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Step OUT! (of your comfort zone)

The cold pressed through my athletic wear as I anticipated the race’s start.


What am I doing??? I’d only run a handful of times in the past few weeks and here I was getting ready to start a New Year’s Day race. But I had promised myself to “step out” of my comfort zone, and so here I was.


As it turned out, the hardest part of the whole experience was that first step over the start line. Sure, the rest wasn’t easy either, but I felt so invigorated when I was done. I wondered - what was the secret to taking that first step?


First there were the barriers…it’s too cold…I’m not prepared…my running shoe has a hole (duct tape worked wonders).  All of these were rooted in fearing the unknown.


Something changed in me though the minute that I found out that other friends were doing it.


Looking back, I realized that the secret to “stepping out” for me was “joining in”. I wanted to be part of the group, the fun, the shared experience (there happened to be free beer too!).


Maybe you are determined to do the same?


When I reflect on our work encouraging our young people to step out(side) and connect with the natural world around them, I continually wonder - what is the secret to taking that first step?


We live in a world with so many barriers to our youth spending time outdoors…screens… perceived danger… real danger… lack of access, time or encouragement.


Something changes though when their friends are doing it.



When we work with schools, we notice that even the self-proclaimed "nature haters" end up enjoying the experience once they see their peers digging in the soil or laughing while doing a scavenger hunt.


As we embark on a new year, I invite you to challenge these barriers and to take that first step. Consider "stepping out" by "joining in".


Wishing you time to Thrive Outside,


Shannon Rozea

Founding Director & Landscape Architect

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