I used to hate the outdoors until I moved to NYC
As a born and raised Coloradan I had access to some of the country’s finest outdoor activities so it usually comes as a surprise when people find out that not only do I not have a lot of experience in the outdoors I also wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about it. Whether it was skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, or rock climbing, the foothills of Boulder, Colorado had it all. Growing up my friends were incredibly active whether it was the ski team, bicycling, trail running, competing in triathlons/marathons/decathlons or camping on the weekends there was no shortage of outdoor activities for me to partake in. Yet, I generally showed little interest in participating. Of course, in spite of myself I still was wrangled into the occasional family hikes, weekend camp outs or school ski trips but I never seemed to understand what the big deal was about it all.
My parents were city people, my dad from Los Angeles and my mom from Hong Kong so besides hiking (it’s walking but on rocks) all these other outdoor activities seemed alien and frivolous to them (it’s HOW much for a day pass to slide down a mountain?). My parents were more concerned in investing their money on our education and sent us to whatever after-school program or symphony performance was available at the time. I thrived in this artistic community and threw myself into as many school arts programs as I could - orchestra, choir, creative writing, or theatre - as long as I was performing and creating art I was happiest.
So in many ways it makes sense that I ended up pursuing a formal music education and setting my roots down in New York City, the mecca for many overly ambitious artists and culturephiles. While I was able to find the artistic inspiration I was looking for one thing I didn’t expect to find was a love for outdoor activities. Shortly after moving to NYC, I started Pop Up Yoga NYC, a yoga company that takes yoga of the studio and well… into the outdoors.
When asked to participate in OutdoorFest I was excited to bring yoga to the Bronx and as a partner I also got first dibs on some of the festival’s activities. I went stand up paddle boarding on the Hudson River (the fear of the falling into chemical water kept me on my board)! I went surfing at the Rockaways and continued to overcome my long standing fear of the ocean (because growing up landlocked can do that)! And of course, bringing yoga to the lovely folks of the Bronx is still a top highlight for for me in my history of Pop Up Yoga NYC classes. Through these experiences I realized that living in a city meant limited access to these types of activities and it helped me appreciate the value of enjoying the outdoors all the more. I also realized that not only am I no longer afraid of the ocean (still a little afraid of sharks) but I love surfing and have made plans to do more of it in the future.
As a health professional I’m always looking for more ways to incorporate health and fitness both organically and naturally. Thanks to the great programming of OutdoorFest I found that outlet I was so desperately craving. It would appear that as the saying goes, you can take the girl out of Colorado but you can’t take Colorado out of the girl. Maybe now I’ll go back to my home state for a visit and tackle some slopes with some of that famous Colorado powder. After my next surf trip to the Rockaways of course.