cycling · fitness · holidays · inclusiveness

Challenges and Joys (Guest Post) #bikepacking

I began my bike tour just over a week ago on August 21st. So much has happened that I hardly know where to begin. Each day has lots of challenges to troubleshoot, but there is plenty of joy too.

In Exeter my biggest challenge was being kicked out of the free campsite because I was in a tent, rather than an RV. When the by law officer stopped by I had just laid down for a much needed nap, prior to a much needed massage appointment – the timing could not have been worse. As a result, I didn’t get a nap and was 20 minutes late for my massage… even though I packed things up so hastily that I needed to completely unpack and repack later. It threw off my whole day and gave me greater empathy for folx who are displaced from tent cities. 

As I was repacking more effectively my cooler fell and a full jar of pasta sauce spilled all over the place. All day it had been one thing after another, so I looked at it and wryly commented to myself “that seems about right!”

Partially loaded bicycle with bags and stuff all around it (including a jar of pasta sauce spilled on the ground), as I was repacking things in Exeter.

Fortunately, there’s a delicious and low cost Thai restaurant that took the edge off. That night I stealth camped for the first time and left early in the morning. Earlier in the week friends had suggested an a great stealth camping spot in Exeter, so I had an instant back up for the night.

My greatest joy in Exeter was getting to know a couple folx living in poverty. They reminded me of some of my friends from Sanctuary London… the place where I feel most at home… most at ease… most like I can just be myself no matter what. Josh* and I had a couple convos that were rich with a sense of common humanity as we shared our struggles and dreams. Then about an hour before I rolled out of town, an older gentleman who I’d previously asked for directions, came over to ask about my trip plans. He wandered off after a short chat, but about ten minutes later he returned with the most thoughtful care package imaginable… even more so given the poverty he was experiencing himself. Each item had been carefully chosen… an extra tie strap, an instant soup pack, juice crystals, protein bars, and a fruit cup. It made my day. 

An extra tie strap, an instant soup pack, juice crystals,  protein bars, and a fruit cup sitting on a picnic table.
Care package

A major challenge and time suck along the way has been organizing my bags effectively so that I can easily access what’s needed for the day… preferably without unpacking anything not needed. This is a huge pain… but after unpacking and repacking countless times, I think I’m getting better at it… I *really* hope I am! 

A few of my greatest joys so far: 

  • Washing my hair in an actual shower (rather than a sink) or on the beach (with biodegradable soap of course!)
  • Cold water
  • Monarch butterflies *everywhere*
  • Sleeping under the stars
  • Breakfast on a nearly empty beach the night after a big storm
A sandy beach, blue sky with a couple white clouds, and beautiful blue water. There are trees on Botha sides of the photo. There is almost no one on the beach.
My view during breakfast the night after a big storm
  • Countless convos with curious folx
  • Car Free Sunday (with live street music) in Kincardine
  • And randomly meeting Mike Darmon – a fellow active transportation advocate! 
Mike and I are standing in the foreground with my bike between and behind us. In the background is The Bruce Steakhouse.
Mike Darmon and I knew each other from Twitter, but hadn’t met before. He came over to ask about my bike. Both of us were enjoying live music at Kincardine’s Car Free Sunday!

fitness · holiday fitness · holidays · triathalon

Summer Vacation, Part 2: A swim, bike, golf triathlon!

My vacation last week was a little bit of a joke in that it mostly didn’t happen. I have one of those jobs that means I can get away sometimes but I can’t necessarily stay away, especially as we’re weeks away from the start of the university semester. I knew it was a stretch to try and I did have time away recently so it’s all good really.

I even managed to work from a vacation like spot–Sarah’s family farm in Prince Edward County–and I did get some activity in between emergency meetings. Since I don’t even have time to write blog posts right now this is more of a photo essay of my triathlon of vacation activities.

Swim!

Bike!

Ice cream ride

Mini Golf!

Sam and Sarah playing mini putt
cycling · fitness · holiday fitness · holidays

Biking on the G2G Trail (Again!)

Many photos of our trip!

The summer of rail trail biking continues with more time on the holiday weekend on the Guelph to Goderich Trail.

We’ve ridden on a lot of Ontario trails from Brantford to Port Dover, in Prince Edward County on the Millennium Trail, as well as the Simcoe County Loop Trail.

Let me recommend the G2G as a great way to get started trail riding, maybe even with small children.

