When I was a kid, I was always outside playing around, exploring and going on what seemed like big adventures inside the subdivision where I grew up. Whether it was playing street football, riding bikes on every square inch of pavement, creating games with neighborhood kids or sitting on the deck in the back yard with my black lab Buster, I wanted to be outside.
Being outside in the fresh air, under the warm sun, with a nice breeze surrounded by people was a life I wanted to live forever. Is there anything more satisfying? Think of all the games and activities a creative mind can come up with to engage others while conversing and simply being alive. This was me as a kid, along with me best friend living across the street from me. Together, this experience of outdoor fun, no matter the risk to body parts stayed with me all my life.
I could write forever about everything we did but there simply is not enough time to tell the stories of a truly magical childhood we experienced as two young explorers. On top of this experience, I spent my vacations in Door County, Wisconsin. Talk about enjoying the summer sun, the water, mini-golf, sailing, State parks, outdoor fish boils, fantastic ice cream from Wilson’s Ice Cream, Door County was my family’s grand retreat for fun and relaxation. Located between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, this vacation locale solidified my yearning to want to play and recreate for the rest of my life.
Moving on to the summer before my senior year in high school, I got a summer job at an amusement park. Note the trend? I spent 5 summers working there in various positions. Again, being outside, surrounded by amazing friends, the sights and sounds of roller coasters, flat rides and screams from children and adults alike, this was a heavenly place to work for the forever young child at heart adventurer.
After 2 years of junior college, I went away to a State school in Illinois. Let’s just say this experience was not my favorite. It turned out to be the wrong choice as it deviated away from my true calling. However, one tiny event changed the direction of my future. While at this State school, I went to go see the movie ‘Indian Summer.’ After watching this movie, I wanted to burst into tears because I missed the excitement, joy and fun that was portrayed in this movie. I made the choice to finish that year at that school but a new direction was emerging.
I had a conversation one night with my Dad about what to do. We were exploring the ideas and opportunities of a fresh start at a new school with a new major. My Dad suggested something along the line of Parks and Recreation. I thought…Yep! Sounds like me. You know what came to my mind…outdoors, sun, people, fun, relaxation, games, travel. I was still riding the waves of watching ‘Indian Summer’ when I transferred schools and changed my major to Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration. This was one of the best choices I ever made. Go with what you love, live your passion and follow your bliss!
While going through this program, I helped a grad student run a local flag football program, spent a weekend on a team building challenge course (words can’t express the joy of this weekend), created activities with others, went to Myrtle Beach for an Association event, enjoyed life and did my internship on Sanibel Island off of Ft. Myers in Florida. This was truly a what I was born to do, live the life of playing and recreating while sharing my experience with others. Come on everyone, let’s play!!
This is my background, my very condensed story of my love for the outdoors, travel, fun, people, games, excitement, laughter, smiling and so much more. It is not for everyone. Some people just feel it inside and they follow their heart. I got away from this life for a number of years but jumped back in recently and am loving every minute of it…again. Why did I steer away? Well life happens and you get caught up in other opportunities. I will say this, during my time away from this lifestyle, everything else I engage in, did not sit right with me in my heart, mind and soul. I felt very toxic inside and I knew I had to go back and live my passion. I’m back now and I look forward to fun times ahead and sharing my wisdom, fun, smiles and laughter with all of you.
The child outside grew up to be an adult while staying true to the child inside living from the heart, always giving to others, enjoying being around people to aid in their growth or simply listen to their stories. To be human, to live for others while taking care of your needs, wants and desires and to make sure your soul is healthy, vibrant and alive! The child outside recommends that you follow your bliss!