September 8, 2021
“Fear is always there; it’s a survival instinct. You just need to know how to manage it.”
Embracing Uncertainty: Last month, Andrew and I climbed The Grand Teton, or “The Grand” as locals call it—13,775 ft, whew! It was our first mountaineering experience and it took everything in me to get up that f*cking mountain. And the climb wasn’t even the hardest part! It was the anticipation of the climb. All of the “what ifs.” What if I get altitude sickness? What if the weather turns? What if I freeze from the cold? What if I forget something important? What if my IT band goes? What if I fall off the mountain and die? What if Andrew falls off the mountain and dies? WHAT IF WE BOTH FALL OFF THE MOUNTAIN AND DIE?
As my fears became all-consuming, I looked at our guide at the end of our training, tears uncontrollably pouring out of my eyes and blurted: “I’m so scared.” Instead of saying something like, “Don’t worry, everything will be fine” or “You’re right, you probably shouldn’t do this,” she said something 10000x more comforting: “We’re just going to take it one step at a time. There are plenty of spots where we can turn around and make a different decision. We won’t know what to do until we get there and see.”
Repeat after me: Options equal freedom.
The Art of Surrender: Andrew and I had the perfect plan. We were going to climb The Grand over his birthday weekend and then camp in Yellowstone for the rest of the week. It was going to be our first real vacation in over a year. But then a storm rolled in and our trip up The Grand was pushed out a few days. We moved things around, adapted, but then another storm hit and our trip rescheduled again. By the end of the week, it felt like no vacation at all. I’d like to say I practiced the art of surrender with grace, but the truth is, the whole thing pissed me off. I honestly just wanted to get the climb over with so I could stop stressing about it. And the fact that our perfect plan blew up in our faces was incredibly annoying. That’s when I remembered that Mother Nature doesn’t give a shit about plans. Surrender is more about accepting discomfort than feeling good about change.
It’s okay if you feel like throwing a tantrum. Letting go of control sucks. You’re doing amazing.
There’s Strength in Resting: When most people think about preparing for a big trip like climbing The Grand, they think about hitting the gym, lifting weights, doing endurance exercises. While I did do some of those things to increase my fitness, I spent the entire week before the trip doubling-down on my self-care game. I went to the hot springs, got acupuncture, got a massage, ate nourishing food, slept for 10 to11 hours/night, drank a ton of water and stayed off my feet. I think we often forget that preparing our bodies to take on new challenges is just as much about rest as it is about pushing ourselves. Strength comes in many forms.
WARM AND FUZZIES
The National Parks
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In honor of our big climb and in celebration of the National Park Service’s birthday, I wanted to share this sweet folksy band Andrew and I recently discovered called, The National Parks. I added their song As We Ran (which is about Grand Teton National Park!) to the community playlist:), they give me all the campfire feels!
Prima’s R+R Recovery Cream
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After climbing The Grand, everything hurt. My muscles ached, my shoulders were tight and I was covered in bruises. One of my favorite post-hike recovery rituals is to lather myself in Prima’s CBD-infused R+R Recovery Cream. If you’re dealing with any kind of muscle tension or body fatigue, I highly recommend this cozy cream!
MONTHLY HAPPENINGS: FEATURES + EVENTS