Why? It’s relatively, wide and flat. It’s well shaded. It travels through lots of small towns with convenience stores and ice cream not far off the trail. For those over the age of 19, there’s also Cowbell Brewery in Blyth which has a pretty nice restaurant too.

There are many entry points with dedicated parking lots making it easy to bit and pieces of the trail at a time.

Of course, once you get to Goderich you can continue on to Bayfield if you haven’t ridden enough that day!

Here’s me on the pier in Bayfield. Wearing a dress and riding a bike, which I like to do sometimes!

Sam on her adventure road bike wearing a green and blue polka dot dress and white helmet standing on the pier at Bayfield Harbour.
boats · camping · canoe · fitness · holiday fitness · holidays

When plans go awry, or a vacation in three parts!

My word of the year is flow. It’s a good thing. My July vacation was very planned, down to the last detail, in the way that long canoe trips need to be. Thanks Sarah, trip planner extraordinaire. It was going to be our longest canoe trip yet, 8 days in the woods, moving and traveling every day, but the world had other plans.

In the end our 8 day canoe trip turned into three mini vacations not one long canoe trip, but it all felt suitably vacation-like and restful once we got creative and went with the flow.

Part 1: Algonquin

Our trip began with a massive thunder and lightning storm so bad that we spent the first night sleeping on our inflatable mattress pad in the back of Sarah’s Subaru. We had a site on the first lake so it would be easy to get to but I hated the idea of starting with everything soaking wet.

So we were heading out on day 1–putting in at Magnetewan and paddling and portaging our way through Hambone, Ralph Bice, and staying the night on Little Trout. But en route we broke one of the canoe’s thwarts that provide stability to the boat. Given the rain and how wet everything was, our duct tape fix wasn’t going to hold. We talked about options but there was no good one other than coming out of the park and repairing the canoe. We couldn’t rely on meeting up with other paddlers with duct tape. Leaving the park was sad but it really felt there weren’t good options. Leaving was the adult, responsible thing to do.

It actually was strangely liberating to know we could sleep in the Subaru in a pinch. But in the course of doing that we punctured the mattress pad and so we ended up heading out with only a single sleeping pad purchased at the last minute from Algonquin Base Camp outfitters in Kearney. It was all they had.

We tried to rebook the trip so we could fix the canoe and the pad and go back in but there weren’t any available reservations. The good news was that we were heading back in with a tail wind. Sarah said it was a sign we were going the right way. We made it down the length of Ralph Bice Lake in a record 45 minutes. That’s a trip that can take hours going into the wind.

We had a lovely couple of days of paddling. And we learned that we can pack and carry enough food for an eight day trip. Next year, friends, next year.

Part 2: Massassauga Provincial Park

So once we knew we couldn’t get back into Algonquin, we headed home to Guelph to execute canoe repairs. But we were also still fully packed for canoe camping and viewed more canoe camping as the best possible Plan B. We bought a replacement inflatable lightweight mattress pad. This time we went high end and got the one that matches our Big Agnes Fly Creek tent.

Enter The Massassauga Provincial Park which had a couple of free nights available, on two different locations. There’s very little portaging at Massassauga. Our trip had none. It did have a very active beaver, excellent yoga rocks, terrific swimming, and a great spot for the hammock.

Part 3 Biking to Port Dover

We arrived home on Saturday with some holidays still to spare. I’ve always wanted to bike from Brantford to Port Dover on the trail and so we did, staying over at the Erie Beach Hotel in the middle of the 100 km round trip. Great trails, some paved sections, some chip and some packed gravel. All easily ridable on the gravel bikes. Sarah got to try out her new large under-the-seat bag and I put panniers on my bike. We left the Bob trailer behind this time. Next time I do it though, I hope there isn’t a heat wave.

fitness · holiday fitness · holidays

Five things Catherine is doing differently this summer

2021 has been a very unusual year, and brought us a very unusual summer. Vaccination for many of us has made possible more close encounters with those we love, like, and hardly know. But it’s certainly not business as usual– that’s for sure.

However, looking back to mid-May, and looking forward to the end of August, I can’t say I’m feeling disappointed with how this summer has unfolded and will proceed. Here are a few ways I’m spending my summer that are a departure from my usual gadding about– conferencing, visiting family and trying to arrange a far-away vacation.

