I’ve been pondering/worrying about how to start this blog, thinking about the “perfect first post.” Then I realized subsequent posts are just going to top this one and every time I blog I’ll get a little better. Jumping in seemed like the best option!
An email from Outside Magazine was my inspiration today, “The Top 25 Outside Colleges,” read the subject, quickly the hamster in my head sprinted to thoughts of “I wonder where UofA is on the list?” Being from Arizona and an ingrained love for anything thanks to my dad I knew it had to be on there! Before even reading the copy, I scrolled to the list to see UofA at #6! yay! I also noticed that the boyfriend’s school (UCLA) was #2 so yay for him too! (For anyone who knows me the University of Arizona is where I did my undergrad and I could not be a more proud Wildcat)
The article was brief and discussed the methodology editors used to pick the schools, essentially it boiled down to the region of the country, availability and range of outdoor activities, quality of academics and of course, affordability. College kids are poor, and all the Gu, certifications and gear add up. Personally, I thought it was cool they looked for schools that tried to include the outdoors as part of the COA (cost of attendance) and offer students a the total package if adventure was their flavor.
Obviously California dominates the list, but how could it not with the classic Cali kid lifestyle of snowboarding with the sunrise and surfing in the afternoon glow? But like I try to tell everyone Arizona, and Tucson specifically, is not just 100 degree temps and cacti! The article points out the national and state parks the cover the state both north and south (which I’ve camped/hiked in all of them at some point) as well as the natural beauty surrounding the campus. Affordable outing costs and gear options also make my alma mater a great outdoor school and who knew they offered over 100 regional field work programs? You learn something everyday. Not to mention (for myself and any runner) Tucson itself has a ton of great races for all seasons, whether hot or cold is your temperature of choice. Tucson and the UofA hold a lot of great running and outdoor memories for me! I ran my first marathon my freshman year, the Tucson Marathon, It’s all downhill, a GREAT starter race and hey Abdi Abdirahman set his PR of 2:08:56 at this race! It still stands as my marathon PR (4:12) as well. I ran my BFF’s first half with her, the Valley of Gold Half Marathon. Basically Tucson rocks and I was so happy to see my school stand out in something I hold so dear.
Now that I’ve written this I’m craving a run on the Rillito River Path and sandwich from Beyond Bread.
Here’s the link to Outside University: The Top 25 Colleges for Outside Readers if you want to see if your school made the list!