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Outside my body breathes the air it craves on the city streets; it releases a sigh of relief and begs me to keep pushing. Moving through tired legs, exhausted lungs and sun beat shoulders, for there is more, just over there. Perhaps it is a unique view, a flower growing out of a stony crevice, a bird soaring through a cloudless sky, but whatever it may be reminds me of the possibilities that lie ahead, of the dreams I long to achieve, of the faces I have yet to embrace, of the people I still have yet to meet and the children I cautiously watch grow.

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In the great outdoors I am nothing but myself. I roll freely through wild landscapes forgetting the need to perform, to be pretty or to impress. The only person out here who gives a damn is me and what I care about is ever so different than the thoughts that consume me in the city. Here, I am free, I am strong and I am surrounded by a world that passes no judgment, is open and ever changing. It is a place that promises to remind me of how small I pail in comparison. I need that humility, as we all do and the understanding that this world will continue to turn, to grow, to expand whether I venture out into her arms or retreat elsewhere.

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Out here, I desire nothing more than the seasons to kiss my face and the rain to dance overhead.  I long to watch the sun fade into a distant tomorrow and wake up weary eyed just to see it peak over the first horizon, painting the heavens in remarkable hues.

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Here, deep within the beautiful confines of nature, the media, the pressure, the images fade away – dirt is the new sexy, my body must no longer dress to impress, my clothes are means of comfort, aiding in my ability to climb higher, run further, and dive deeper.

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Nature allows me to just be, to see time and place as ever evolving and yet so perfectly still. When I am outside I focus on what matters in this life, I feel overwhelmed by the promise of the future and the trivial concerns that plague my day-to-day existence melt away under a crisp, color-drenched world. All that is required of me here, is a deep, deep respect and appreciation. I can handle that.

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