Of Playing Outside


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Turns out I’m an outdoors person, who knew? When I was little I would spend hours outside. A tree was my best playmate. I trusted my 12-year-old brother’s rickety forts and sketchy rope ladders with zero fear about 25 feet off the ground. It wasn’t until the sun went down that I reluctantly went inside.

Then something happened, I morphed into an indoors person. It was a slow process. Maybe I started staying inside because of the fancy new technology that eventually took over my life. Maybe it simply stopped being cool to play outside. Maybe because I dress quite girly I came to believe that I could never enjoy the dirt. Maybe my friends were (well, still are) largely indoors people so I stayed inside to hangout with them. Or maybe I went through a phase. No matter what the cause I spent several years avoiding swimming, hiking, and climbing trees.

Till recently.

Now when I sit on the couch with the sun shinning through the blinds I can’t handle it. I start to fidget, squirm, and pray that I find someone to go for a walk with me. Sometimes no one answers, or they (in their anti-go-outside-ways) refuse to do anything but watch a movie. That’s when I go by myself.

But I can usually count on my brother. If he’s not busy he’s always down for a hike, plus he lives in my dream neighborhood – surrounded by trails, rivers, and a large beautiful lake. It must be a family trait to venture away from the maintained trail and traipse through the bushes. For I don’t think we’ve ever gone for a walk without destroying a bunch of spider webs, despite my sister-in-law begging us to not climb up yet another river bed or fallen tree. Where’s the fun and adventure in staying on the path?

Thanks to going off trail I have several cool locations to drag my indoorsy friends to: a cove that looks like it could have been in the Swiss Family Robinson complete with purple sand (yup, purple sand), a fallen tree that sticks up out of the water that provides a wonderful jumping branch, a rope swing that can only be found by canoe, a waterfall hidden behind bushes, a campfire spot next to the river located after the second bridge on an old logging road in redneck territory.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to take my friends to my movie-esque locations, until then I’ll keep exploring through the rough in my Sunday’s best and sandals.

See? It’s true. I’m an outdoors person, don’t let my girly dress fool you.


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