No air travel: all my visiting and vacationing and exploring is happening by car this summer. I’m super lucky that I was able to finally give my 13-year-old manual transmission Toyota Matrix to my niece Gracie and buy a 2021 automatic Honda Civic Hatchback. Two bikes plus gear will still fit in the back with the seats down, but the interior is much more comfortable and gadgety. I love it.

A new car means I’ve happily undertaken the long drive (1000 miles/1600 km) to South Carolina to visit family, and I’ve stayed longer with them. Driving also means I take more breaks, generally in the form of walking in some green area en route, and also using hotel pools (now that they’ve reopened– yay vaccination!). And yes, driving means I can take my bike plus whatever other gear I want with me. I love love love not having to pack light or worry about carryon restrictions. Finally, driving has meant carpooling with friends and family, too– we’re all more slowed down and a teensy bit more flexible about schedules. Huzzah to that!

More walking with friends and family and their dogs: even after getting vaccinated (did I say yay vaccination? Yay again!), almost everyone I know is still in the habit of passing time together on foot, tooling around the neighborhood, to a local place for something to eat or drink, doing errands, or just to enjoy the warm weather. It’s been such fun walking with friends and family, as well as friends’ and family dogs. Yes, I’m talking about you, Baxter! And you, Dixie! And Kita! And Wylie! And Mopsy! And other canines not mentioned here. The thing is, I’ve got the time. Imagine that.

Upping my swimming game: this is a project still in process, but I’ve gone swimming much more this year than in decades. Fresh water, ocean, warm water, cold water– I’m dipping in when I can. Friends are a huge help, as I tag along behind them, taking advantage of their slipstream of purpose and intention. Yes, I’m talking about you, Norah! And others, too. Again, it feels to me like it takes more time and effort to go to a lake or beach to swim, but oh, the benefits and the joys! I’ve got plans to swim in two different states (Massachusetts and New Hampshire) next week.

Vacationing regionally with friends: In years past, I would try to do a longer-distance vacation, sometimes combined with a conference. This year I had planned to go to Utah with a friend and her family to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. But as time grew nearer, I found that I just wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t psyched about getting on a plane, going to what are apparently super-crowded parks during record heat in the west while COVID cases are on the rise. Hard to argue with that, right?

Instead, I’ve gone to Cape Elizabeth, Maine for a long weekend with friends, am heading to Brattleboro Vermont to see a friend, visiting friends in their new apartment in NYC, and going on a meditation retreat with friends in Rhinebeck, NY. All of these trips are short, an easy drive away, and involve fun times with good friends I didn’t get to see in person during the past year. Yay for being with those we love again!

Rethinking time: I’m not even sure what I mean here. But it’s true that since March 2020, I’ve had time to think about what’s important to me. Like many of you, that means friends, family, projects, pets, creativity, helping others, movement, and home. Cultivating and maintaining connections to those things takes time. And it turns out, we’ve got time. Who knew? More on this as it becomes clearer, but for now, I’m so enjoying just spending and passing the time of the summer, doing basic and satisfying activities.

  • Will I get on a plane again? Yes.
  • Will I take a far-away vacation again? Yes.
  • Will I go to an in-person conference again? Yes.
  • Will I forget these lessons I’ve learned about the importance of spending time, lots of time, on what I care about? I hope not. This is why I’m writing it down here and now.

What about you, dear readers? What are you doing differently this summer? How are the pace and scope of your activities different? Or are they? I’d love to hear what you’re up to.

camping · canoe · fitness · holiday fitness · holidays

How long is the ideal vacation? Or, Sam heads into the woods again

I shared this to my Facebook page the other day, mostly because I noticed that my upcoming canoe camping trip is the exact length of the ideal vacation!

I was amused at the heated debate that ensued among friends. You never know what’s going to bring out competing views and strong opinions!

There were the stereotypical American friends who claimed never to have taken a vacation that long. There were the Europeans who spoke up in favour of their two months off.

To be clear, I do take a month’s vacation each year. Eight days isn’t my only vacation. But I like to take time off throughout the year rather than in one big chunk.

For me, the ideal length of any one chunk of vacation really varies. If I am flying somewhere, especially somewhere with a time difference, I like to allow some time as part of the trip to recover when I get there and when I get home so it’s usually two weeks all told but not all of that is the vacation itself. I schedule time to decompress, do laundry, and get caught up on sleep when I get back. Getting sensible in my middle age!

