Frontier Tribune: Sarah Loogman

Frontier Tribune: Sarah Loogman

What we do here at Beyond is provide expedition layering systems, information, and field craft to make the world’s wildest places all the more accessible. That’s the “what.” There’s a “why” behind it: we believe, right down to our core, that getting outdoors and spending time in nature improves your health and reduces stress. That’s the motivation behind everything we do.

We don’t want you to take just our word for it. As part of our ongoing Frontier Tribune series, we’re inviting select members of the Beyond fam to share their experiences with the great out of doors. Some found healing. Some found inspiration. Some simply found themselves.

The views expressed in the Frontier Tribune belong solely to the authors and do necessarily represent or reflect those of Beyond Clothing.

My name is Sarah Loogman and I live in southern Oregon. I grew up in a small town called Etna in Scott Valley California, traveled the world, lived in San Diego and even Europe for awhile, then made my way back to the Pacific Northwest just less than two years ago. It’s quiet here; there’s not a lot of great places to eat and the culture is truthfully lacking, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now and for the first time in most of my life, I’m not looking for something new, the next step up or for my “ticket” out. I’m home as much as home could ever be.

I’ve always been a go-getter and I successfully “got” a lot of things. I joined almost every sports team I could growing up and then I joined the college teams. I was advanced to the high level classrooms, won academic awards and scholarships and paid most of my tuition by merit. I’ve ranked and been rewarded locally, regionally, nationally and globally in multiple arenas. I’ve made it to headlines and finish lines, I’ve got medals, trophies and fancy pieces of paper.

And none of it really meant a thing because I’d never known joy.

Because in between the spaces of all those things I’d collected, I’d endured decades of suffering - mentally, physically and emotionally - and I suffered it quietly. My spirit was so tangled up that I couldn’t even recognize it any more so that I just covered it in the things that I knew - the gold, silver and bronze of my own eye.

Then one day it felt as though I had taken a breath of air for the first time since childhood and in a single moment I felt God call me home - to my roots, to my family, to relationship and to myself. It was in a single moment that I felt the burden of accomplishment fall from my shoulders and an overwhelming sense of love fill within me the desire to give to others the gift I had received so undeservedly. In having my own afflictions lifted, I saw with clear eyes how much I had failed to serve others with my time and energy and I wanted to change.

So I came home.

There’s a parable about a man who left his family to squander his inheritance. I’ve recently come to relate so closely to this story in that for so long, my talents were wasted on rewards that will mostly fade away. In that story, the man reaches a point where he has nothing left and concedes to return home, if even as a slave. Yet instead, his family receives him from a long distance off with an incredible party as the guest of highest honor.

When I stand at the top of a mountain now in the Pacific Northwest, I feel as though I’m greeted by a celebration like the one in the story - I’m welcomed with a breathtaking view that is nothing short of a miracle in the way it moves and breathes within itself. I’m ever increasingly honored to call this home and to actually feel it.

Southern Oregon has become, for me, a foundation place. Arms-distance relatives have become friends and family, lifelong friendships have been seeded and I’m reminded often what a gift it is to live without the shackles of slavery. This has become the birthing place for my nonprofit organization Point One Vision and the place from which I will continue to learn what it means to give without ceasing - I could have no greater joy or reward than this.  

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