Gotta’ Run: Finding your own adventure!

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 24, 2022

Back in 2007, though it feels like yesterday, I got to spend a week in London. It had been a dream for quite a while to run the London Marathon and I finally made it happen. I flew over on an all-night flight to Berlin, then connected to London early on Saturday morning. The marathon was on Sunday, my first tour of the great city. I thought of this memorable adventure often while watching Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on Monday morning.

Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Thames River and so many more great sights of London just made for a fabulous week. I rented a room in the YMCA and walked nearly everywhere, interacting with interesting people and had yet another mountaintop experience. A few years afterwards, I taught a seminar at the South Branch of the Rowan County Library on finding your own adventure and I wanted to share some of the key points.

Adventure definition — an exciting or unusual experience, a bold and sometimes risky undertaking, often taking a chance while out of your comfort level. The most important thought related to this definition is that an adventure is something you may have thought about but haven’t done. Maybe your adventure scares you a little, or maybe you just keep putting it off. I’m fortunate to get to talk with people I meet almost daily about having adventures. But finding your own adventure doesn’t have to mean something physically hard and scary.

Why experience adventure? Because adventure is a form of play and nearly always includes some fun. Experiencing an adventure adds joy to life and will almost assuredly provide new perspectives and expand your personal freedoms. Once some boundary is opened, an adventure often breeds thoughts of more of the same. Or better yet, an even higher level of adventure. My first long-distance bike ride was an example of overcoming a boundary, then wanting an even greater achievement. I drove to West Virginia to ride along the Greenbrier River for three days in 2011. After falling off the bike before I rode out of the parking lot and then an exhausting ride in snow and rain, I fell in love with an adventure on two wheels. Totally worn out when driving home, I decided to seek a much longer and challenging cycling adventure. My next ride was 54 days across America.

More good things happen when we seek out adventure. Psychological benefits are numerous. We can supercharge learning and problem-solving plus adventure often stimulates imagination. Adventure also builds self-esteem, sense of well-being, refreshes the mind and body and increases energy. Often, I’m physically whipped at the end of long day, yet a boundless energy from somewhere within pushes me out the door the next morning.

Defining success when seeking and then planning your own personal adventure is easier than you think. Make sure your activity isn’t overwhelming, does match your interests and your available time frame, while meeting physical and financial constraints. Work through why you want to do this and who will go along. Seeking your adventure means getting more information, so getting started means doing your research, contacting experts, having an open mind and a willingness to adjust. Plan for leaving work behind while you seek adventure.

Some ideas from seminar attendees included skydiving, an African safari, visiting London, Paris, Ireland and Scotland, learning to waterski, pilot a plane, backpacking, beekeeping, hiking the John Muir trail in California. It might be as simple as visiting a new town or state, or camping outside on a rainy or chilly night. The possibilities are endless! Start researching and planning now and go find your own adventure!

The best thing to do with life is to live it!

The next race locally is the T-Man’s 5K in Mooresville on Oct. 8. Look for more information on this and other events at  www.salisburyrowanrunners.org.

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