Me, Myself, and the Outdoors






I just saw 127 hours.  I’m blown away, to be honest.  This last week I’ve been thinking a lot about humans relationship with nature and with my own connection with nature.  Last week I was sharing one of my favorite quotes with a friend:

“Searching my heart for its true sorrow, this is the thing that I find to be: That I am weary of words and people; sick of the city, wanting the sea”. 

I think a lot about that quote, especially now, and get anxious sometimes wondering if I feel that same way too often.  I think that everyone has some instinctual pull towards the wilderness, even if it is just to look upon it and feel alive.  But what happens if we think we feel most happy and most at ease with ourselves only when we are doing our own thing out in nature, alone and without the help of anyone else.  I don’t know how to word it exactly, and I don’t think it is a new theme, but this quote and now 127 Hours have really got me thinking about that. 

Sometimes I’m convinced all I need in life is an open road, a winding trail, blue skies.  That reaching summits and running the longest routes under my own power are the only sorts of achievements I care for.  And that I mentally discount these experiences if I’ve received too much help.

But other times I wake up out of this absorption and realize that human connections are beyond important and bring a whole different kind of happiness.  That being able to give and share love with others is really the pinnacle of human ‘achievement’

It goes on in stages and cycles, and I guess this run across the landscapes of America will certainly help me sort out this contradiction.  I think the important thing is to live the question, rather than await a resolution or answer.  In fact I’m not even sure what the question is.  Just curious after seeing 127 Hours, reading Into the Wild, and living my own experiences, curious to see what happens when we think all we need is ourselves, our packs, and an outdoor adventure to be satisfied in this life.  It can’t give us everything we need, can it?


Author: zoegoesrunning

Hello! I'm a runner, a writer, and have run across the United States and the Tour de France course. Most recently, I'm blogging about my adventures in an MFA program that will bring me to Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, and my teaching plans for Argentina.

One thought on “Me, Myself, and the Outdoors”

  1. Hi Zoe,
    I am so enjoying your writings. They are taking on a Thoreau quality…quiet reflections on life and relationships. What a wonderful adventure you are on. Your spirit is uplifting to all who read. Enjoy each day to the fullest and stay safe.

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