Here’s a photo of me taken by a professional photographer a few years ago. I’m all dolled up with makeup. My hair is freshly cut and styled. The photo has a touch-up or two.
And here’s an unfiltered selfie of me, taken last summer on the Colorado Trail, right after I rolled out of my tent in the morning. My skin is wrinkled and dirty. My face and eyes are swollen from salty food and restless sleep at high elevation. This is me.
Early last year, I would NEVER have shown you this selfie. But I’m sharing it today, as well as a deeply personal story about body image, and how I learned to love the skin I’m in -- thanks in part to one clever coyote.
Willow Belden of Out There podcast aired my story “Coyote’s Beauty Secrets” on her show today, and I’d love if you gave it a listen.
And to my total delight, the amazing women at Misadventures magazine also picked up my story and shared it as a guest essay on their website. You can read the whole story on Misadventures, and check out some additional photos in their post. In this story, I admit to A LOT of stuff that I would rather keep hidden, but I'm tired of being a chameleon.
The story “Coyote’s Beauty Secrets” was adapted from a chapter in my work-in-progress book Serendipity on the Trail. Special thanks to my buddy Sean Moth for letting me use his stunning coyote photograph (and dude, I swear it’s smiling).
If you liked this story, check out my first episode for Out There called “The Motherload.” It’s a good summary of my time on the Colorado Trail (why I left, what I learned, and a few ways it changed my life). It’s about how doing something selfish can be good for you, and for those around you.