Stepping away from the busy-ness of life and into the serenity of nature has provided profound healing for me as I have been faced with challenging hardships and the loss of both of my parents to cancer. In someways, I believe I found my passion for snowboarding and my love for the mountains after my dad passed away when I was 14 years old.
At that time, snowboarding became a wholesome addiction. I longed to be on the mountain with my friends. As soon as I strapped into my snowboard I felt an overwhelming peaceful clarity that I had never felt before. I was able to embrace the present moment and felt all my worries fade away.
In 2017, I noticed the same calling to the mountains after my mom passed away from cancer. I just felt this need to be isolated in nature, with no distractions. I just wanted to breathe amongst the trees, and have space to be and process my feelings.
As Chris and I have now entered parenthood, we have found so much joy in sharing the healing properties of nature with our boys. We observe their curiosity and wonder as they play in the lakes, hike in the trees, climb on rocks, or bike the local trails. They are happier when they are outside.
When I was diagnosed with stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer in November of 2021, I was quickly ushered into an aggressive treatment plan and within 3 weeks I was sitting in my first round of chemotherapy. I visualized sunshine dripping in the IV, instead of harsh medicines- in hopes it would be more healing. As I neared the end of my treatment, which included 6 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy surgery, and 30 rounds of radiation, I felt the calling of my inner-being back to nature. I was longing to be surrounded by quiet forests, tall mountains, and peaceful lakes. There’s a feeling that those elements bring to our mind and body connection and it’s healing.