblems)… Well, it feels really good inside.

Progress is a process but it’s so worth the potholes and speed bumps.

In other news, I rode the bike Monday and yesterday as both days were in the 50’s here in New Hampshire and let me tell you it was magical. Biking was one of the things that seemed to be highly pissing off the hip, and after the last two days I’m happy to report that things are feeling light-years better than mid-December, but there’s still a niggle and that’s my cue to dig a little deeper into what’s really going on.

img_0892
Bike ride ft. lots of snow melt and a soaked tush

What’s “cooler” than being able to hike and bike is that I’m not finding myself in a position where I feel like I need to do them all the time right now. I enjoy both… they bring me joy, smiles, friendships, understanding, and fulfillment. No longer do I need to work out obsessively, do all the things all the time, or be a badass as a means to make myself feel better.

I’m finding more and more that my intentions for my life are shifting. The shift in a way parallels what I’ve been actively doing or taking action on the past couple of years but I’m now feeling it, gravitating towards it, pursuing it.

My primary intention is to live in a way which supports my being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Yeah, that means I forfeit or give up or sacrifice some winter hikes, winter bikes, hours which could be spent being “productive” for sleep, eating a little more when I’m hungry because I realize it’s my tendency to under eat when stressed, do all the self-care when my mindset is there and accept that it’s totally kosher when I need a nap to escape the world or need two therapy sessions in a week to not explode internally.

The whole personal growth game ain’t always sunshine and rainbows.

dsc_0119
Jackson summit. Frozen, happy, and okay with the world

Moving from a fear-based, emotionally driven, auto-pilot way of living to a place where intention, mental space, overall health, and healing are the main focus – IT IS INCREDIBLY TERRIFYING.

Realizing this – the fear behind changing my ways in order to support myself vs. support my fears, to adapt and accept, to just go with what feels good and ditch what needs to be ditched for now as now doesn’t equal forever.

It feels a lot like past experiences.

IT IS TERRIFYING to adapt and accept, to ebb and flow.

But, with this experience right now I’m reminding myself that I’m in remission from an eating disorder, I got my period back naturally after losing it for three years, I competed in jump rope with hip dysplasia, I almost have a college degree with misophonia where my main trigger is typing.

I’m going to keep keeping on and keep keeping it real.

Life can suck.

It can also be incredible amazing.

Sometimes, these are just facts, and other times… it’s how we view the hand we’ve been dealt during a certain time.

My currently reality doesn’t equal my worth, it doesn’t mean I can’t hike this summer which historically goes much much much better than winter, and it certainty doesn’t mean I can’t look at the positives of not being able to do what I love as much as I’d prefer to.

It just is.

I respect myself enough at this point in my life to understand and accept that it just is what it is and to work with this.

Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.”  — Robert Holden

XO,S

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

life

Jumping into 2019

Hey folks!

It’s been a hot minute.

I hope all of you enjoyed the holidays and are doing well so far in 2019! This post is a long time coming as it’s now the middle of January. Wait, what, how? Is time actually flying or have I just been super consumed with a plethora of things in my life? I’m going to vote the first even though it’s totally the latter.

Over here in my neck of the woods things have felt more like running into the new year rather than jumping, but I liked the sound of jumping into 2019, hence the oh so clever title.

img_9861
Literally running. In snowshoes 😉

What have I been up to?

For starters, if you’re subscribed/a regular reader of this blog (hi, I love you) then you may have noticed a new theme. I felt like changing this up a bit and am digging the new look for Pursuit of an Outlier. You know what they say (really though… who is ‘they’)… variety is the spice of life?

This post is going to be part life update and part what does 2019 hold for me.

Let’s talk about December, shall we? I wrapped up my final semester at the University of New Hampshire and will officially graduate in May!!!!! Currently, I’m taking one last class for my degree which is a 6-week art history course which ends February 15th. We can all clearly tell what I’ve avoided throughout my college experience – an art discovery class. Honestly, it’s kind of nice to have a fun class to finish everything up rather than psychopharmacology (glad I did that last year!), although real talk… for my brain, art history is 17x more difficult.

What have I been up to since ending the fall semester? Many things. While there have not been lots of hikes recently, which feels super weird, I’ve still be getting outside and adventuring often. Following a hip flare up in early December, I decided giving it some time versus jumping right back on the high level of activity and pushing my body bandwagon was likely a smart choice. I’m happy to report the hip and body in general feel much better than they have in a long time and this all tremendously excites me. Figuring that it’s winter, I thought this would be a good period to take a break from hiking and biking (winter biking can piss my hip off like no other because of pelvic position in saddle/hip flexor use/it’s cold out so muscles are tighter), and focus on other activities I enjoy such as yoga, climbing, “frolicking” (trail walking/running in some form of interval-ish format), snowboarding, and walking. Just walking is such a wonderful thing that is SOOOOO beyond overlooked. It’s movement, a very natural movement that is relatively easy on the body. I’ve been very much digging local trail walks most days of the week as of late. With these change ups I’ve been experiencing more mental clarity as well, everything makes a little more sense, the dots are connecting, and my creative side has amplified.

29 Great inspirational Quotes #wisdom #inspirationalqutoes #inspiringquotes #greatquotes #positivequotes

Outside of the activity spectrum, I “lost” my job. I’m not entirely sure how to explain this one but the place I worked for had two locations and the one I worked at since 2011 closed. I wasn’t working much there anyways with school so it was a natural phase out. Right now I’ve been exploring my options from a work perspective and my primary goals are 1. jobs/ways of making income which I enjoy and fulfill me, 2. working enough to both support myself right now and save the money that I need for future endeavors (hang tight, will get into), and 3. aren’t overly stressful.

I’m going to use future endeavors as a gateway if you will into what’s in store for 2019. For starters, some big changes. First off, I’m graduating. I’ll have my degree in Psychology/neuroscience and a minor in nutrition. Wahoo yippee do da. My current living situation is at home as my parents house is a hop and skip (this equates to approximately 12 minutes) from campus. This summer we will ALL be moving as they are packing up, selling house, and moving into 5th wheel RV to travel the US. I’ll be moving as well, and that’s about all I can currently say on that front 😉

What else, what else? Because graduating and moving/selling childhood home aren’t enough, I decided (and no this is not an on the whim thing) to embark on the journey of starting my own business. Much more on this to come but for now I’ll leave it as a cliffhanger! While there are a few other things I have up my sleeve(s), I think this is enough for one post.

The theme of 2019 is definitely the year of growth – personally, professionally, and in my hobbies. I’m thrilled for these adventures. I’m not the biggest guru of new year resolutions per say, but I had jotted down some things I’d like to manifest for my life in the upcoming year which I’ll leave below.

img_0641

“I think the only way for you to grow and evolve is to keep listening, keep moving forward, keep jumping in and trying to experience.” Dianne Reeves

XO, S