To The Fat Outdoorswoman
Words and photos by Emma Harris
I know what it’s like to be the last of the pack – panting, breathless, giving it all you’ve got to keep up with a group of people that seem to be giving almost no effort at all.
I know how it feels to to curse your heavy body for not being able to pull yourself up and over a ledge. To think that if only you were smaller, your adventures would be great.
I know the wishing that your gear would sit more gracefully on your skin. To feel every part of your clothing that is too snug. To know that a pack designed with curves for women will still chafe and bounce up and down your back. To settle for dark colored men’s gear because nothing seems to fit just right.
I know it’s much easier not to, than to do. It’s so easy not to lace up boots for a hike. It’s so easy not to pack up gear and hit the trail. It’s so easy not to tie in and scramble onto jagged rocks. It’s so easy not to dip a paddle in and slide forward across the water. It is so much easier not to do the things that scare you.
This is for every time you choose to do it anyway. This is for every time you lace up your boots and pack your gear and hit the trail and pull yourself up past the fear.
It is so much easier not to do the things that scare you. This is for every time you choose to do it anyway. This is for every time you lace up your boots and pack your gear and hit the trail and pull yourself up past the fear.
For every time you saw someone gliding so lightly across the ground, know that your feet were made to follow with thunder, connecting with the earth in a way that no one else can. For every time you’ve reached a peak, drained and out of breath, know that your lungs are refilling so that you may shout your powerful shout across the valleys below you. For every time you thought your arms could not pull you up any further, know they are strong enough to embrace those who love you, and that stretches far beyond the crag.
Your body was made to carry the weight of your spirit across the world. Your soul is made to thrive in it. Know that your body can take you both where you need to be, and want to go.
You are able to carry your body on any adventure you choose, and you have been doing it since the day you were placed on this earth.
I know you, I understand you, I am you. I love you.
Emma Harris is an outdoors enthusiast living in Oakville, just outside of Toronto, ON, Canada. She spends as much time as she can exploring the trails in Southern Ontario, and is trying to visit as many national parks as possible during Canada 150. Her preferred method of travel is by canoe! Find her on Instagram and see more of her work at awalkinthewoodspodcast.com and A Walk in the Woods Instagram.