9.15.93″ My dearest Julie. Now that you are truly Outward Bound I hope that you will use these readings to get you back on course or to inspire you toward things believed to be beyond your reach. You can do it. Love Dad”
My Dad gave me a book of readings. I have on front of me now. I cried when I read his personal message to me. Outward Bound was such a special thing for me and he and I connect on a very deep level having both experienced its beauty.
Outward Bound is a wilderness survival school. I took several semesters there during the summers of my teenage years. My father was an Outward Bound Alumni and there was a special bond between us now that one can only understand if they are too. I think going on these courses helped me reign myself back in, when I was close to taking that one step too far. It really helped me connect with the person I was deep down inside when you strip yourself down to only your spirit. It is a physical challenge like no other to hike for 28 days with a 50lb backpack and run a 10 mile marathon at the end. I did that particular hike, twice.
Outward Bound had something to do with my inner strength to this day as these courses teach you a lot about yourself. I did two, 28 day hikes in the Appalachians, one caving expedition 20 miles underground, one two week sailing course and lived on a sailboat, and the beginning of a 60 day hike in the Colorado Rockies where I ended up getting injured and sent home early.
It’s magical and raw. Almost everyone cries at one time or another. One of the challenges is called a solo where you are left alone 3 days. No books, no TV, no radio, just a journal, you, and nature. It’s amazing what this solitude does for your heart and your mind. These expeditions every summer gave my Dad, the real Julie for a few weeks thereafter. I felt alive again, I felt strong and good. I felt closer to God. I felt like I had a fresh start. I felt like I could overcome anything, that was until peer pressure crept back into my life.