“I absolutely love hiking. I wish it was more available to me in the Midwest but I try to do versions of the real thing as much as possible. I love to be outside and I just feel when I’m in fresh air and in nature, I’m energized and it really improves my mood and makes me happy.
Sometimes either to or from school, I’ll stop by the Lakewood Forest Preserve. There’s a sledding hill there and it’s like the most elevation I’ve been able to find in Lake County, so a lot of times I’ll stop by and take my hiking boots and I’ll just trek up and down the hill anywhere from one to five times. The hill looks East, so in the morning, sometimes I can see the sun coming up over the trees and in the evening it’s kind of a different light and I just overlook all of the trees coming into this little valley.
I always find a sense of wonder in what I’m doing, especially if I have a lot on my mind. There’s just this moment when nature kind of brings me back and helps me regroup,” expressed Prevention and Wellness Coordinator Dr. Brenda Nelson.