Category: Wilderness Life Lessons

Wilderness Life Lessons – I Got This

photojournal_007Many of our clients come in shy, timid, out of shape and lacking self-confidence.  We have the privilege of watching them blossom into very strong, capable people.  It’s incredibly rewarding to watch this transformation, both physically and mentally, as they go through the Journey Wilderness Experience.

One particular client has discovered a determination and perseverance that will guide the rest of their life.  There have been a lot of tears along the way but those have typically been met with hard work and a desire to push through.  We have seen progress from begging for someone to do it for them, to simple requests for help to the recognition of strength that they no longer need help.  Now, when help is offered, the response is “No, I’ve got this”.  Now instead of struggling to drag a piece of firewood back to camp, this person is doing squats with the wood on their shoulders.

Doing hard things is a point of pride.  What once was difficult, maybe even impossible is now routine and the results show in broad smiles and maybe a little embarrassment at the attention that it garners.  Where in the past this person would have shut down and quit with feelings of uselessness, there is now a desire to be involved and the mantra “never be ashamed to ask” to be a part of things.

At The Journey Wilderness Experience, we love to see this growth, this discovery of untapped potential and particularly the knowledge that each one of us are capable of accomplishing hard things; that we are stronger than the day to day challenges we face.  Growth comes from being pushed, frequently beyond what we thought we were capable of but with the right attitude and support, each one of us can say with confidence “I got this”.

Wilderness Life Lessons – Facing the Storms

photo-3The weather this week provided some interesting challenges and opportunities.  After a hard week of cutting and stacking firewood for base camp the group decided to reward themselves with a hike up a nearby mountain.  They arose early the next day to a snowstorm that showed no signs of easing up.  To their credit, they decided that circumstances didn’t need to dictate their actions and chose to continue with their plan.

The hike proved challenging as they couldn’t clearly see where they were going or where the summit was but they pushed on and continued climbing.  When they finally reached a spot that they thought was the top it was a complete white-out blizzard.  Visibility was about 20 feet.  After 10 minutes of rest, they determined it was time to get out of the storm and were about ready to return to camp when they saw a sliver of blue sky open up giving them hope.

10 minutes later, the storm had abated, the clouds cleared and they found an incredible 360 view.  The mountains and valleys all around them were blanketed in white and beautiful sunshine provided an incredible view.

Life can often be like this for many of our clients who have lived much of their lives in a fog – in circumstances (often of their own choice) that have prevented them from seeing and appreciating what was all around them.  Wilderness therapy provides an opportunity to step away from those “challenges” and clear their minds so that they can see the beauties of life that are right there, just waiting to be explored as they discover their true potential to become who they really are.