This I Believe

Quincy - Longmont, Colorado
Entered on February 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: environment
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I believe in the outdoors. One thing that has influenced my life the most is the outdoors. There are certain qualities about the outdoors that draw me out of my comfort zone, always challenging me to travel somewhere yet to be tamed by humans. Well, there’s tranquility, beauty, wildness, the escape from the ordinary, and it’s also a great stress reliever. You might as well call it my home away from home, my land, my sanctuary.

I was born and have lived in Colorado all of my life, giving me unlimited access to the beauty of the mountains, and whatever lies beyond them. The first time I went camping was when I was no older than two years old. Even though I was young, I had managed to get a sense of what the life outside of a square living space was like. And let me tell you, it was like an adventure beyond my wildest dreams.

Later on in life, I was entered into cub scouts and when I became old enough, I joined into boy scouts. Boy Scouts was the true awakening of my interest for the outdoors. Taking frequent trips to the mountains, or even just to the bike trails throughout the vicinity of the city, I always loved to be outside of the hustling and bustling of normal life. Here, I could listen, not for the calling of my name, or to force myself to take notes from teachers, but rather, listen peacefully for the voice of an eagle, or the soft splash of a lake trout jumping out of the water.

Beyond that, however, though most of the hikes, treks, or adventures that I attend are easier said than done, the end of the trail is always the most rewarding, usually concluding with a view that even the most indoors-oriented type of people can’t possibly resist. The highest mountain peaks, always snow capped, almost call my name, beckoning me to climb them too.

I believe that not only do the outdoors give me a sense of calmness and spirituality, but they have also taught me a great deal about how I should live my life.

For example, be prepared for anything. Usually, not too many people come prepared for the worst, so appalling events often lurk in the shadows, waiting for someone to make a mistake. The bottom line is, be prepared. Another thing I’ve learned, especially from being an outdoors photographer, is that I have to be patient. Have you ever heard the saying, “patients is a virtue”? Often, I have to be patient and wait, as if waiting for the perfect picture of that legendary view I’ve been waiting for for a lifetime. And to top it all off, through my experiences, I have found that beauty isn’t always appreciated by how many times I see something beautiful, but rather how much respect I have for something as beautiful as the outdoors.