Why I Hike

Not until my senior year of high school did I really get into pursuing a life in the outdoor industry.

The summer after I graduated, in 2014, I experienced my first panic attack completely out of no where. BUT, five days prior to this panic attack I was in Grand Teton National Park hiking over twenty miles in a weekend with some of my closest friends.

Months after this panic attack I experienced trouble breathing and went through little spells of depression, feeling entirely limited to do anything. Most days were spent at home feeling sorry for myself wanting things to go back to “normal”. Talking about major frustration, this had to be the most frustrated I had ever been in my entire life.

I realized that the last time I had felt “free” from this life of stress, anxiety, and frustration was when I was backpacking through Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park. I would always go back to those beautiful memories when I felt down.

Months went by, and with medication, great friends, and the outdoors of course, I was mostly able to get over the hump. Of course I will always struggle with anxiousness but being outside is truly my safe haven, my escape. Being outside is the one place I feel free from the pressures.

For the next year after my panic attack I had wanted to get a tattoo of mountains on my foot to remind me of that beautiful Teton mountain range where I had felt so at ease. In August of 2015 I did. Also, when I walk now I have the power to “move mountains”. (Haha)

So the point in me telling you this is to broadcast the power of the outdoors. No matter what you are going through, whether a bad grade on an exam, death in the family, financial problems, depression, or just a bad day, mother nature will be there for you. Take advantage of what she has to give you.

Below are pictures from my Grand Teton trip in 2014.

Keep it wild,

Alison

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3 thoughts on “Why I Hike

  1. Hi Alison! I’m Michelle all the way from Beijing, China. I found your instagram page through “campingwithdogs” and have followed you ever since. Part of the reason was because your puppy is really adorable, and the other part because your pictures of the outdoors truly brought joy into my life. My last semester of High School, I also had a panic attack for the first time. It felt like someone shattered my entire world and I was left with just the pieces.

    After feeling lost and mildly depressed, I made the decision to defer my college admission for one year and take a break. I had always loved camping and the outdoors, so I ended up signing up for an outdoor semester. The following September, I spent three months backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing and sailing in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. The months leading up to my outdoor semester, I had a few more mini panic attacks and was trying my best to power through. However, as soon as I was outdoors, the attacks stopped. No matter how tired my body was, or how little control I had over my surroundings, I felt peace. The wilderness is so much more beautiful and powerful than we will ever be able to experience in our short time on earth. I am not a religious person, but I think it is important that humans acknowledge that there are things greater than us. It helps keep us grounded. It helped bring my panicking, existential mind back to more tangible things.

    I didn’t want this to be a giant note because i’m still in my pajamas and I haven’t eaten breakfast yet, but your post moved me so much that I had to sit down and write this. I just want to say THANK YOU! You made me feel not alone! My instagram is michmouw if you want to follow me! It’s not much outdoor stuff because I’m in Beijing right now, but it does feature delicious chinese food šŸ™‚ :))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michelle! Thank you SO much for sharing that. I will follow you on Instagram. You made my night. You are not alone at all. Nature is pretty powerful. šŸ™‚

      Like

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