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Thrive Stories

Inspiring Stories of How the Outdoors Have Helped People Thrive

First off…thank you so much to those who submitted stories for our Thrive to Be Alive Contest. We have had a blast reading all the wonderful ways nature has bettered lives. We have an extra spring in our step from all the inspiration you have given us and want to share some of these stories with you!

Michelle, a mom of 2 kids took it upon herself to get back in shape after her kids went back to school. Tired of being overweight and hurting, she starting walking everyday and promised herself time each day that was just for her. These walks helped her lose 20 lbs, become a better mom, and strengthen their family bond. She now knows that she can keep up and enjoy their family hiking vacations. Keeping up with her young boys is always an adventure.

Linda rid herself of arthritis pain through maintaining daily activity through horseback riding, hiking, and walking. Constant motion keeps the joints happy. And everyone knows when momma’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy!

For some of us it is one specific memory that sparks our love for the outdoors. For Kelly, it was a camping trip in her first semester of college. From that trip her course in life completed changed and she discovered the possibility of becoming a biologist - which she is currently finishing her PhD in. Not to mention meeting the love of her life. Life was never going to be the same for Kelly after that camping trip. Her eyes were opened to the endless possibilities in her future.

Nancy’s pivotal moment was a bootcamp in 2013. She was ready to lose weight and get back her heart health. This boot camp fueled her love for exercising in the outdoors and dropping 40lb. Not to mention lowering her stress and improving her heart health. Since 2013, Nancy has picked up stair/hill climbs, cycling, open water swimming, hiking, ziplining, rafting, and new for this year…kayaking. Next up on the bucket list - climbing. Rain or shine she makes sure she gets in her 2x a week stair climbs - even if the windchill drops below 0. There is no taking Nancy’s love exercising outdoors away- she is hooked.

For others, like Jen, it was the passing of a family member that made her realize just how important her time in the outdoors was. She has decided on the anniversary of her dad’s passing she will spend the day outside on a new adventure-which helps her remember all the amazing times she and her father shared on the water. She is inspired to continue to learn new skills, meet new people, and do the things that most people only talk about. The world is her oyster.

Allison tells the story of how being outside has always been a part of her. It is essential in how she expresses herself, meets new people, seeks freedom, happiness, and where she learns the most about her strengths and willpower. Being in nature is her way to escape the material world, pressure, and party life that seems to go hand in hand with college. Some of Allison’s best memories are hiking trips with her family. She is continually looking for new milestones, adventures, and memories.

Many of us have high stress jobs, like Virigina. She has found the best way to clear her mind and ease the stressors of work is through outdoor adventures. Her adventures help her be better at work with a greater level of patience and understanding. The mountains bring her tranquility and help her leave the real world behind.

Nina doesn’t know life without nature. At 76 she has stories of swinging in grapevines, swimming in lakes, camping, rafting, hiking, fishing…you name it she has probably done it. She attributes her outdoor active lifestyle to her strong health well into her 70’s. If you live in Spring Hill, you might see her still mowing the lawn. Her ever-moving lifestyle has inspired her children and grandchildren to maintain active lifestyles as well. She is a good testament to the phrase “you gotta see it to be it.”

Stay tuned for the stories of our 2 finalist which we will be filming in the coming weeks. In the meantime. Get outside and THRIVE!