"My proudest moment is learning to be my whole self in the outdoors.
I started backpacking when I was sixteen and immediately fell in love with the outdoors. It was the first place I had ever been that was big enough to encompass all sides of me. Coming from a family that was supportive of my going, but not willing to participate in most outdoor activities with me was hard. How do you love something that you can't share with your loved ones? Out of necessity, I began to build my own community of outdoor enthusiasts - my high school cross country team, nature-loving photographers, skiers, hikers, backpackers, and the man who is now my husband. They have always encouraged me to continue to pursue my love of expressing myself in nature.
But how to keep going? Sometimes just getting out the front door is the hardest step. Life is busy and it often feels like there are an overwhelming number of options. Where to go? What to do? Putting "go for a hike" on the calendar instead of "happy hour in the city" helps me make space for myself when my free time is limited. Despite family pressure to do otherwise, making time for the things that are important to me has been so fulfilling. I am learning to take care of myself so that I can, in turn, take care of the beautiful outdoors that give me the space to be my whole self." - Kim
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