With today’s anxiety-provoking times, I have read a lot about nature baths and the importance of spending time outdoors. How it reduces stress and anxiety. If you want to know more, the David Suzuki Foundation explains the phenomenon well.
It got me thinking about how my relationship with the outdoors came about.
At the beginning of the year, secondary 2, I’d just changed to a new pavilion. The school divided the first years from the rest of the students. So I was now heading into the large building that used to be occupied by nuns.
The hundred-year-old building, the stone walls, the five floors so long to climb, full of people; I had just read Harry Potter recently, and I felt a bit like I was in an unreal world, lost in the long corridors.
So, feeling confused, and a little stifled by this new reality, I look over the extra-curricular activities guide. I come across the announcement of the outdoor club. More of a musician than an athlete, usually it was the art and music classes that appealed to me.
What hooked me…the group outings? It was the emphasis on having fun while moving rather than performance. If there was one sport that I’d done a lot of before, it was camping and hiking, activities I felt confident in.
P.S Thanks to my parents for that! I may have complained on the many hikes we did, but today I only remember the positive 😊
So I registered!
Each outdoor outing (4 per year) was a source of excitement, planning and serious organization. We left with the nuns’ old 15-passenger vans. Imagine a big, steel-blue Westfalia, with benches that smell like old rags and a suspension system that leaves something to be desired. A real “trip”! Clearly, not the most legit school transport in 2020.
There must have been 15 students, 2 teachers, made up from all high school levels. I made friends in other years, including 2 girls from secondary 5; accomplished, confident girls. Big sisters. I’d never had that, it was inspiring and reassuring.
In short, just the preparation and transportation was already a worthwhile adventure!
Our First Outing
A hike in the White Mountains in the United States, in October.
My equipment: my mother’s old sleeping bag I think, you know the sleeping bag without the tags to say what temperature it’s made for. An old, copper orange floor mattress, inflatable at least. New hiking boots (a birthday gift). And way too much “stuff”!
We didn’t sleep much.
We were soaked because it snows in October in the White Mountains.
We ate a strange supper, because the person who was supposed to drain the pasta dropped them on the floor.
So we ate a lot of misery, didn’t we?