Yeah, that’s me, about 15 years ago. I know, the picture isn’t great, but I love that picture. You know why?
Fifteen years ago was the first time I went on, what I consider, a real adventure. One that required more of me than I had given before (physically for sure) and one that had the potential for some danger.
It was my first true wilderness experience. No phones, unless you count a satellite phone, (which we didn’t carry), no ice (funny how you miss ice after a week), nobody within miles, carry everything you need, transportation by foot and canoe only, mainly canoe, catch your own dinner. Yes, it was the kind of adventure, where if someone got hurt, a float plane would be the ambulance and that was after someone canoed 20-25 miles back to a phone. That could ruin a trip.
Our motto was (somewhat jokingly) – Nobody Dies.
All joking aside, you didn’t want to get careless and try or do something extreme – like shoot a bunch of rapids in a canoe with big boulders when this is your second time rowing a canoe. (yes, someone did that, nobody died, but it was scary for those involved)
I have since gone on many canoe trips into the Canada wilderness. I pretty much know how it will go, but not always. One year we didn’t make it very far, due to high winds and inability to navigate the 4 foot waves. Another year, we dumped the canoe in the middle of the lake on the first day, after we got lazy and didn’t pay attention to how the canoe was loaded. A rogue wave pushed us over. (Rogue wave – something I heard on Deadliest Catch last night, they do exist)
I still get excited on the eve of every trip and we take great care in planning months before we go. The anticipation is a welcome distraction, to what can be routine weeks and months. Now, it is a great trip with friends to catch some walleye, unplug from the world, maybe test our limits a bit. While I consider it adventurous, it really is more a vacation now. Besides the fishing is ridiculous. I mean world class.
See, most adventures have an element of risk, danger and even extreme danger. You might not know how it will come out, but as with most things in life, if you prepare well, anticipate the risks and have a plan, everything works out okay, not always, but usually. I believe we all need a bit of adventure in our lives. It is what keeps life exciting, challenging and gives us something to look forward to.
I would even go as far to say, we require adventure.
It makes us feel alive again. It makes us believe we have something to offer.
Do you have a great adventure in your life? Do you have one planned? If not, get one planned, even if it is predictable and safe.
I borrowed these categories from a book by John Eldredge called Wild at Heart, but you can classify adventures into a few categories:
Informal/Casual adventures – See these are the ones you know how to do. This would be hiking your favorite trail locally, what you love to do on your vacations or just a favorite lake you like to fish. These don’t require much of you and the risk is fairly low. I like to do these weekly and if you are an inexperienced, start with one of these.
Compelling/Essential Adventures – Stakes are moving up. This may look like tackling a big challenge in a major area of your life. Like realizing you’re woefully out of shape and need to take some action to get healthy. A career change is likely in this category. These types of adventures requires you to stretch yourself. The outcome might be in doubt and it is going to take new disciplines and likely you will need to learn a few things. Frankly, I love these adventures. They are hard and risky, but the payoffs are big. I wouldn’t take on too many of these at once, but I would challenge you to come up with one Essential Adventure where you need a breakthrough.
Demanding/Extreme – These too involve a major area of your life, the main difference is you really don’t know how it will turn out. It is extremely risky. You will need allies, incredible training, support and likely help from a higher power. You are not sure you have what it takes. A great example of what an extreme adventure looks like is Frodo from the Lord of the Rings. No doubt Frodo’s journey was extreme, but there was nobody else who could do it. He was the one. Do you have a destiny/adventure like Frodo?
Finding your purpose in life, where you contribute at your highest level, a level that only you can produce, now that, my friends, is likely the greatest adventure of all.
Love to hear about your next adventure in life, leave a reply below and let me know.
Tight Lines, Tim