Trail blazer

At the ripe old age of 5 months, B is already no stranger to the outdoors.

She went on her first hike when she was two weeks old…

first hike

… and her first snowshoeing expedition at 2 months. (Let the record show she spent half the time crying and I had to nurse her on the trail. Good times.)

first snoeshoe


The last time we were out snowshoeing (and let’s hope it’s the last, SPRING WHERE ARE YOU?!?!) a skier we passed called me a “one in a million mom.” Cue the awwwwwwwww.

I just ran across an article in The Atlantic about how nature resets our minds and bodies. The presence of nature, the article says, buffers kids against the stressors of man-made environments.

Urban environments are draining because they force us to direct our attention to specific tasks (e.g., avoiding the onslaught of traffic) and grab our attention dynamically, compelling us to “look here!” before telling us to instead “look over there!” These demands are draining — and they’re also absent in natural environments. Forests, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans demand very little from us, though they’re still engaging, ever changing, and attention-grabbing.

This comes as no surprise considering how great I feel after a day on the trail, river, or path, but it’s interesting to see the research to back it up. I credit a semester trekking through the Costa Rican rainforest with curing me of an eating disorder, depression, and a horrible pizza face. Powerful stuff! I’m glad to know that when I strap B. into her baby backpack and hit the road, I can feel confident that I’m not only making myself a better mom, I’m helping her be a healthier baby.



2 thoughts on “Trail blazer

  1. Nice post! I went to the article you mentioned, thanks for the link, and found it most interesting. This explains why I enjoy the woodsy walks as opposed to the city walks. Lapham Peak, Whitnal park, and Greenfield park are some of my favorites.

    • I agree! Sometimes I wonder why I almost compulsively go on a walk in the woods every weekend… must be my body (and mind!) telling me it needs some space!

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