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By Karen Barclay

My Story

After my divorce, I found myself lost. Not knowing who I was after 14 years of marriage. I suddenly had the opportunity to find myself… and also to make myself. Make myself who I want to be. When I was married I would, every now and then, get this deeply internal urge to go fishing. I would drag out my husband and kids and they would get bored and complain and it was never very fun. After I found myself divorced I was talking with someone and I said that I wanted to go fishing. You see… I had always felt like if I wanted to go fishing I needed someone to go with me. My dad, my husband… But when I was sharing this with someone else they said “Just go. You should just go out.” It hit me suddenly… “Yes! I should just go out! Ya!”

I have to admit I was that girl, when I was young, who would go out fishing with her dad and he would have to put the worm on the hook (or we used artificial baits), and he would take the fish off of the hook. I always felt like I needed a man around to help. It’s embarrassing for me, now, to admit this but it’s part of my growth and my journey.

I live in Arizona and although it isn’t known for it’s bodies of water like other areas, such as Texas or Florida, we have a few lakes here. The first few times I went out to the lake alone, so that I would have to do it myself. I would have to figure it out. There wasn’t a man or anyone else out there to help me. I had to do it. I had to figure out a way to do it for myself. And I did. Once I started doing it for myself, I got my 2 daughters involved. They go fishing with me too and are learning to do these things for themselves. But when they are ready. I don’t mind helping them, but every time I ask them to make a goal to do something for themselves this time. It may seem small, but putting a worm on a hook by herself… Over coming the fear or squeamishness on her own and knowing she can now do it without someone else (or a man, I’ll say it) is incredibly empowering for a young girl. It may have taken me 37 years to figure it out for myself, but I’m teaching my girls (who are teenagers) to do these things for themselves now. One is a little more adventurous than the other and I never push them past their own comfort zones. I feel that it needs to be their decision, their determination, that will empower them even further. When you decide you are going to do something and do it… It strengthens you. Your inner self grows and learns. Realizing your own power. That is so important.

I am sharing my experiences, tips and recipes to help others find empowerment, strength and recovery through being outdoors. Whether you are fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding, or any other outdoor activity, there is always something you can learn about yourself and your life when you are getting out in nature and being active. I hope you are inspired and learn from this blog. It’s my only purpose. To inspire and encourage others to find wellness.

Come along with me and we’ll grow and learn together!

One of my first days out on the lake alone. Yes, I strapped a kayak to my car and drove out there. Went fishing and then drove home at the end of the day!