Get Outside

Get Outside: Ives' Why and Story

Learn more about Ives' WHY for getting outside. Every day, every moment is a gift. The opportunity to be outside, breathe fresh air, and move are such basic, simple things that we take for granted.

10 min read

When Christy and I set out to more clearly define our pillars and share our why, it forced me to really sit with myself. I was forced to look deeper than just sharing the surface level response of being outside makes me feel happier and more focused. Christy has a good self reflection exercise she's shared with me in the past. Ask yourself "why" 5 times. Let me explain. You usually apply this tactic when you have a problem that is not easily resolved. Asking why multiple times forces you to go deeper and have a better understanding of what the root of the problem is and offers potential solutions.  I think you can apply the 5Y method to better understand anything, not just a problem. I asked myself the following questions:

1. Why do you feel "Get Outside" is vital to who you are and why should others follow suit? 

Being outside makes me feel happy and focused. At it's core, it's healthy to be outside.

2. Why does it make you feel happy and focused? 

I work in a clinic with geriatric, underserved minorities that often are too sick, weak, or scared (recent AAPI hate crimes) to go outside. The act of getting outside and walking in their neighborhood for 10-30 minutes/day can be daunting. This past year, especially during the pandemic, so many patients were admitted and could not get outside of the hospital to see family and loved ones or to breathe fresh air. For some, their last breaths were spent connected to tubes and vents. Healthy people don't come to the hospital. Seeing sickness every day makes you appreciate your health so much more.

I also feel "stuck" inside at work and some days don't have a chance to look out the window between patients, notes, and meetings. If I am being transparent, some days I struggle with whether I am happy doing the work I do. Yes, I like taking care of patients and searching for solutions, but healthcare has lots of red tape, rules, and pharmacy is not a sexy, fun career. It was a safe choice for me.

3. Why do you feel stuck or you can't slow down? 

My mind is always racing from one job to the next --gym, pharmacy, ULA, mamahood. I have a hard time slowing my thoughts down. When there are a million distractions, it's easy to lose focus and feel more overwhelmed. Exercise and fresh air help me feel grounded.

4. Why do I pack so much into the day? 

I have a fear that life will pass so quickly or that it will be taken suddenly and I won't have anything to show for it. For this reason, I tend to pile a lot into one day, one week, one year. I am learning that "more isn't more." The saying is in fact, "less is more."

5.Why do I fear that I won't have anything to show for my life/days? 

I think this is the hardest question to answer. I am still working on the answer. When I get to the core, the deeper why for a lot of what drives (motivates me) is my family. I saw firsthand how much they struggled as new immigrants/refugees. I witnessed the hard work, the sacrifices, the resilience just to create an upper middle class life in a new country. My parents never forced me to do anything, but when you see the ones you love most stressed or struggling it impacts you. I have always wanted "more" or to be "good enough" knowing how hard they worked to provide me with opportunities to succeed.

So what does all this have to do with "Get Outside?" It may not seem obvious to you. But for me, getting outside is the simplest way to reset. No matter how bad or busy the day has been in clinic, if I take 5 minutes to just walk outside the hospital, I will feel refreshed and better equipped to go back into clinic. To complete the work I need to do. To see my patients and feel gratitude for my health. No matter how fussy Luka is or if he's refused naps, if I put him in the stroller both he and I will calm down. We will reset the day and mama will feel more "in control" if there is such a thing as control with a baby. No matter how much I have on my plate, if I lace up and go for a run or plan a family hike, I will feel more clear. I will step away from the distractions and come back with a better sense of how to prioritize my time and my energy. I don't know about you, but I tend to overcomplicate my life. I make life messier than it needs to be.

Getting outside forces me to walk away from the mess. Getting outside lets me re-connect with myself.