Kate Stoddard (MScN & Idaho Guide) shares her suggestions for restoring after a busy season of guiding. From whole foods to mindfulness to meaningful social interactions, her guide is anything but limiting.
“When you do have an opportunity for some down time, if you have to miss a trip, don't look at it as a bad thing. Take that time to reenergize yourself, get out in the wilderness by yourself, get together with your friends. Just do something different from what you've been doing for the whole summer.”
I wish there were easy answers and condolences but there aren't. I can’t tell you to stop going into these mountains and out to these rivers any more than I can tell you to stop breathing. How do we take care of a community that lives on the edge of things? What do we do when our livelihood is so often intimately connected to our sadness? How do we reconcile our loss with our own close calls?
I guess… I could name any story you want here. But what’s cool is that a lot of people tell me after their tour that it was the best day of their life. In my twenties, like I said, I’d say, “Yeah yeah, watch your step.” But now I think it’s pretty cool, it’s nice to give people that kind of experience. It’s amazing to me that it’s not a bigger deal. I get folks that have been to Glacier or Yellowstone and afterwards they can’t believe what they just did.
"There’s a local guy, Cliff Hansen, a rancher here, that was an old friend of my dad’s. He told me the other day, was telling me that my dad had told him, says ‘Hey, you ought to go down get one of these permits, they’re only $15. They’re gonna be worth somethin’ someday.’ And Cliff said that he told my dad there’s no way in heck anybody will ever pay you to take them down a river they could just go do it themselves."
So I shake the bag again but nothing emerges. I know it’s here somewhere, likely under the clothing I’ve piled on the pad. But it isn’t. No sleeping bag. My personal warmth crisis has taken an ominous turn. The only sleeping bag in the tent is Skip’s. For now I use it like a shawl and drape it over myself. The warmth gives me an opportunity to think through my options. Embarrassment is becoming less important, and is being overshadowed by this new dilemma.
That dark winter in the blue camouflage room it was difficult to speak with friends or family that were expecting to see a happy, confident, strong me. That was the “me” that I knew and loved. I didn’t care much for this new sad impostor living in my skin, invading all of my thoughts. I wanted who I thought was the real me back. That Kyle wasn’t available and I wanted to deal with it alone. I came to realize, however, this was an unrealistic idea.