Insights gleaned from this experience (so far)
Rediscovering possibility via my circa 2007 self and choosing to go out in the rain seem to have set me on a path back to the great outdoors. I am grateful and curious to see where it will lead.
Below are a few insights I've gleaned on the path so far. I thought I'd share them here, should they spark anything with you, too:
1. Adventure is in the eye of the beholder. While a walk in the rain may seem insignificant to someone else, it was a big deal to me. I must put aside what I think adventure should look like (trekking in Nepal, hiking the Appalachian Trail, travelling to India) and focus on what it looks like for me (going for a drive, discovering a new conservation area, walking in the rain).
2. Adventure may shift in form and shape. Adventure may mean different things to me at different points in my life, depending on where I am in my journey. Last year it meant a solo walk around the block, this month I'm car camping with friends, next year I might be back country camping or paddling on a lake. I go with what feels right for me, today.
3. I can set myself up for success. Rain in the forecast? I'll pack my rain gear. Nervous in a tent because my imagination runs wild at things that go bump in the night? Ear plugs. Anxious at the idea of sailing to an island? Gravol and peppermint tea should do the trick.
4. Resiliency can be built in increments. Stretching my adventure muscle by regularly taking small risks makes it easier to take slightly bigger risks, like going camping or hiking a challenging trail. It's an incremental process. I feel like my brain is being re-wired each time I stretch.
5. With risk comes reward. Lush greens on a rainy day, a full moon rising against an indigo sky, a change of scenery, expansion, laughter, stories... I am slowly rediscovering rewards other than those that lie within my comfort zone.
6. Respecting my right recovery pace is important. Recovery can take time, going gently seems to be working for me right now. That being said I must watch out for fear and its tricky companion: complacency. Self-awareness goes a long way in knowing when something is truly beyond my reach – physically or from an anxiety perspective – and knowing when it's time to move through fear and do it anyway.
7. Incremental risk-taking is a transferable process. In this particular instance I seek to expand my experience of the great outdoors, but the concept of incremental risk-taking and building resiliency can be carried into any facet of life in which I seek to stretch: art, style and appearance, work, my physical health, relationships. This might be my favourite insight of all.
Do you feel called to stretch your risk or adventure muscle this year? If so, what small action could you take to do so? How could you set yourself up for success?
In spirit of discovery,