Get Outdoors too!
Feeling nervous about venturing outdoors? That's exactly how the Outdoor Academy team felt too. So here are some ideas and thoughts from them to help you get outdoors too...
10 years ago I was really active – think exercise and the gym and a bunch of adrenaline junkie things like a sky dive. Then I got sick and everything changed almost overnight. I was diagnosed with CFS/ME, which left me pretty much housebound for a year. Since then, my health has slowly improved. I’ve been wanting to get outside and active, but within the limits of my health. But everything I saw online looked too big and too scary, which meant I did nothing about it. So I applied to join Love Her Wild’s Outdoor Academy. I won’t lie, when I found out I’d got a place I was immediately scared. Would I be able to keep up with people? Would people think I was stupid? Would it end up triggering a CFS/ME flare up?
But I had absolutely nothing to worry out.
Sian and the other leaders were amazing. No question was too big, small or stupid. All the other wilders I’ve met this weekend have the same fears. We all knew more than we thought we did. We’ve supported each other, pushed our comfort zones and laughed more than I ever expected to. We’ve crammed in lots of workshops, but nothing has felt rushed. We’ve had space to reflect and time to rest. Permission to stop and notice the world around us. Put up lots of different tents and learnt to build campfires. Learnt basic navigation skills. Walked through fields and woods, past streams, moats and ponds. Spotted birds, sketched woodland and hunted for bugs.
I’m going home feeling braver than before, realising that the only thing that’s been holding me back is myself. I always thought adventures had to be epic and challenging and they were unobtainable. But adventure is a mindset. A small step outside my comfort zone is an adventure. Just because my health means I can’t climb mountains or cross deserts, doesn’t mean I can’t have micro-adventures. Start small, practice my new map reading skills, enjoy the outdoors.
Anyone want to come with me?
We had books, maps, bird boxes, identification guides, journals, newspapers, leaflets exploring different outdoor activities, nature, geography, history, gardening and much more! Our favourites included:
The 'Wild Guide' series
Search online or in a library for great resources!
The 1 woman tent by Tia
I did NOT expect to do it,
I did NOT expect it at all,
It's cold, it's damp, it's muddy,
BUT I learnt no adventure is too small
From the walks and workshops I felt really confident, supported and safe,
Although my nerves and footing were unsteady,
Love Her Wild catered to everyone's pace
I had a microadventure!
As I learnt NO adventure is too small
BUT I still did NOT expect to do it!
I did NOT expect it at all.
Borrow some camping equipment and find a campsite!
Outdoor Inspiration Table
Aroob's Microadventure: The Forest Floor
Our 'Redefining Adventures' workshop challenged us to consider our definition of the outdoors by experiencing it in different ways: nature sketching, birdwatching and bug hunting. Aroob drew upon her creative skills and went one step further creating a nature collage!
What could you make in your garden or green space?
Cath's intro to Love Her Wild
Cath sums up her experience of Outdoor Academy and suggests how and why you can do similar things through Love Her Wild.
Search for your local outdoor communities and join an event!