During our long run last weekend, my friend and I started chatting about our majors in college and what we did with said majors. Since I’m traveling to my alma mater this weekend, it got me thinking… and since it’s Thursday, I might as well Think Out Loud…
My major was Criminal Justice. I don’t know why. I guess because it interested me and I did well. I planned on attending law school immediately following graduation but I had recently watched my brother go through law school, become a lawyer with a large firm, and promptly quit because it wasn’t what he wanted to be doing. (I should mention he’s since returned to law and is doing quite well and, from what I understand, loving it.) In any event, I didn’t go to law school.
The whole reason I went to IU in the first place was to create an individualized major in outdoor ed and recreation. I grew up attending an all girls summer camp in the north woods of Wisconsin and loved it. It was hands down the best time of my life. I’ve blogged about it before time and again. My experiences there shaped me to become the person I am today.
Rewind a bit more, and before I was old enough to attend summer camp, I used to play in the woods behind my house. Alone. For hours. My parents collected those old Coke bottles. You know, the glass ones? I think they probably had them for recycling but by the time I was old enough to play by myself, the Coke bottles had been long forgotten in our garage.
I used to take the bottles with me into the woods. I would play “camping,” you see. And the bottles were my water bottles. I filled them up from the stream in our woods, brought them back to my “campsite” and enjoyed my time outside. (How I never got sick from said adventures I will never know…)
In high school, my friend and I went camping for our senior project. I don’t even remember what our proposal was in order to go, but whatever we said worked because we were given the green light to go camping for a week.
Now, as an adult, my family recently moved into a new home. Our old home was in the inner-ring suburbs of Cleveland: post-WWII era homes, all the same, one and a half bathrooms, very close to our neighbors. Our new home is nestled snuggly in the middle of the woods. If you didn’t know where our house was, there’s a good chance you’d drive right by. Have you ever heard of the color Go Away Green? It’s a color used by Disney to hide all sorts of stuff from park visitors. Anyway — our garage and front door are painted a similar shade, creating a blending effect into our surroundings.
You’re probably asking why I’m telling you all of this. To be honest, I have no reason. But I do have a point. My point is that by looking back at my life — starting all the way from my childhood as a 6 year old playing in the woods and drinking stream water out of a dusty old Coke bottle — through my adolescence and now into adulthood, it’s clear that my fondest memories have been in the woods. My life took a brief detour into the corporate world, but I was never happy working in an office. I’m grateful I found my love of running and I’m thrilled that my husband is supportive enough to let me make a go of coaching as a profession. Being outside and teaching friends, family, and perfect strangers all about nature and how our bodies move and function, and working toward a physical goal has been an extremely rewarding experience.
When I go back to my college days this weekend, I won’t regret not majoring in my intended course of study, but it will give me pause. I wonder what I could have been doing had I stayed the course and been true to my dreams and passions. Who knows? Maybe I would have become a park ranger, a trail runner, or perhaps a running coach…
So yeah. That’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.
TALK TO ME!
Have you noticed a pattern in your life about your likes/dislikes and passions?
What was your major in college and are you using it?