Understanding and embracing adventure as a tool and mindset
We found ourselves on the mountain summit in Colorado. The high altitude and long hike/run intervals climbing had depleted our water and nutrition. We underestimated how difficult and how long it would take to complete this adventure. We decided to go down a different route that seemed to be faster. As we hiked and climbed down the mountain we were blocked off by some thick shrubs. We decided to push through them and were met with the edge of a cliff.
Climbing up was wasn’t really an option.
What do we do now?
Adventure feels like it has always been a part of my life. My father would often take me on adventures when I was a kid. Whether it was trying some new sport, going on a hike, exploring new training techniques, or doing difficult things that no one else seemed to do, I remember being immersed in this sense of awe of what is possible when you explore the unknown.
Luckily my father remained steadfast in exposing me to adventures. This repeated exposure eventually had me gravitate towards it subconsciously. Let me be clear, I fought the unknown for years and still struggle with its discomfort but now I view it as an ally not a foe.
When I became a father I wanted to share the beautiful and empowering experience of adventure with my kids. I want them to become proficient in using this tool. In order for it to become something I could integrate intentionally, I had to get clear on what it was and what I wanted from adventure.
What is adventure?
I believe adventure is a tool for growth and transformation. I define it as a mindset of possibility, a curiosity of what could be, an invitation of the possible and impossible and pursuing it.
In the pursuit of adventure there are 2 key ingredients that take adventure from a concept to an actual experience. They are suffering and the unknown.
I know that seems like an odd pairing for adventure but let me break it down.
- Suffering (struggle, difficulty) allows us remove the masks and fluff we carry daily around others. It brings honesty back into our life. It will bring out your insecurities and weaknesses. That is good because now you know what needs to be worked on.
- The Unknown is crucial because it allows our body to evaluate if what we know and have prepared for is genuinely enough to succeed. In other words it is a litmus test for where we are physically, spiritually, and emotionally for that situation and similar ones to come.
What I want from adventure…
Adventure is like stepping into the forge and heating up metal. The journey of becoming the man capable of completing the adventure is like the blacksmith hammering that hot metal and shaping it into a useful instrument like a knife.
I want to be molded and shaped into the best version of myself. I want to remove all the unnecessary fluff and excess I’ve accumulated in life that is holding my God given gifts and life from truly showing up. I want to provide that same tool for my kids. My hope is that if I expose them enough and teach them how to use this powerful tool for growth and when they mature they will be skilled and competent enough to use it. Whether they use it is up to them. My job is to expose them to the option and prepare them with the skill.
My invitation is to have you heed the call of adventurer. It is in your DNA. Embrace the suffering and unknown. Get excited when you hit those obstacles and things get uncomfortable, take solace, your invitation for adventure has been sent and you are pulling up to the party, so enjoy.
*PS – In case you are wondering what happened in the beginning story stay tuned for the continuation on my next article. Trust me you don’t want to miss this crazy adventure.