Ever since I was a little girl, there really hasn’t been a place that I truly felt like myself except amidst the mountains in Mother Nature’s arms. People always told me (and tell me), “Jenny, it’s not about where you are, but who you’re with.” I have tried and tried to embrace that belief as one of my own, but in my 35 years on this planet, it’s just not true for me dammit! Granted, the people I surround myself with greatly impact my life, my decisions and my strength. But, my soul is filled with the majestic power of being in the wild. It’s the place where I let down my guard, where I can dig deep in my heart and let the true being of Jenny LaBaw run free.
To change topics, but not to derail the point, I’ve been so lucky to spend my career helping people along their health and wellness journey. I’ve helped people shed unwanted pounds, get stronger than they thought possible, say goodbye to chronic pain, believe in themselves again, and improve their mental state and general quality of life. But, there is always something missing… especially with women. Time and time again, women tell me how tired they are of being expected to do it all: work full time, take care of the kids, keep the house clean, cook the meals, volunteer on committees, stay in shape, do the laundry, oh and be perfect in every way (ever see the movie “Perfect Mom’s”?). The problem I see is they don’t take time for themselves, and in all reality, often don’t love themselves. I also am stunned at the number of women who don’t know how to cook on a grill, set up a tent, put a fishing lure on a line or make a fire. I ask them why, and the answer is something similar to, “Well, my husband does it for me.” So many women haven’t driven a manual transmission, hiked in the woods alone or even peed in the woods.
This always bothers me. And frankly, scares me a bit. These are basic survival skills that people need. Heat to stay warm, shelter to sleep in, and food to eat. Granted, our world has transformed to a place where fires, tents and grills aren’t the only means for survival, but the rawness of being able to live more primitively is powerful. It’s not like we are out spearing fish and making blankets out of hides. But, the need to escape the insanity of life, judgement on social media, and expectations society places on us (or we place on ourselves) is imperative. Even if just for a long weekend in the woods with some girlfriends and like-minded women, coming from different walks of life with similar stories but different perspectives to share.
I was hiking one day and it hit me like a ton of bricks that THIS is what my new mission is life is. I have the need (and ability) to give women the tools to survive on their own. I need to share with women the power of nature. I need to help women find their strength within to love themselves, to respect themselves, to challenge themselves, and to live the life they always wanted. I need them and they need me. Imagine what is to be gained by doing this, and what is to be lost by not. We are The WILD Women! Women Interpreting Life Differently.