by Alli Scheumann

The extent of Alli’s outside time last spring, sipping coffee on her deck!

Is it just me or has this Spring felt extra sweet? Something about seeing the balsamroots and lupines pop, feeling that fresh air in my face, and looking out to the majestic views of the Columbia River has me feeling giddy. Taking the time to literally smell the flowers and appreciate our valley has been sacred to me this year. Rewind to March 2023, I was sitting in bed recovering from surgery, admiring the river from afar. I was living vicariously through friends’ adventures up in the Sage Hills, wishing and hoping I could get some time up there before the flowers wilted.

Last year I felt I missed out on Wenatchee’s beautiful Spring. Nature is so sacred and healing, I couldn’t wait to get back out there. My recovery time allowed me to have the opportunity to slow down and reflect on the reasons why being outside is so important to me. Yes, it was tough to miss out on adventures, hikes, and epic runs. But looking back, I am now better able to appreciate my time outdoors, and really take time to be present in the moment. I’m finding myself savoring the views at the top of a hill instead of immediately charging down. I look forward to early mornings up in the hills instead of sleeping in on the weekends. I take time to walk or rest if I’m tired instead of pushing through for the sake of the workout. This renewed presence in nature is a direct result of being forced to rest. It’s a new sense of peace I would not have found without a time of reflection.

Blooming Arrowleaf Balsamroot flowers along the Balsamroot trail in Sage Hills.

I’ve always been a go-go-go person. Sitting still is challenging. Rest is challenging. To make things worse (or better), I found a partner who has an even harder time with stagnation. Our life together has been busy, filled with races, ski trips, seeing how much we can pack into a weekend before we get back to work. Over time, this lifestyle has made me antsy about getting outside, giving me nervous energy if we didn’t do some type of adventure on the weekends. It made me focused on the statistics of the adventures- did I gain enough elevation on the run, is this trail even worth my while if it doesn’t challenge me? I would compare my Strava posts to my friends, constantly seeking more. None of that matters though when you are out of the game for several months. “Comparison is the thief of joy” -Theodore Roosevelt. I find myself repeating that a lot these days.

Alli resting and recovering last spring while soaking in some Vitamin D on her deck .

An injury or forced-rest period may feel hard in the moment. For me, it was the reset I needed to allow myself space and time to remember why I love the outdoors. Interestingly, many aspects I value the most derive from moments that are quieter and more peaceful: hearing the meadowlarks chirp, the serene morning glow as light first hits the hills, feeling completely immersed in nature. I’m incredibly grateful to be able to experience a Wenatchee Spring this year. This time of year is truly outstanding.

I hope everyone reading this can reflect on their “why.” What a vital lesson for me to have learned. Take some time, slow down, and then hit the ground running with newfound wisdom.

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