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There is incredible power when community meets nature. See for yourself how one of the largest urban parks in the United States is impacting lives for the better. Sponsored by REI #optoutside

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Transcript

- [Almetria] I remember, all I could do was walk, because since I was so heavy, 'cause I was 350 pounds when I started my weight loss journey. Can I just walk 15 minutes? Can I walk 20 minutes the next day? Can I run from this tree to the next tree? Can I run from this pole to the next pole? Can I just make it to that bench? And I just remember the first time in which I ran a full mile without stopping, I literally cried. Nature is a way of escape for people. It's like you have to feel it for yourself. ♪ Don't ever doubt something ♪ ♪ Just say you're going with me ♪ You have to go for yourself to see exactly what it means to you. And so, when I think of nature, I think of peace, I think of joy, I think of happiness. ♪ Don't tell me that tomorrow ♪ ♪ Is just another day ♪ I gave up on life, and Shelby Farms Park gave that life back to me. Everyone's doing all right? How is everyone doing? - Good. - Good. ♪ It's you and me against the world ♪ - Shelby Farms Park is basically in the middle of the city. It's in an urban environment. Once the weight started coming off, I started running within Shelby Farms Park and just utilizing the free amenities that the city offered. I was like, I can actually maybe teach other people. ♪ Runnin' runnin' ♪ My name is Almetria Turner. I'm a lifestyle and wellness coach, as well as a certified running coach and fitness trainer. Let's see if we can make it to that tree right there. The park can build community. Anyone can actually work toward their fitness goals here within the park, if they choose to do so. - [Pam] What a great day out. Oh, it's so pretty. There's a little breeze. Shelby Farms Park is sort of a little gym in the middle of our city. I do think people have a misconception that nature has to be far away. But if you can just take a few minutes to look around, usually there's a lot of urban parks that we don't know about. My name's Pam Routh. I'm an active tri-athlete. So the reason I like the park is because it's outside. I basically do a sport a day, or more, running, walking with my dog, or running trails, or riding my bike. It's just freedom. This is Shelby Farms Park, and I can't imagine my life without it. - All right. Now, how many of you all have been on a Memphis Kids in Nature trip before? Raise your hand. - Me. - [Pam] I've been working with Memphis Kids in Nature for roughly about two years now. I hope that I get this child so in love with nature that it will become their lifestyle, and it will change their world. ♪ I don't get lonely ♪ ♪ Don't get shattered ♪ ♪ You're the best friend ♪ ♪ I ever had ♪ ♪ Well I mean it when I say it ♪ ♪ It just don't give me the blues ♪ ♪ Oh my darling ♪ When I invite kids to come with me and we enjoy the park, I want them to know it's their park. All this is theirs to protect it, to be kind to it, because then it'll be here for all our generations. You can go outside and walk around your backyard and find all these cool things in your own very backyard. ♪ Spent my life just ramblin' ♪ ♪ I'm always on the run ♪ To get away from all the things that we all get bogged down with, our phones, our businesses, our jobs, our school. Even if it's for an hour in the middle of a weekend, or on a weeknight, you know, go to your park. Just get outside. - [Almetria] It's like you're not in that toxic environment anymore. - [Pam] When folks go outside, they don't actually have to have anything to be outside. You don't have to carry all your stuff. You don't have to have electricity. You don't have to have a charge. You can just be out there. I think when people are outside, they're kind of connecting to something bigger, something more powerful. I think it gives people a lot of inner peace. And when you're part of something bigger, and actually part of something quite fabulously bigger, I think it also gives you a good perspective of where you are in the world, and maybe where your place should be. - [Almetria] I have a hope that, as far as with my community, that they become healthy, that they utilize the free resources and the money, honestly, that we as taxpayers are putting into our community. This is our park. There is power in nature. You could very well go to a gym. You could sit there and workout at home, but when you are within nature, when you are within the park, there is community. I've always believed that people need people, and sometimes it's hard doing life on your own. And so, when you come to Shelby Farms Park, you're a part of that community. My reason, as far as coming to Shelby Farms Park, is because one, it gives me freedom. Shelby Farms Park gave me that freedom that I wanted to take back.