As a runner, climber, and hiker; I want to be strong, flexible, and be able to push my limits: so, why does it matter if my puffy matches my climbing helmet? Sadly, looking cute, coordinated, and decked out in all the right brand names DOES seem to matter to many of us seeking adventure. Lately, I’ve noticed that my Instagram feed is flooded with chatter of swag, flashy new gear, and the latest style. I’m following these people for the inspiration they give me and not looking to buy a new running shirt.
Head outdoors, and it only gets worse. I catch myself comparing my outfit to what the climber next to me is wearing, or coveting the running jacket a friend jogs by wearing. Talking gear with climbers, is like discussing the rainfall with a farmer. It’s just what we do; but sometimes, I need to check myself. Freedom in the wild comes when I’m doing what I love with the people that I love, and as long as my outfit lets me accomplish my adventure goals, who cares if it’s new, or even if it matches?
Sometimes, it frustrates me how I take things into the outdoors that I don’t want to. The outdoors for me, and for many many others, is a place to recreate, relax, and reconnect. For me, it’s one of the places that I go to be free of life’s frustrations and breathe. Another big place is church. Both bring me closer to God, so that’s good! I’m usually really good at letting creation do it’s work of aiding communion. However, add other people into the mix, and it’s much harder. Comparison and coveting are killers!
A large part of my anxiety is related to my self-image. I’m starting to understand that how we view and present ourselves is interrelated with how we feel about ourselves. If we feel better, we then look better. If we feel more like ourselves, we’ll portray ourselves more accurately and easily. Isn’t that what we all want? To be genuine inside and out? We can all tell when someone isn’t being themselves; their image exudes try-too-hard and fakeness. It’s not the look per se, but the congruency of the look and the individual. We’re intuitive to seeing past clothes, sometimes without even knowing anything about the person. Of course, we have to be very careful to not assume and judge, but if we observe that someone looks fake, we’re maybe sensing that conflict.
We all have a little bit of faux to an extent, and I do believe that we’re constantly desiring to get closer to our true selves. Some of us are closer than others, at different stages of the adventure. I know that becoming as whole as I was made to be is very important. I want to feel and look like how God intended me to. As we start to develop a deeper understanding of who we are, we'll more easily gravitate to and find things that resonate with us. We’ll then feel more comfortable with who we are, and we might even start to love ourselves! Because, if we can first love ourselves, then we can love our nature neighbours.
The grossest feeling to me in the outdoors is when I’m not loving myself - when I’m not enjoying myself. Often, it’s because I’m wanting someone’s new sunglasses, new rope, old pants, hair, talent, strength, girl, vehicle, life?! Ah ha!! If I’m wanting everything that I’m not, and not grateful for everything that I am, I can’t love myself. God made me, and he says, “Rejoice!” So, I’m going to focus on me and the great outdoor day that he's given me.
Who We Are
Hi! We're Michelle and Silvain: a married, Christian couple that's always seeking to learn, explore, and take on new challenges. Our adventures take us up mountains, down trails, and to faraway places. Follow us as we live, love, and are crazy! Forever!!