Laurel Jackson

l.jpg

Good morning, Monday! Welcome back to More Than Lyme's fifth feature on... A YOU DAY,

Meet Laurel. The day More Than Lyme launched she was right there, motivating and supporting me before we had even met. Her ability to turn literally anything into an adventure will amaze you, just as it did me. Laurel is someone everyone needs in their life--she is just as kind as she is strong; even on her hardest days.

Q: On a day all to yourself–what is your favorite way to wake up? (Coffee/tea in bed, a walk, yoga etc)

Laurel: Nice and Easy, I always relax with hot coffee or tea, and I always make time to pray. Then I like to stretch out my entire body, and usually spend some tine in my backyard just to grab a bit of fresh morning air. 

Q: What are your favorite snacks/food items to bring along on a solo adventure? Or do you stop at a favorite place before to pick up a smoothie or lunch to go?

Laurel: I prepare myself a meal to eat before I leave, and/or make myself a smoothie or green juice at home. I bring lots of water with me, and my go to snacks are protein bars, jerky, fruit (apples are a favorite), nuts, and sometimes products like energy goo in case I need the extra boost (You can never be too careful when you're out adventuring). If I'm going on a cold adventure, I'll have a thermos of hot tea waiting for me in the vehicle for when I get back.

Q: What kind of places intrigue you/motivate you–that inspire you to adventure. Somewhere you’d want to hang out at for an afternoon. (Maybe pick a places or a couple places around your home that you love to explore or just visit frequently.)

Laurel: Anywhere in Nature! Just the chance to see and experience something new and outdoors is inspiring to me. The amazing thing about nature is that even if you go to the same spot again and again, you can still find something new or have a different experience every time. The ocean has always and will always be my #1 obsesson, but I also love the forest and mountains. Snowboarding has been a big part of my life, so in the winter you can usually find me riding one of our local spots here in the Cascade mountains and during the rest of the year, enjoying hikes, rivers, waterfalls and alpine lakes. Living between the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges means never running out of places to explore! Camping, trips to the coast, swimming, surfing, freediving, rock climbing and biking are also other some other activities that motivate me to get outside and have fun. 

"You will have bad times

but they will

always

wake you up to the stuff

you weren't paying attention to"

-Robin Williams

Q: Lastly, on this day--are you constantly aware of your Lyme (and all that goes along with it) Does it find a way to creep into your day--make you feel or think differently? If so how best do you overcome that feeling and push through?

Laurel: Yes, I am aware of my Lyme. I would love to say I am not, but I am. I am aware of it, but I try not to let it affect my thoughts. I think being aware of it and letting it affect you are different. Some days, it definitely creeps in and affects me more than others, but those are usually the days when I seek nature the most, as it is my ultimate medicine and makes me feel the healthiest and most alive. In my own experience, Lyme has become more of a mental battle than a physical one. Despite the physical problems I have as a result from Lyme, the one thing I notice the most is fear. ...All the fears. The fears that only chronic illness brings. The ones that can be so utterly crushing. My favorite saying is "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself", and I try to live it everyday. I am constantly encouraging myself to not let the many fears that Lyme throws at me win. I am much more afraid of limiting myself because of "what might happen" or "how bad I might feel" if I (insert activity here) than the actual disease itself! So every time I get the chance to face a fear, I embrace it. No fear is too big or too small, so whether it be climbing a mountain, facing the doubt of yet another skeptical doctor, or mustering the courage to take a shower when you didn't think you had it in you, in my opinion, each fear conquered is a step in the direction of winning this battle.

Continue to follow Laurel as she takes life into her own hands--making sure there is always an adventure planned without a single dull moment in-between: @chronicallysteezy