Nike really hit the nail on the head with their 1988 slogan “Just Do It.” It struck, and continues to strike, an international cord with athletes of both backcountry and traditional genres. With these three simple words they display just how simple it really is to get out and “just do” what we love. Often we find ourselves confined with the business of life while the trails, climbing routes, and wilderness experiences take a back seat becoming the things we long for rather than the things we enjoy.
Time has a way of slipping by making the length between hikes, climbs, and backpacking trips grow more and more distant. But why? We consider getting out and adventuring in nature more of a lifestyle than a hobby. No matter where we live there are nature preserves, wilderness areas, and National Parks within reach, so why can it be so difficult to escape. Having struggled with this myself I chalk this occasional dystrophy of getting out in the backcountry up to planning or actually the lack there of.
It’s not that we consciously choose not to flee from the hectic occupations of “normal life” for the excitement of the backcountry, it’s that we don’t consciously plan to go. Life is busy, we can all attest to that, so in order to enjoy our wilderness pursuits we must block out time to reset and live a little. Even “professional” explorers that fill Instagram and adventure writers that document their exploits on various websites have jobs and lives away from their outdoor photography and trail ambitions. The difference is that they prioritize their abilities and availability to get out and pursue their passions. Sure, it can be difficult breaking out of the norm or what feels safe, saying: I’ll go next weekend or during that vacation that’s coming up, but one small step to get out for a day or weekend in a nearby wilderness area can lead to many more small steps and eventually giant leaps further and longer. Besides, who says in order to enjoy the wild we have to take a long road trip to a specific area? No matter where we live there are countless places to escape into. The trick is just deciding to go and then actually prioritizing and following through.
Investing in yourself and your well-being is always beneficial and actually it’s necessary. So as Nike has said for the past twenty-eight years: “Just Do IT!” You’ll be glad you did, and it will bring nature and the pursuits you love closer and more accessible than ever before.
Every time you say yes to being busy, you say no to the recreation you love.