Bleeding Wounds, Bruises + Scrapes (and Never Felt Prettier)

Bleeding Wounds, Bruises + Scrapes (and Never Felt Prettier)

Photo: Diane Williams – Wife with Baggage | 3rd Annual Everglades Bike + Yoga Adventure

I cannot explain for the life of me why I am singing West Side Story’s, “I’m so pretty, oh so pretty,” because I’ve never seen it, but as I write this the words pervade my brain. As I was riding through the Fakahatchee Strand for the second time last month, I encountered some wet, muddy trails and thorny thick swamp frondescence and wiped out a couple times, slowly, albeit, but enough to incur some decent bruises and trails of blood across my neck and lower legs.

While I was hanging out with my fellow adventurers, two awesome dudes, I was reminded of my many years in the backcountry, hiking and mountaineering or weeks and months on surf or climbing trips that kept us dirty, gritty, greasy and un-showered sometimes for days or weeks. I actually dated some hot guys and think how I was so cool with my wild, raw grittiness back then, but as I age feel dread and self-judgment that I am not as good-looking or vital.

Being out in the Fakahatchee for some quiet moments of pedaling and reflection, I tapped back into that wild girl that I know is me. I do feel completely at ease in the natural setting devoid of mirrors, make up and socially acceptable appearance minutia. I much prefer the taste of dirt in my mouth and the sting of blood in my wounds over the desire to look pretty or otherwise attractive in that normal way of the Naples girl that I can indulge from time to time. There is something so pure in the pretty that I am talking about. The extension of myself as wild, perfect and without need for modification is a big reason I feel so at ease in nature.

The prettiest people to me have salty, messy hair from being wrapped around by wind on the water, mud-splattered and stained from endurance pursuits or a quiet smile following an amazing encounter or shared moment of peaceful awe in the wilds.

As I welcome 41 years of age this week, I am in a different place than one year ago. I was concerned about my aging, feared losing vitality and not being pretty. Time outdoors always sets me straight and reminds me that my vitality, my abundant beauty is as unique and raw and perfect as any other exotic wild creature on this amazing planet! So, on that note…I feel pretty, oh so pretty…AND I hope this encourages you to feel the same, as well. (That goes for every man and woman). Embrace the wild within and celebrate your raw beauty!

More Doing + Less Talking
(“Getting Out There”)

Jill Wheeler, Ryan Van Duzer + Mike Milner

It’s fitting that this month Adventure Speaker, Ryan Van Duzer, talked about “Getting Out There,” because most of you who know me know that is what I am all about! Encouraging people to limit watching others’ adventures and engage in your own! That being said, it is powerful to be inspired by others’ stories, struggles, triumphs and journeys, which is precisely why I created the Adventure Speaker Series.

We just must remember to drop everything and get outside in healthy doses!

March whizzed by! I have had out-of-town visitors for most of the month, which means playing one of my favorite roles – Adventure Tour Guide!

This month, I took Wellfit Girls Challenge nutritionist and consultant Linda Banashek on several fun Florida adventures including backwater Paddleboarding, shelling, kitesurfing, off-road biking in the Everglades. We even went firewalking with Tony Robbins!

While my filmmaking crew for the Wellfit Girls Challenge documentary were in town from Los Angeles we went to a local mangrove preserve and shot some paddleboard yoga videos (results forthcoming!)

I had a blast taking a sold out group of Wellfit Adventurers to the Fakahatchee Strand for our 3rd annual Bike + Yoga Everglades Adventure and then later in the month exploring the area even deeper on muddy, swampy, spider web infested trails on bikes with Ryan Van Duzer and the International Man of Adventure, Mike Milner.

1 Comment
  • Such applicable and relevant words!

    April 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm

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