What’s your B.R.A. Support

I recently took a trip to the Shenandoah National Park with my buddy Genny. During this trip I had the opportunity to discover the importance of B.R.A. support!

Genny and I stayed at Skyland resort, in the Shenandoah. The accommodations were quiet, comfortable and clean. This trip was an opportunity to unwind, connect with a friend, with ourselves and enjoy the great outdoors.

It was a beautiful trip as the mountains found their peak color in the autumn sun. We hiked Stoney Man Trail and reached the summit of 4010 feet.

Then we hiked Little Stoney Man just as the day was coming to a close. The air was fresh and crisp. Snow was beginning fall. I took a deep breath, the cool air filling my lungs. I found contentment.

On day two of our trip we challenged ourselves with a “difficult” hike, taking on the Cedar Run Loop in the White Oak Canyon. It is an 8 mile hike, considered more strenuous than Old Rag Loop (one of the more popular hikes in the Shenandoah).

The difficulty came in the form of increased stair stepping over rocks and tree roots for the majority of the trip. We lost the trail for about 50 yards. Climbing though brush and sliding down large rounded rock, we eventually found the trail continue on the other side of the river.

The challenges were worth the experience as we traveled down the canyon along the river bank, experiencing waterfalls the majority of the way.

The trail was very strenuous in ability and length, more than we were conditioned for on this day. Grateful that I had brought my hiking stick as I found myself slipping, tripping and falling on roots and rocks hidden under the abundance of leaves. It became my saving grace and saving face as I met many obstacles along the way. It was during one of my many stumbles that I began to realize the importance of added SUPPORT while taking on challenges on the trail and in life.

The day took a turn for the worse around mile 5 when my Iliotibial Band (IT Band) began to rub creating discomfort along the side of my left knee. It only got worse as we traveled up and down the canyon and crossing the river 3 more times.

As we reached the Whiteoak Fire Road the pain was stabbing on the side of my knee. I gritted my teeth and slowly hobbled the remaining portion of the trip. It was difficult and I was unbearably slow. My buddy Genny was an amazing support with patience and encouragement. I am not sure I how much further I could have gone without her help.

As the pain increased I found my energy level decrease. To move forward was challenging. There is something I do when things get really tough whether on the trail or in life in general. I say to myself, “Thank you Jesus”. This is the start of a long conversation I have rattling off words of gratitude. “Thank you for the colorful trees. Thank you for the opportunity to hike. Thank you for my friend Genny.” Some how by doing this it brings a sense of calm and focus within me, giving me energy.

As the sun began to set, I needed to muster that last bit of attitude to finish this hike. Finding attitude comes from within. From a place of reserve. A place we do not know exists until faced with a challenge. And when we find that reserve we discover new strength within ourselves we never knew was there. And in the end I was grateful for this wonderful discovery.

We finished the hike shortly before the sun set. Without my B.R.A. support I am not sure I would have made it. Without my Buddy, my new found Attitude and my Religion, I may have given up.

B.R.A. Support is just as important for men as it is for women. It is important on the trail and in every day life. Think about who and what makes up your BRA support. What’s your B.R.A. size and Is your B.R.A. giving you the support you need to meet the challenges in your life? If you are finding your reinforcements not holding up, it might be time to get fitted for a new B.R.A.!


It’s Not Just A Place, It’s An Experience

Starting off on our Big Adventure!

Starting off on our Big Adventure!

Treasures come in all shapes and sizes but the treasure experienced within the heart has no limits as to the wealth that it provides.

It was less than a week prior to leaving on our backpacking trip to Isle Royale when my teenage daughter declared that she was not interested in going on the trip with me.  Dumbfounded by her response I looked at her plainly and said, “OK, then I am going by myself”.  I do believe my response surprised her even more than her response startled me.  A couple of days later, either out of pity or concern, my daughter changed her mind to join me on the trip, unknowingly, changing her life forever as a result of her choice.

After months of preparation and planning my daughter and I ventured off on our first backpacking trip into the wilderness alone. With only each other to depend on, while carrying minimal supplies, we soon began to experience the world like we had never done so before.

We hiked for miles along the Greenstone Ridge and surrounding forest, among the wolves and the moose. We laughed all the while making mistakes and learning lessons along the way. Finally, sharing the pathway with hundreds of miniature toads, we found our limit of pain, fatigue, hunger and irritability. Stopping was not an option. We dug in our heels and discovered new levels of perseverance we never knew existed.

I never promised my daughter this would be a fun trip but I did promise her it would be a memorable one. And a memorable trip it was. Afterward, I asked her how she liked our National Parks adventure; she gave it a score off the charts.  It was the most loved and memorable trip we both had ever been on.

In the weeks that followed I noticed a change in my daughter that I had never seen before. This young woman had transformed in confidence and courage all in a matter of days, discovering new levels of self-awareness that will grow within her for a lifetime.

Being among the wilderness of Isle Royale National Park we did not find ourselves lost rather we found parts of ourselves that we did not know existed and that is a treasure you can’t put a price on.

The National Park Conservation Association has started a movement to remind our leaders why our National Parks are so important.  We are in and age of decreasing government spending and the National Parks are not exempt from these cutbacks.  Adequate funding for the National Parks are crucial to maintain their preservation and impact. The National Park Conservation Association has created a website where you can submit your National Parks Story.


They want you to share  how the National Parks have impacted you.

Here is my story…


…what’s yours?

About Me



Full of spirit and imagination, I am setting off on a journey to explore and discover the great outdoors. As a mother of two, I have spent many years nurturing my children’s exploration of the world, it is now my turn to quench my curiosities that call to me and lead me forward. Living in a metropolitan area all of my life has made it difficult to truly nurture this desire. I have decided bringing more of natural world into my everyday life a goal of mine. With limited time and natural resources it will take work to put this Mother back in Nature, but I am looking forward to the challenge!

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