I have recently returned to society after having spent the most beautiful, grueling, and breathtaking days at the Sequoia and Yosemite National Park. The trip was originally planned to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday along with my brother but turned into something much more. I have always been into hiking off and on for the last 5 years. I would really get into it and I would just drop off because of my severe insecurities.
Taking it back a little bit, I have always been a big girl. Always. Forever. So whenever I immersed myself in an activity that was inherently a “white skinny/fit person thing” over time it would get to me that I didn’t belong. I eventually began to feel like everyone was staring at me, wondering why I was there, and overall taking up their space. That’s why I haven’t really stuck anything out. I’ve come across plenty of physical activities that I have genuinely enjoyed, but have quit because I couldn’t handle always being uncomfortable in that space especially if I was the only big brown girl. As a fat brown girl growing up I was never told I too belonged in these gorgeous natural spaces because they were meant for “white active” and socially accepted “white fit” people. And I’ve decided that stops now.
I can’t explain the joy and the fulfillment of hiking and literally experiencing what my body is capable of. I absolutely love being in nature and taking in the beauty that is mother nature. I love taking in those deep clean breaths while I’m huffing and puffing. I love taking my many needed breaks along a hike to take every inch of beauty in front of me. I love the feeling of standing at the very top knowing I DID THAT. My body did that. My strong very capable body did that. It’s a rush that I don’t ever want to ever give up.
This pandemic made me face the mirror and really look into myself on what makes me truly happy. I don’t want to waste whatever time I have left on this earth always wondering if I belong or if I am wanted in a space. I belong anywhere that makes me happy inside and out. I will continue to take up space and feed my mind body and soul in nature along the trail. I will continue to surprise myself with what my body is capable of. So if you see this big brown girl on the trail say hi, only after I catch my breath. 🙂