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The Great Outdoors

July 23, 2012

We’ve already established that I’m drawn to new adventures… At first glance, I don’t appear as an “outdoorsy-type” person, but I’ve participated in a quite a few activities such as….

Scuba diving

Snorkeling

Jet skiing

Kayaking

Sailing

Skiing

Golf

Horseback riding

Cycling

And recently added to the list… Hiking & Running

It all started in March when I decided to give running a try. Let me start off by saying I was NEVER a runner. I hated running with the passion. I always admired people who ran miles and miles just for the hell of it, but up until a few months ago I never understood why. Now I understand…

If I had to compare the feeling you get when you  finish a race its almost like getting your college diploma all over again…You just feel accomplished. I’ve ran in 3 races so far..all 5k’s, and I have another one coming up this Saturday.  I’m not the fastest one out there, but it really doesn’t matter. I’ve learned that its not a competition..its all for a a greater good. You are running to help a cause and at the same time you are helping yourself. I can’t think of a better way to pay it forward.

Running not only helps your body stay fit, but it also works wonders for your mind and soul…When I run my thoughts are clear and my mind is focused. I have a tendency to over-analyze and think too much as it is, so I welcome any activity that helps me center myself. Running has taught me just how important your thoughts are… Also, how important it is to believe in yourself. Just as in life, if you say “I can’t” -you wont. If your mind is cluttered with negative thoughts and beliefs you will never get far. I told myself for years that I couldn’t run… I was so convinced without even giving it a try! Think about how many times we’ve done this in our own personal  lives. “I’ll never be this, “I’ll  never get that”, “It will never happen”.. and so on… Once I put my doubt and fear aside I found out that I could do it. The only thing that was stopping me was a silly little thought in my head.

As the saying goes: “Running… cheaper than therapy.”

A couple of weeks ago I decided to try another outdoor activity that I had never experienced before: Hiking.

About a year ago a friend of mine told me about this company called Discover Outdoors  that is based in New York City. They host a variety of  multi-day excursions, international trips, and outdoor fitness events for people who live in the tri-state area. My first hike was with Discover Outdoors and it was an eight mile trek up the Catskill Mountains to Kaaterskill Falls. It was such a great experience… so great that I plan on going on another hike in two weeks! This time it will be a midnight hike through Harriman State Park ending with our group roasting smore’s by a camp fire. Hiking, like running is such a great escape. Yes, there are huge bugs and bear poop you have to watch after, but again, my mind was clear, everything was quiet and peaceful…I didn’t have a care in the world.

Before the summer is over I plan on adding one more outdoor adventure to my list… I’ve always wanted to go stand up paddle boarding and I plan on doing so when I travel to Aruba next month. I’ll certainly give you all an update on what that experience was like.

Some other activities I have not done yet  but plan on doing include: Camping, Fishing, Whitewater rafting, Snowmobiling, Hot air ballooning, and Zip lining.

The way I see it is life is an adventure… You can sit back and wait for the adventure to come to you OR you can walk outside and create your own adventure. There is still so much to see and so much to do and that alone makes me feel alive. 🙂

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