#ForceOfNature This is My Story 4

Today I’m loudly cheering as #ForceOfNature launches and I proudly welcoming REI to NW Healthy Mama as a sponsor. This topic is near and dear to my heart and as always, the opinions in this post are all mine.

Today, as the #ForceOfNature REI project launches, I feel like there was never a better day to let go of complacency. All of our hearts beat for something. Pause for a moment right now and where does your mind wander? What do you care about? What do you love? Now let me ask you…..what makes you feel most alive?

It’d always been in me, since I grew up active and constantly outside, but then I had 3 babies and life was full. Things changed. Time outside became less frequent and one day, I could no longer deny it, postpartum anxiety had set it. Panic attacks were something I’d never experienced and now I was terrified to drive to Costco, in fear of having one on the road.

Then one day I woke up and I decided to start being a truth teller. I didn’t realize how many people it’d set free, including myself. I stood in my kitchen and told my sister I want to go outside and do hard things with awesome women. Never in a million years did I realize where that statement would take us and little did I know how incredibly healing it would be.

On that day I realized I wasn’t created to take the easy route. I wasn’t born to take the shortest path and I believe YOU weren’t either. I woke up to myself and to the needs in my heart. I listened to the desire for more and step by step, I conquered fears, postpartum anxiety and loneliness.

I want to feel my muscles burn and do the best I can. The easiest route is no longer appealing because I’ve caught fire of how good the feeling of accomplishment is. I’m deeply passionate about finding out what my full potential is and I’m taking my friends with me.

Today REI lauches #ForceOfNature. There will be stories of adventurers, makers and rule-breakers. Women will be brought together outdoors with over 1,000 classes nationwide.
I am so extremely proud of the NW Healthy Mama community and this entire project reminds me so much of you all. I’ve heard MANY of your stories and I am constantly in awe of your strength, bravery, kindness and thirst for a life of meaning.
I have a few #ForceOfNature women I’d like to personally thank:
  1. First, I’m thanking my sister for facilitating our hiking group with me and for not turning my idea down in the kitchen. You were HUGE in pulling me out of my funk. I love doing this with you!
  2. Secondly I’d like to thank every smiley and fit older woman I’ve seen on the trails. You are beautiful inside and out and you deeply inspire me. When I grow up, I want to be like you. Here’s to hiking at 80! 
  3. The gal who brought me daffodils before a recent hike. You know who you are and for 100 reasons, I am so happy to know you.
  4. Forth, every gal I’ve ever hiked with. Getting away for a day isn’t easy. Thank you for joining me outside and for being fun!
  5. My dear gym buddy. Life would NOT be the same without you. I am SO HAPPY you’re my friend. Love you!
  6. A favorite hiking buddy that moved away last year. With this gal along, I always came home feeling so thankful for the conversations. I can’t wait to hike with you and your future daughter someday!
  7. My very own incredible Mom, who is a true #ForceOfNature. Thank you for the example you’ve given me.
  8. Every woman who reads this blog. It’s not easy writing after the kids are in bed or early in the morning, but for you, it’s so worth it.  Love you all!
We might not see eye to eye on everything, but it doesn’t matter. We support each other and go home stronger than when we left. Together, we are stronger.

Wear it like you mean it.

REI is donating 72% of the proceeds from the Force of Nature bandana and other special-edition gear to nonprofits helping women and girls get outside.

Why the oddly specific number? Because in a recent national survey, 72% of women said that when they’re outdoors they feel liberated and free. Will you join me in proudly wearing  #ForceOfNature on the trails?  Grab your bandana here today! 

May 6 kicks off over 1,000 events designed for women. Click here to find one near you.  

Now it’s your turn to share and here are some questions to get you started!  

  • What does being a strong woman mean to you?
  • How are you embracing #ForceOfNature? 
  • Who have your female role models been, is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank?
  • How much time do you currently spend outside and how much time would you like to be spending outside?
  • What is the biggest thing you’ve overcome in your life?

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.

4 thoughts on “#ForceOfNature This is My Story

  • Ingunn

    Very cool!

    I fully credit hiking with saving me from depression ten years, and being outdoors gives me so much confidence to this day – honestly, as a mother of a toddler and a baby I don’t know what I’m doing 90% of the time, so when I get out on trail for some much-needed alone time, I get to revisit that feeling of competency that comes with being an outdoorswoman. I make sure my girls are outside as much as possible too, and I hope that climbing and running and camping can give them the sort of confidence I wish I had had as a teenager, which would probably have helped me avoid depression in the first place.

    As for female role models, my big one is Cecilie Skog, an adventurer from Norway (my home country). She climbed all the Seven Summits and reached both poles, and she is currently trying to balance her new life as a mom with her life of adventure, just like so many of us are.

  • Emily Lambert

    “The easiest route is no longer appealing because I’ve caught fire of how good the feeling of accomplishment is.”

    SO, SO good!

    Thank you for your honesty, beauty and willingness to share the adventure! You are a #forceofnature friend!

  • Brenda

    You know you’re a trail sister when you entertain the notion of revoking a wedding RSVP to avoid missing a hike with your #trailsisters! Honestly Angela, the best encouragement and connection happens on these hikes together no matter who I meet. Something about navigating creation for several hours together in the company of the likeminded. Its glorious! ?

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