The OR experience, as it should be.

Photo by @ofallnationsphotography

Photo by @ofallnationsphotography

Connections and collaborations are kind of the purpose of the Outdoor Retailer, but what I didn’t expect was to sit down with a group of individuals and laugh so hard we cried, cry so hard we laughed, and basically start a support group without even setting up a meeting.

 Adventure Mama’s was something I never thought would be very interested in what I had to say, and then I met two of their babes, Jackie and Rachel. Sitting down with them, along with the amazing film crew duo of Catherine and Dana, I not only made a wonderful connection for future projects, but I made great friends that will last much longer than OR. We spent way longer than we planned sitting together chatting about our stories, and found that we all connected on an emotional level much deeper than a simple passion for the outdoors.

It was humorous to hear the mother’s of the groups talk about discovering they were pregnant, and how things just kind of fell into place. It was heart breaking to hear their struggles, and warming to hear their triumphs. I won’t get into the details of their stories just yet, because that’s something I would love for you to personally look into them for. (@adventuremamas on the gram!) After we wiped our eyes and put away our tissues, Catherine and Dana began their story of drama, adventure, and reconnecting after many years. I honestly didn’t expect that they were casually acquainted before OR, they seemed like a team that had been working together for years, they just clicked and were in perfect sync.  Of course, I told my own story as well, that ended with a group hug and a lot of spiritual vibes, and now I’m genuinely excited to say I’ve found a group of people with the same ambitions as myself…to help the masses.

So, let me just keep this one short and sweet, I have this idea to start an outdoor therapy for mental health and wellness, but have had no idea how to go about it. I met a group of people who are doing similar things, and were totally down for the cause. Now I have a support system when I need to cry through the stresses, and guidance when I feel lost, and friends who just get it. Of course this means I'm trying to announce something big is in the works, but when I really think about it, life is pretty big, so let's just see where things take me.

If you're interested in Wilderness First Responder Certifications, please check out Back Country Pulse's scholarship programs and show some support for the upcoming generations to just get out there! 

 
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Stay Positive.

Xoxo

KariDane Matlock