Joy might feel like a foreign word after a tumultuous 2020. Our experience of joy has shifted. Our definition of joy has shifted. 2020 has taught us to look at joy differently. To tap into joy differently. From a new angle. A new perspective. Joy took on a new priority level for me after losing my cousin on my birthday in 2020 as I could feel my spirit melting away into nothingness.
The joy I stumbled upon came unexpectedly. It all started with that magic app on our digital phone, the one that tracks your steps. I opened the health app on my iPhone in August 2020 and saw there were many days in the past few months my steps were a mere 67 steps. I was shocked to see how immobile I was!
At that moment, I made a decision to start walking daily.
Inspired by my roommate and dear friend who was participating in 75Hard, a challenge created by Andy Frisella, I decided I was going to commit to my own challenge. Part of the 75Hard challenge includes 2 daily workouts where one HAS to be outside no matter the weather! I decided to adopt this outdoor requirement. I walked every single day for 45 minutes in the California heat as well as New Jersey rain and snow when I was home for the holidays!
More than the physical benefits, which I got many… were the mental health benefits I got from being outside daily. When I had a difficult day of work I could see my body just squirming to get outside on my walk. If I hadn’t been outside all day, I could feel my body yearning for some fresh air.
These outdoor walks cleared my mind, helped me sort through complex situations, and created space for some internal peace.
Something about the stillness of nature creates a stillness in you. It invites you to sit with what is rather than scramble for what isn’t. It brings you to a deep part within you. To a small voice that encourages you to keep moving forward. A small voice that is usually blocked out by the stress and noise we are normally accustomed to in our daily lives.
If there’s anything I learned from this 100 day walking challenge is that our bodies need nature. Our bodies are from the very thing that created nature. Connecting with nature, connects you to your joy. It awakens a part of you that has been dormant. It connects you to a deeper part of yourself that you haven’t touched before. Do yourself a favor this year and spend more time in nature. I promise you, you will feel a shift within!