My biking trips south are usually a week off work but bookended by weekends for travel.

My best bang for buck vacation time wise are my canoe camping trips. Even my four day back country canoe camping trips feel like real vacation. There are no phones, no email , lots of natural beauty, and lots of movement. I sleep very well! I come back rested and sometimes feel like I’ve been off for weeks.

This is my longest back country canoe camping trip yet. Sarah is carefully planning all the things so that we have food but not too much food and we’re being very weight conscious because of portages. A couple of years ago we invested in ultralight weight camping gear so we could keep doing this even with my knees in the state they’re in.

I’ll report back on how eight days feels.

Here’s our report on the 2020 six day trip.

Sam paddling on a blue lake with clouds reflecting on the water

What your ideal length vacation? Also have you ever done a long back country trip? What did you eat? What are your favourite dehydrated meals?

cycling · fitness · holidays

Going with the flow, from bike packing to airbnb-ing on the Simcoe Loop Trail, sort of

The plan: a 3 day bike-packing trip on the Simcoe County Loop trail, staying in provincial parks.

“The Simcoe County Loop Trail is a 160-kilometer loop that travels through nine municipalities, reaches three major bodies of water, including Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, and Lake Couchiching. And, it is primarily on off-road, multi-use rail-trails!”

There are lots of videos out there of fast looking young men on gravel bikes doing it in a day. Ignore those videos. We did. We planned a three day version with time to stop along the way.

I blogged about our plans here.

But those plans were derailed a little bit when provincial parks were still subject to covid restrictions and our reservations were cancelled. I cried. I sulked for a day. And then I made other plans. My word of the year FLOW is serving me well.

What happened instead: We did three days, mostly sticking to the loop but with some deviations due to the location of our accommodations. We still brought the Bob trailer for all of our other stuff.

Day 1: Parked the car in Barrie, bought replacement frame pump that we forgot (thanks Trek Cycles), rode into Orillia on a stunning, shaded rail trail. Stopped to pick up burgers and beverages in town and then made it to our airbnb trailer. Total distance, 41 km.

Where we stayed in Orillia:

Lots to love about the trailer. Air conditioning! A shower! The owners lived in it while they were building their house and now they rent it as an airbnb. We were also impressed with how close to the Trans Canada Trail it was, just under 2 km.

Day 2:

On day 2 we had lunch at Em’s Cafe, at the 20 km mark. along with lots of cyclists.

Cheese and avocado and rockets. Also iced coffee.

30 km later we rolled into Midland. Dinner was provided by friends Bill and Sarah who’ve just opened their own business.

May be an image of tree, outdoors and text that says 'CHEF BILL PRESENTS DRUNKEN JAMS, JELLIES & MARMALADES'

But after dinner we biked what may have been the hardest 25 km we’ve ever ridden. And we’ve done a lot of tough riding together. Newfoundland! The ride out of town was fine. But once we hit the country roads we encountered hills that we feel Google really ought to have warned us about. I’m not a light rider, Sarah was towing the trailer, and we weren’t on our speedy lightweight road bikes. It was a slog. We were very happy to arrive at our airbnb bunkie and discover that we could use the pool. Phew!

Total day’s riding: About 75 km

Day 3: After a breakfast of coffee and BBQ’ed crumpets we set off, nervous about hills and heat. We took it easy, stopping lots along the way for water, ice cream, butter tarts and visits with friendly dogs. I’ve got to say that riding on a heat alert day is something I usually associate with late July or August, not the first weekend in June. Maybe I acclimatize to it by then but this was just hot and humid and insufficient shade. I read this–Things all cyclists think on very hot rides— aloud to Sarah on the way home and we agree with most of them.

Total mileage day 3: 40 km

Some observations:

