Steven Rinella in Alberta, Canada

Sunday evening rolled around, and I was absolutely wiped out. Ready for bed, but hungry, I decided to cave to the hunger cravings and grabbed a Clementine, some crackers (that taste like Pizza Hut in a cracker), cheese, and of course, Girl Scout cookies. Breaking every single “healthy eating rule,” I turned on the TV.

Flipping through the channels is my greatest skill, and I often have a difficult time landing on one specific show. I have been known to watch up to five different shows in any given TV sitting. But every once in a while a show (yes, I watch more than just hockey games) comes along that grabs me. And I found it on Sunday night.

The Wild Within. It’s on the Travel Channel. Usually I only watch Samantha Brown or food shows on that channel. But just one episode of Steven Rinella’s show, and I’m hook, line, and sinkered.

Now, I know some of you may be picturing me as some kind of Annie Oakley who doesn’t shave her arm pits and talks like Renee Zellweger’s character on Cold Mountain. I’m not . By any means. I enjoy “fine” things. I shop at J.Crew and Anthropologie. I wear makeup (if you count the free makeup in the Clinque bonus as makeup). I have a couple pink and purple shirts. I style my hair (one style).

Certainly I’m not a total tom-boy. But I’m not anything close to “girlie.” I’m somewhere in between.

Rinella’s show spoke to the part of me that longs for adventure. The side of me that wants to spend all my time outdoors. The piece of me that knows the therapy the woods and lakes offers. The heart of me that sees the beauty in all of God’s creation. The little kid in me that remembers the connection between nature and family.

That’s why I’m writing about a hunting-fishing-gathering show on Valentine’s Day. Because if I’m honest with myself, I love the outdoors (despite seasonal allergies). I have worked at a nature center preschool. I have held snakes and tended to wounded ducks. I have fed deer with my bare hands. I returned a snapping turtle to its natural setting; away from domestic animals. I have walked the woods in every season of the year and my life. I have repaired fishing lines in tournaments and caught the catch of the day. I have maneuvered boats into slips and onto lifts.  I have dug for worms and held leeches. I have sailed in regatta’s. I have built fires in the woods. I have eaten my fresh-caught fish. I have taken part in the largest ice fishing tournament in the world. I have held live lobsters on a lobster boat in Maine. I have cut down a tree (a tiny one, but a tree nonetheless) with a forester. I have eaten my cousin’s Alaskan Caribou jerky. I have seen freezers full of fish and venison. I have played Hide-and-Seek in the woods at night, dressed in all-black, and suffered mosquito bites galore. I have run in sub-zero temperatures.

All of those things, those adventures, are indescribably amazing. Every single experience with nature has woven in me a love for the outdoors. A love that is deeper than just a hobby. A love that is more than just an interest. Though I do not participate in every single outdoor event available in the world, I enjoy what I enjoy. I enjoy the nature I come in contact with.

And I get the cycle of life. The way God created things to live and die. How we are wired to live on this earth. Why we are naturally equipped with hunting/fishing skills. The importance of sustainability and responsibility. The thrill in the hunt. The triumph in the catch.

So, on this Saint Valentine’s Day, I wish to expose my love for the outdoors. To tell the world of my wild side.




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