Did you know that outdoorsy is an actual word in dictionaries :) I didn't know that until last year. I knew that people use it all the time but I didn't realize it was a "real" word until I looked it up awhile back. I wonder how long it has been in dictionaries...maybe forever?
The actual definition is pretty general: relating to, characteristic of, or appropriate for the outdoors, fond of outdoor activities. But the common use seems to be taken by those who do large, extreme "outdoor" activities. This is something that has unsettled me for years. I used consider myself "outdoorsy." Not because I ever did any extreme outdoor activities...I haven't really. I just considered myself outdoorsy because I actually love the outdoors. I am like any child under the age of 10. I like to be outside.
For everyone who doesn't want to read a forever long post I will just say I figured out an answer to the "outdoorsy" dilemma...so you can skip to the last paragraph :)
Growing up I was like most children and lived outside. My parents encouraged us to be outside and we loved it. As a teenager the pattern continued. In high school my friend and I found "the wall" which was a place outside we sat all the time. If it was too cold we would stay inside but we honestly spent almost all our time outside. My brothers and I spent most of our time playing outside together even in high school (except at 11:00pm which was star trek time :). I moved the trampoline under the huge tree in our yard so that I could have shade on everything but my legs and I would nap and read their daily. In the winter I would bring my up my electric blanket, plug it in and sit outside under it reading or watching the snowfall. College was even worse :) In my freshman year we searched out places to sit outside to hang out. The favorites being the spitting spot and then a vent over by the MOA. The vent was important because it had warm air blowing out of it which was critical for winter. You had to climb through bushes to get to both spots so we could sit there out of view from passing people and talk. I would often go by myself for hours just to sit outside. The next year, I took an extra mattress and put it on our balcony so I could sit and sleep outside which I did regularly. I spent that summer outside with my friend watching/learning the stars. I was a zoology major. I love John Denver. I love John Denver so much that when he died different people called me to see if I was okay :) I love shoveling snow. I love rainstorms. I love yard work (thank mom) and gardening. I taught Environmental Science. Knowing about plants and animals brings my soul extreme happiness. John and I walk most nights. That is how we like to spend our time together.
The first time I read Little Women I loved the book (this is no secret :). There was no internet so I did what research I could on Louisa May Alcott but eventually the internet arrived and I did a lot of research about her. She was a feminist and closely associated with Thoreau and Emerson and her family was influenced by the Transcendental movement. I then became interested in the writings of Thoreau and Emerson. I also spent a lot of time reading and discovering all the work of John Muir. I really appreciated their work and writings. In fact, my brother used to have a t-shirt that had quotes from Thoreau on it. I would steal it from his room and wear it and then return it (blogs are a good place for confessions right? :) When I joined schemer and added everything I wanted to do it all basically consisted of National Parks to visits and different eclipses/comets to see. A few months ago (while walking) John asked what would we do if we had all the time and money to take any vacation we wanted. You might think that we'd want to spend it in luxury vacations or traveling but our first idea was hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. Even after considering all the million other things we could do we both still thought camping for 6-8 months and walking miles everyday sounded like the most fun. It takes a few months to complete if you do it all in one swath.
Anyway...I could go on but I will stop because I am just trying to make the point that I feel that when I say I like the outdoors I legitamately mean it. The point is that the word "outdoorsy" has been somewhat hijacked. I don't like to say that I am outdoorsy because I feel like it implies that I do things like bike slick rock or ski the backcountry or run the 100 mile trail races through the night. I don't. I do normal things like hiking and running really slow. We bike, we walk, we play up the canyon, we ride the river, we sit out under the stars. I read outside, I sit and think outside and I have a deep interest in nature both from the biological view and the spiritual connection.
So...I decided that instead of saying that I am "outdoorsy" I will just tell people that I like life alfresco. Now when people ask me what I like I can just say, "I like living alfresco." This way I don't have worry about proving or living up to "outdoorsy" :) For all you outdoorsy people keep rockin your sky surfing and 8 day bike trips and endless energy that make us jealous! For all you alfresco people out there...now you know who you are so you can sit outside or walk around the block pondering everything wonderful about you and this beautiful world!!
And if you want to come visit us and see why we love our outdoors...Utah put out this video awhile ago...I am happy to say I have been to them all although I only drove through Capitol Reef...