Jumper: Nicole Atkins

Town: Salt Lake City, Utah

Quote: “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” – Gary Snyder

About Nicole: I’m convinced cupid’s weapon of choice is a club, not an arrow. Because when love doesn’t work out, you’re left feeling battered and broken.

I fell in love for the first time in my late twenties. Despite my skepticism for love and marriage, I said “yes” to the prospect of spending my life with him. A full leap of faith into the world of the unknown.

Then one day, in the midst of planning our wedding, he disappeared. Poof. Packed his things and left, without a single word or explanation.

Life. It happens to the best of us.

When you endure an event like this, it rocks your very foundation. I had a choice; I could let it ruin me, or I could learn and grow from it.

The first month was the hardest. I felt completely lost. I couldn’t find a moment of peace, no matter what I did. The flood of confused thoughts in my mind waged war with the angry and sad emotions bursting from my heart. It’s enough to drive a girl mad.

Then one day, I found myself staring into the sapphire reflection of Crater Lake. For the first moment in the midst of my chaos, I felt at entirely at peace.


I’ve always been a child of the wilderness. But it was at that moment I became aware of how profound Mother Nature’s grasp on me is. She heard my cries and reached out. Wrapped her comforting arms around me and told me everything was going to be all right. Before I knew it, I was hugging her trees right back; splinters be damned. From that moment, I made a promise to make my relationship with her more prominent.


I spent the next several months focused on our relationship. I even moved from my home in Portland, Oregon to a cabin in the mountains of Wyoming. The support from those in my life was profound, but no match for the feeling of connectedness I experienced being alone in the mountains.

Three years later, I’ve moved on. I even let love back into my life. And this past summer, I took a deep dive back into the pool of faith. After a six-mile hike into the backcountry of Glacier National Park, I married the man of my dreams beside a beautiful azure lake. Surrounded by the very people who helped keep me sane through Cupid’s Clubbing.

wedding-1-nicole wedding-2-nicole

Fitting that I’d go back to nature to protest my love. There’s only one thing in this world I love as much as my life partner, and that’s my other life partner: Mother Nature. Our relationship is unbreakable. She earned that, through her unbending willingness to always be present when I need her. In return, I hold my head high and explore the splendors she offers with gratitude and respect.