Why you’re not outdoorsy

What’s stopping you and how to stop it stopping you.

I don’t have enough time

We all dream of the well-rounded routine; equal parts study/work, social life and sleep. And as neat as this sounds it does have a vibe akin to your favourite fad diet i.e. its bullshit and will not work. I mean name one medical student with enough friends to spend 8 hours a day socialising…

The real solution is to decide what you like doing most and prioritise this above all else. My parents/number 1 sponsors tell me this is not a great plan and so we’ve compromised and now I’m doing a medical degree.

But this aside, put your current workload into perspective; first year no longer counts, z scores are too confusing to worry about and the university pretty much won’t let you fail.

Magically now you have time.

What wilderness/outdoorsy activity do I like?

The trick here is to jump onto YouTube and type “people are awesome“. Pick your favourite activity and go out and try it. Worse thing that could happen is you get a free ambulance trip and potentially avoid the myki payment to reach your clinical school.

In all seriousness though, WMSS runs some great intro events. If you’re not too sure what you like pick a handful and see which resonate. Just a lil’ tip though… you can’t not enjoy cross country skiing.

I don’t have anyone to go do adventuring things with

Again, there is this rad group called the Wilderness Medicine Students’ Society and they run awesome, low cost events for us budding adventurers. If you want to do something extra, shoot WMSS a message, tell them what you’re interested in and they’ll probably be able to link you up with someone who is also keen or even better, experienced.

Perhaps the best way to try out a new wilderness adventure is to set out with a pal as equally naïve as you are and enjoy all the uncomfortable blunders along the way. This will ensure a monumentally bipolar experience of marvelling at the joy of group achievement and wallowing in the insurmountable frustration of your combined uselessness.

I’m not fit enough

Put simply, this is not an excuse. When you begin at something you are always going to be pretty terrible at it. This is the same regardless of whether it’s trying to put a cannula into some poor unsuspecting arm or work out whether it’s respiratory or metabolic acidosis with or without compensation (what the hell is base excess? Asking for a friend). First time adventures are always scary for a multitude of reasons and this is part of what makes them so exciting.

Still worried about your fitness or generally not being fantastic at something before you try it? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, it may surprise you that this is a trait shared amongst many med students. But this is not a bad thing.  

Preparing for an outdoor trip is just like studying except its not confusing and if you do badly, it won’t ruin your career. So, do a bit of planning. For example, decide on a route, what to bring ect. and cater for your skill and fitness level. If there is a trip you reckon is just a bit much for you, do a little bit of training and try and talk to someone who has done something similar.

I don’t like going outdoors

This is a hard trait to argue against. Maybe some baby steps to fixing this would be watching some David Attenborough or trying some gardening. Also, maybe think about taking some vitamin D supplements.


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