Woman, queer, fat, mid-thirties, writer, Unlikely Hiker. I always considered myself an indoor kid, a city kid. For a long time, I was a party girl and DJ (I do still DJ a bit). In 2012, an accidental hike led to an unlikely discovery. Hiking became my therapy, my church, my medicine. Nature feels like the only place I can turn down the noise in my head and disengage with the harmful dominant culture. I can take up as much space as I want and also revel in the minuteness of my existence. This is such a gift.
The healing power of exercise was totally unexpected. Body-negative culture mostly ruined the idea of it for me. We are told we can exercise to “fix” ourselves and achieve unrealistic body goals. We aren’t told it just feels good. It makes our bodies work better, our minds clearer, our sleep better. It’s meditative. It can even be a spiritual practice.
I curse, I make jokes, I talk about sex and mental health stuff. I reject the all too common Loser-Makes-Good storyline. I screw up all the time and I want to talk about it. Most nature blogs seem to keep it light, polite, apolitical, family friendly. There’s nothing wrong with that, generally, but there’s so much of it and so little else. Through sharing my personal writing along with the resources I find on diversifying the outdoors, I hope to bust up tired ideas of what an outdoorsperson looks like. I aim to put a spotlight on diversity, inclusion and visibility and show anyone how to heal their lives mentally, spiritually and physically with nature.
Thank you for reading. If you find any of this of interest, I would love to connect with you.
-Jenny Bruso (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more on my backstory:
- Community, Intersectionality and Every Feeling I’ve Ever Felt
- Story of a Body
- The Journey is Good, Too
- I Take the Long Way