Sun kiss and Windy bliss
Updated: Oct 3, 2019
Back in 2016 I visited Denver, Colorado and fell in love with the outdoors. One unplanned trek fueled a new passion. Check it out!
One unplanned trek
There I was on a little hike, an unplanned trek near alongside some beautiful mountains. And I was ready to fall out! With slow deliberate steps, I moved forward. Each step I move up the trail with determination and focus. My confidence in my ability was lacking but I kept saying, “Fake it until you make it”. My breathing was staggered, and I doubted that I’ll make it to our destination. My thoughts were all over the place. “Come on girl. You’ve got this. Uh, why did I say I’d do this. No stop that, you’re doing it. You can do this. You’ve got it. Sure, you’re at the back of the group but it’s okay. You can finish!”
My thoughts were interrupted when one of my friends said, “Ay Bre, you could probably get all yo’ big girls together and go for a hike out here. I'd like to see that." His words rolled off his tongue so easily and without hesitation. Almost as if he’d practiced this statement to perfection. I didn't even blink. I had nothing to say. In fact, no one said a single word.
I was so embarrassed. I felt defeated and immediately transformed into my middle school self. That girl that was easily triggered by words. I never asked him the intent of his words. Part of me felt that he was being slick and sliding in slight jab. Knowing good damn well I was barely making it. How in the world was I supposed to get other big girls up here?But you know what...I didn't ask. In a quick moment, I didn't care.
I refused to linger in that space of negative thoughts and second guessing. I moved my body. Tired, thirsty and uncomfortable, I proceeded to finish the short trail. Finally, atop the incline, I let the wind whip through my wig and the sun kiss my skin. I experienced peace like never before. I thought, "Damn, my body can do this!"
Activate your passion
One month after the trip I took another hike. This time, I joined my mentor (Dr. G) on a 4 mile trek at one of the few natural areas in North Texas; Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve. Tired as "all get out"...I found a space for healing, mental clarity and fellowship. I wanted more people to experience the outdoors.
After both hikes, I used my pageant platform to launch the GO! Project; an outdoor initiative geared towards bridging the gap between "unlikely trekkers" together for transformative outdoor experiences. I gave special attention to inviting other plus size people and Black people to go on walks and hikes. We walked at a comfortable pace. We talked and supported one another. We created a safe space for movement. While we are engaged in physical activity, we opened ourselves up to experience healing. We hike and walk in opposition of stereotypes. We create support systems and show love.
Call to Action
Stereotypes, labels and/or naysayers do NOT define you or your community. Your passion has the power to transform the lives in your inner circle. Your passion has the power to transform your community. Our hikes turned into trail cleanups, honor hikes, support sessions, prayer walks and conservation education. Now, 2 years later the GO! Project has blossomed into Curvy by Nature Movement Co. I still host hikes, walks and outdoor meetups. Now I've included yoga teacher training to my repertoire. Soon enough, I'll be hosting inclusive community yoga sessions paired with an outdoor element. (official launch January 2020)
Here's my call to action for you:
1. Find a new passion and/or rediscover old passion!
2. Make a "Social Action" bucket list (list the good things you want to do in the world)
3. Pick 1 of the things off your list and do it within the next 30 days
4. Invite at least 5 people to join you in your "social action" activity
5. Have fun & share your experience.