  • Wow. So many bugs–all different kinds. I took at least a dozen caterpillars out of my hair that were hanging from shrubs that we rode under. But also all the usual variety of flying things. The worst for riding? Clouds of midges.
  • We also saw lots of critters–a snake! a beaver! a fox! frogs! So many frogs. Also, so many birds! Lots of ‘turtle crossing’ warning signs but no actual turtles. Also, we warned about a coyote on the path but didn’t see one.
  • The upside of going with the flow was getting to do the trip but it involved more time off the trail on hilly, no-shade country roads than I would have liked.
  • We missed the Tiny Trail on our route and we’re definitely going back at some point during the summer to ride it.
  • I deliberately decided to go casual, bike dresses and my usual sunglasses, spd sandals instead of bike shoes. This way I’d feel better going 15-20 km/hr rather than 25-30, I reasoned. Nevermind all of that. Gravel and trails are hard in their own way and I should have stuck with my more technical cycling gear. It’s designed the way it is for a reason. It works.
  • I’ve never ridden this bike this far before and now I am starting to have dangerous new bike thoughts. I’m browsing lists of best gravel bikes for bike-packing.
  • There’s nothing like exhausting yourself on the bike to get a good night’s sleep. Night 1 was 9 hours and 45 minutes and night 2 was 9 hours and 55 minutes. Yawn!
  • There were a range of surfaces in the trails. Some paved, some chip, some gravel but the hardest trail we rode on was sand. That was a challenge.

Anyway, will definitely do more of this kind of travel. It feels like a real adventure even though it’s close to home and you don’t have to be gone that long to feel like it’s a holiday. Maybe next time we’ll even get to camp!

fitness · holidays

Easter feminist finery: these shoes were made for spring(ing)

It’s springtime, when a woman’s fancy turns to…. shoes?

Our bloggers have been full of new-shoe-talk lately. Christine bought a new pair of hiking boots, letting herself experience “doing well”, instead of “doing fine” (from the ankles down). And my friend Pam guest-blogged about her new shoes, which were really, truly made for walking. Yay!

Sometimes, however, we want to spruce ourselves up or spice things up a bit. We here at Fit is a Feminist Issue love kicking our heels up, and many of us have a variety of shoe styles to aid in that activity.

Also, today is Easter Sunday. For those of you who observe this holiday or grew up participating in some of the traditions of Easter, new shoes are often involved (hats, too, but that’s another post). My favorite fancy shoes from childhood were a pair of lemon-yellow patent leather flats with mother-of-pearl buckles on the toes. Sadly, I cannot find a trace of them anywhere on the internet, nor do I have any pictures of us (the shoes and I) from that period. After some extensive searching, the closest I could come up with was this shoe:

medium-yellow patent-leather flats with yellow buckles on the toes. Mine were lighter and springier-looking.
medium-yellow patent-leather flats with yellow buckles on the toes. Mine were lighter and springier-looking. And don’t forget the mother-of-pearl buckles!

All that searching for my elusive childhood shoe was not for naught. I found all sorts of lovely yellow patent-leather lovelies for you to enjoy this fine morning:

If your taste runs to multiple contrasting colors or textures, try these on for size:

Some of us just aren’t flats people. Maybe we want a loafer, or a shoe with more substantial support. Fear not, folks, I found some styles just for you– in yellow:

There’s one more shoe I have to show you all, which is the one I bought today. It’s called lemon sorbet, but my friends Martin and Andrew think it’s more pistachio. We shall see when they arrive, but either way, I’m delighted.

A pair of lemon-sorbet but maybe with a little pistachio green mixed in Kate Spade patent leather loafers.
A pair of lemon-sorbet but maybe with a little pistachio green mixed in Kate Spade patent leather loafers.

Yes, we all need and want hiking shoes, running shoes, climbing shoes, lifting shoes, water shoes, wrestling shoes, court shoes, dancing shoes, etc., for all our specialized movement needs. Today, as Easter arrives and spring is either here or on its way, maybe your thoughts will turn to a new or new-to-you pair of pretty colored shoes.

What shoes say spring to you? Let me know.

fitness · holidays

In search of love? some places to find it

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear readers! We really appreciate all of you and are so happy to have this community for sharing, crowing, commiserating, kvetching and collaborating on ways to make the world better, one ride/walk/swim/paddle/dead lift/asana at a time.

Although 2021 is showing (sort of) an upswing compared to its ignominious cousin, 2020, I don’t think many of us are feeling like love is in the air. Nonetheless, it’s out there. Here are some ways I’ve found love lately. If you’re feeling game, give some of them a try.

ONE: give and receive stuff

It’s such a nice feeling to give things to people. And, I’ve rediscovered, to receive them. Here are a couple of handy items people have given me recently:

A used but functional computer monitor with large bottle of keratin-treatment shampoo in front.

