Finding Courage

How Briefly Getting Lost In The Wilderness Made Me Realize We Should Be More Like Ron Weasley

I heard rustling from the freely growing shrubbery that lined the dirt trail, and then I saw it crash from seemingly nowhere about 20 feet ahead of my trekking poles. The crash sounded like the moment a riding horse shifts from a trot to a full gallop. I could hear the sheer power of the hooves and the weight of the large animal as it slammed onto the narrow ledge of the rock face several thousand feet above the last human I saw. The doe quickly rolled from where it landed on its side and shot up before staring in my direction. I froze. The deer froze, and we made eye contact for what seemed like a full 20 seconds.

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The Need For Mindfulness And Therapy

“Wait, you have anxiety?” One of the hikers from the group that I was socially distancing with turned to look at me.

“Yeah,” I said, readjusting the supplies in my bag to adjust for the camel pack’s shift in weight. “I actually have terrible anxiety.”

It was true, and if I weren’t so insanely stubborn, my anxiety would be debilitating. I suffered from constant panic attacks that hit full swing at the height of California’s stay at home order. I had been getting by with hiking and camping and doing all sorts of very random things (like that one time I tried Capoeira) for so long that I hadn’t dealt with my anxiety. That was until COVID-19.

The pandemic shook things up and made me face myself. There was literally nowhere else to go but inward to take up a journey of reflection. Stripped of everything else, I got to see who I truly was as a person. My personality isn’t 80 percent anxiety and 20 percent the outdoors. I never realized how much more than that I was.

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How To Be Alone On Top Of A Mountain

I was alone for the first time in the woods. I went onto the trail without a sign from anyone around, but on the way back, I saw a pile of fresh bear scat in the middle of the trail. I first heard noises behind the trees off to the distance and then saw the bushes move. “Of course I would get mauled by a bear the very first time I decided to hike by myself,” or so I thought, and so I picked up my hiking pace three-fold and made it out of the heavily-bear-populated mountains with a story. That was a little over a year ago.

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The Extroverted Introvert In The Springtime

I didn’t realize how social I really was until the order was passed down by California’s state Governor to stay home. Stay home? I didn’t remember two consecutive days in my entire life, except for the times I was really sick when I stayed inside of a building. I was always outside, either running, driving, or hiking. When I got bored, I went outdoors until the day that I couldn’t.

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How I Lost My Mind In The Desert

Me at Badwater Basin in Death Valley, CA

I suppose there’s a component in my DNA that has programmed me to become obsessed with the desert. It was two generations before me when my bloodline found solace among like-minded people in the same situation out in the desert. I wrote before about how my grandmother felt a little closer to God while looking out into the sunrise over a clear Arizona sky. It was after that moment over the phone that I told her that I understood and felt the same way.

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What Is The Greatest Issue Facing Humankind?

Before you place yourself into a particular box and select a descriptive word or an identifying trait, there is a group that everyone falls under—we all, for the most part, live on planet earth. Even the astronauts floating around happily above our colorful and protective sky have to come back down to the third rock from this solar system’s sun eventually.

I spent the latter part of 2019, and some portions of 2020 before I may or may not have inconveniently passed away from a bad case of the flu, interviewing people who wore their passion for mother nature proudly. I tried to get in contact with individuals who used their voices to help and defend the only habitable planet that we can reach within our lifetime. However, I also heard from other advocates about how certain issues are more important than others.

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The Importance of Communication In Different Spaces

Why understanding a group before joining is so important

Not everyone who joins a specific group falls under the descriptive category. In fact, I occasionally invite non-people of color to Black Girl Trekkin hikes. Some tag along excitedly, while others may shy away from the invitation. I love including people in spaces, but I make sure that the people I invite on hikes are respectful and take the time to learn about the group and the people who are in it.

I try to check my new messages and requests across all the social media accounts that I regularly manage for the groups and organizations I lead at least once a day. I watch as reaction emoji’s trickle in like the babbling brooks I love to post on my own Instagram stories. The majority of the time the messages are very positive. I’ll usually see polite questions about upcoming outdoor events and comments on how beautiful the images that I have shared from the hiking community. However, sometimes, I’ll get questions about whether people who identify as men can join the hikes that I lead for the Los Angeles chapter of the women’s group, Hiker Babes and I have to pause for a moment.

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Episode 7 | Who Cares About Environmentalism

Who actually cares about environmentalism and, for those who do, how can encourage environmental activism?

Show Notes 

► Jazzed About Nature Podcast

► Content Mentioned in This Episode:

► Music 
By Uniq- | Chill, Lofi/hip hop

Accessibility

Episode 6 | How The VSCO Girl Might Be Actually Saving The Planet

Is the scrunchie-wearing, hydro flask-carrying VSCO girl and her no-fuss makeup routine actually saving the planet? In this episode of Jazzed About Nature Podcast, I have a conversation about it with photographer and content creator, Jena Galindo.

Show Notes

Is the scrunchie-wearing, hydro flask-carrying VSCO girl and her no-fuss makeup routine actually saving the planet? In this episode of Jazzed About Nature Podcast, I have a conversation about it with photographer and content creator, Jena Galindo.

Show Notes 

► Jazzed About Nature Podcast

► Content Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode 5 | Consume As Little As Possible

In this episode of Jazzed About Nature Podcast, I have a conversation with Gary Golding (aka the Tarzan of Los Angeles) a frequent Naked and Afraid contestant with a message he wants to spread that he has tattooed on his back.

ACCESSIBILITY

You can turn the Closed Captioning on the YouTube video of the podcast below.