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Mother Nature is my first love. Experienced — fitness, wellness, and the great outdoors. Credentialed — respiratory therapy, yoga, fashion. @tara.morris.writes

Stop calling us heroes and fix the fundamental problem.

I was not a hero when you called me “essential,” I am not a hero now, and I never will be. Neither are my coworkers.

We are healthcare practitioners.

Calling us heroes elicits martyrdom — a display of feigned or exaggerated suffering to obtain sympathy or admiration. I am not a martyr.

And because most of us are not martyrs, being called heroes makes us feel uncomfortable.

We are also not soldiers. We didn’t “sign up for this.”

We are regular people who want to provide for our families and avoid poverty: the American dream.

I worked tirelessly toward a…

They can’t smell it if you don’t feel it

A woman’s face, the focal point is her eyes, longing for something.
A woman’s face, the focal point is her eyes, longing for something.

I’m alone a lot. I constantly look over my shoulder, read people, and stay on the defense. I’m able to defend myself. It hurts to imagine being a woman who cannot.

I recently read an article on Medium written by a woman with a disability describing her fear while traveling. How could she defend herself if need be? She encountered several situations that made her uncomfortable — constantly thinking about protecting herself, knowing she was limited in her ability.

She was alone.

Ah. The woman in fear of strange men. It comes with the territory — being a woman makes…

Outdoor adventuring doesn’t have to be an extreme feat. How do you get started or keep going?

A woman sitting on a rock in the forest, taking a break from mountain biking.
A woman sitting on a rock in the forest, taking a break from mountain biking.

“I like mountains because they make me feel small. They help me sort out what is important in life.”

— Mark Obmascik

My twin sister and I grew up with a very effective coping mechanism from the time we were born—the forest.

We grew up in the Laurel Highlands of the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Pennsylvania on the Youghiogheny River — on the border of West Virginia and Maryland.

She lives near our childhood home, and I live in West Virginia. …

Your recovery game must be as good as the game itself.

A woman with a strong back
A woman with a strong back

“Moving isn’t important, until you can’t.”

— Gray Cook

At the age of 25, I endured a back injury that forced me to my knees for longer than I ever imagined.

That was thirteen years ago. I have permanent damage to my low back — sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

I crawled in pain. I cried in pain. I screamed in pain. I lost hope.

The ugliest part of my recovery lasted about a decade. It still ebbs and flows.

It destroyed me. It defined me. It has empowered me.

Mostly, it has refined me.

It has educated me and forced me…

What do you mean you have never peed outside?

Some years ago, I taught a yoga class and instructed the group to take malasana. I said, “Squat down to a comfortable place, heels up or down, heart open. You know, like you’re peeing in the woods.” We all laughed. One of my regulars, a woman in her fifties, stated, “I’ve never peed outside!” I said, “What! Not even in your yard?” We cracked up. She said, “No, never.”

Wow! I was dumbfounded. Curiosity took over my mind!

How has she never been in a position that required popping a squat? Has she never been camping or hiking? Has she…

No, I won’t sacrifice my health for you.

A woman face down crying in bed
A woman face down crying in bed

It’s hard to imagine the past before I had to build my entire life around avoiding debilitation. Thirteen years ago, I dislocated my left sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac (SI) joint attaches the pelvis to the lower spine and provides support, stability and helps absorb impact when walking and lifting.

I was 25 years old, working as a raft guide on the Chattooga River in the southeast, U.S.A. I was living in a bungalow, surrounded by friends, and had little responsibility! …

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