TWO: breathing in and out, for a while, slowly

I’m reading this book called Breath: the New Science of a Lost Art. I’m not sure what to think yet about it– it mixes scientific journalism with what strikes me as cultish devotion to fringe fads. But, I’m trying some of the breathing exercises, and it’s very interesting. Just adding a few into my day makes it seem like the world is a kinder place. That’s not bad, and it’s also free.

THREE: do something funny, or find the funny in what you’re doing

Hardly anything feels as good as laughing. And absolutely nothing feels as good as laughing with another person. Unless it’s sharing a laugh over something completely unexpected. This happened to me last week, while I was on the phone with a staff person at my university. It’s one of those “you had to be there” stories, but at the end of the phone call, we were both chuckling and completely at peace with the world. I recommend this.

FOUR: move with friends, virtually or in person

This one is a no-brainer, but it merits mention. I’ve been walking with my friend Norah, and riding the trainer over the phone with my friend Pata. Norah and I also do zoom yin yoga together, and I walk or do other things with friends as schedules permit. What’s that saying? A workout shared is a workout halved? Okay, maybe they don’t say that, but they should.

FIVE: discover the pleasure of some sensory newness– taste is mine

Last week made a new salad, with new salad dressing (not the same old ones I’ve been making forever). OMG– it tasted awesome! Just eating something that’s different tasting from what we’ve been eating can be such a pleasure for our senses.

Salad with roasted cauliflower with turmeric and coriander, halloumi cheese, raisins (I used dried cranberries), avocado, and an orange-juice/honey vinaigrette. What’s not to love? The picture is from the NY Times, not my house, BTW.

SIX: create, or witness/appreciate creation

I’m taking a personal essay writing class, which is exactly what I need to be doing right now. More on that another time.

If you’re in the mood to witness utter creativity, here’s one that leaves me almost gasping– choreographer and genius Elizabeth Streb, whose modern dance company learned to fly for this film. Check out the trailer:

So, readers: where are you finding love these days? I’d love to hear your stories, as always.

Sending you love from our little corner, Fit is a Feminist Issue!

holidays · motivation · Sat with Nat

Reflecting on vulnerability, resilience, and limits

Recommended Soundtrack: Free Your Mind by En Vogue

I don’t remember exactly when I realized I was at higher risk of COVID 19 complications than others my age. Sleep apnea, asthma, high blood pressure, and weight are all factors in folks outcomes. As a result I got quite risk averse in the summer and as it turned to fall the second wave started. I didn’t ride my bike outside. When restrictions loosened in my community I kept my own restrictions in place.

This awareness of my own vulnerability and that of people I know & love really impacted me. It shook free the last bits of invulnerability I had left.

That vulnerability feels at odd with how incredibly resilient you and I have been. If you told me last March I would work from home for a year and do it well I would have laughed. Not possible! Nope! Me? Arguably the most social person on the planet, working AT HOME ALONE? Unfathomable, yet that’s exactly what I’m doing.

We’ve experienced loss of loved ones, friends, and anticipate more loss. Economic impacts, the loss of social rituals, group activities…

And yet, there are so many things we’ve learned this year and changed. From hand washing and social distancing to the benefits/limits of technology to connect us.

I learned I can stick to an exercise routine and dial in my nutrition. Working at home and not going out with friends brought those two components into sharp focus.

I’ve learned I can walk more, stretch more, sleep better, and be more present in my life. That’s mighty powerful stuff.

The upheaval of the year and my responses to it have made me realize something profound about self imposed limits, especially around fitness.

By reflecting on all I learned and what I’ve changed, I realized it’s time to let those limits go. It’s humbling and scary to realize there are a great many things I can do when I need to.

Michel in the foreground and Natalie in the background, arms up in a celebratory pose at the end of a 5 km Christmas Day walk. It’s a snowstorm and Natalie is knee deep in snow.

So while I’m cleaning up from the holidays I’m packing up old ideas of constraints and limits. Yes. There’s risks and vulnerability and things I need to do to be safer during a global pandemic. There’s also a whole lot of potential to do radically different things. New scripts. New connections. New ways of moving through the world. Most importantly, new priorities.

I don’t know how this ruminating will impact how &. when I move my body but I’ll be sure to share where I’m at in January.

Head to toe shot of Natalie in a snow covered field. Her parka is open so she can show off her super cute orange knit sweater, the hem of a new merino wool camisole and new grey mukluks.

For now I’m feeling hopeful and confident in facing the coming weeks. After all, looking back over the year, I dealt with a lot and am the better for it.