With the lighter evenings on the way, we’ve asked each of our brand ambassadors where they get their motivation from. If you’ve struggled to get outside over winter, or even if you haven’t, we hope your motivation fire is fuelled with this mini-series blog. Today we're with Jo Moseley, our everyday adventurer who loves to SUP, plog and enjoy life outdoors.
Joy, wellbeing and purpose – Why I love to move outside!
“Ok, here goes. Fingers crossed I make it through this time!” I breathe out, lie as flat as I can and with a quick push off the wall, dearly hope that I am going to make it through the tiny space between the water and the swing bridge. A few seconds later I float through, smiling.
I am paddleboarding along the Leeds and Liverpool canal through some of the most beautiful Yorkshire countryside and under one of the lowest swing bridges I’ve encountered. On my first attempt, my bulky lifejacket snagged on the metal. For a few seconds, I was suspended from the bridge, moving neither forwards nor backwards! Wriggling to unhook myself, I couldn’t help but giggle.
This is one of those joyful memories I carry with me as I go about my daily life, juggling the demands of being a middle-aged working Mum, flying solo with my two sons and keeping a watching brief on my Dad.
Bike rides to the beautiful Bolton Abbey Estate, bodyboarding in the grey North Sea and plogging (running and picking up litter) through the Dales are tiny adventures that light up my soul. They keep me in the moment when my head is buzzing with To Do Lists. They remind me how very fortunate I am to be 54 and healthy enough to be dunked by a wave and come back up gasping for breath, laughing. They offer quiet space and contemplation as I paddleboard gently towards the horizon. They gift connection and laughter as a Twitter friend & I cycle back along the country lanes for a cup of tea and cosy spot by the fire.
Like books and films, friends and family, baking brownies and noisy conversations at the kitchen table, these small escapes in the outdoors fill my heart. I feel closer to me, learning gradually to appreciate my body exactly as I am. My wrinkles, curves, the bits that are gently healing after injury.
Moreover, as Brene Brown says, “joy, collected over time, fuels resilience – ensuring we’ll have reservoirs of emotional strength when hard things do happen.” One thing we know in our 50s is that hard things happen. I’m here, building up my reservoirs.
Joy and wellbeing are key reasons I pull on my FINDRA merino top, beanie and beloved stripey socks (gosh, I love that I can wear these cosy socks day after day and they are still fresh!) and go outside, if only for 15 minutes each day to soak up the rain and sun.
In addition, there is a sense of purpose that draws me into the sea and onto the hills. A keen beach cleaner and litter picker, I set myself a goal at the start of 2018 to pick up litter each day wherever I happened to be. A project I called 365 Days of Love and which I later made into a very short film, Small Things, Great Love
It has become part of my daily routine, adding an extra dimension to my wellbeing as I feel more connected to my environment and community.
As I paddleboard along the canal, I notice a couple of plastic bottles amongst the reeds. I pick them up and continue on my way.
Cherishing the fresh air, appreciating the strength in my arms and legs, grateful for the opportunity to have made a difference to a place I love.
Joy, wellbeing, purpose.