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Mindset is EVERYTHING. Reflections from my first BWCA trip.

With our info sessions upcoming for the 2021 BWCA trips, I’ve tried to put myself back into the headspace of my first BWCA trip as an adult in September 2019.


While I was excited, SO EXCITED, I also thought...

  • I’m too slow

  • I’m not strong enough

  • I don’t know what I’m doing

  • I'm going to slow everyone down


A portage is a path where you carry your canoe and gear from one lake to the next. Let me tell you about my first one...


My sweetie wanted to empower me to carry the canoe up and over from Clearwater lake to Mountain lake. This portage is around 80 rods (400ish meters) long. I said, “I don’t think I’m strong enough.” And he encouraged me saying I was strong enough, the canoe was Kevlar so it was light, and I could do it because of the backpacking I’d done.


If you look at the pictures, you’ll see that I could do it! I was doing it!! AND... I was still telling myself “I’m not strong enough.” WHILE CARRYING THE CANOE, I was still giving myself that unhelpful message.

I asked for help putting it down and then cried and walked away from Cody. He had to chase me down to make sure I was okay, which I was. Physically, I was strong enough to portage this canoe. Mentally, I was beating myself down and focusing on the strength I thought I didn't have.


It’s funny to me now because I WAS DOING IT! I was, and I AM, strong enough to portage a canoe. Yet, I couldn’t get out of my head at the time.


He encouraged me to try again later in the trip, and I did it again. No tears this time :)


If I go into the wilderness, or any experience for that matter, with an unhelpful mindset, I am planning to fail. I’m not prepared nor in my strengths.

When I trust, support, and believe in myself, I’m planning to succeed and I DO succeed!


Mindset is everything. We can shift from “I’m not going to be very good at this” to, “let’s see how I do with this today.” A small shift makes a profound difference in our outcomes.


If anyone from my MeaningFULL Moments groups is reading, this is sounding familiar :)


I hope you enjoyed that lil story from my growth journey! If you're interested in joining us for a BWCA retreat, hop on our waitlist. If you're ready to rework your own unhelpful messages, schedule a free 15 minute connection call with me. I'd love to help you reframe your perspective.


Be well and be YOU, my friend.

Rachael Schauer, Your guide through growth


Stirring supper with a stick found in camp - whatever works!

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