“Adventure is about embracing the unexpected, venturing risk, letting things come to us. We take a break from the endless planning, acquiring and polishing of life. We deliberately release control and welcome an element of surprise and challenge. In doing so, we encounter new dimensions of aliveness (or Life with a capital L as some would say) and, in doing so, often feel or even discover new aspects of ourselves.
The “spirit of adventure,” for me, is the continual willingness to meet and be moved by the unexpected, larger forces and possibilities in life…
By embracing adventure… you’ll take off the blinders that keep you on the same track you’ve always been on (and dislodge yourself from any entrapping boredom and sabotage that can come with being stuck). In this regard, adventure is a potent… antidote to the modern scourges of self-limitation and malaise.”
-- Mark Sisson, "Why a Sense of Adventure is Important," from Mark’s Daily Apple, July 7, 2016 (marksdailyapple.com)
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“The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is no use.’ There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, where there is only a third of an atmosphere, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It’s no use.
So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.”
-- George Leigh Mallory (1886-1924)
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“Something hidden. Go and find it.
Go and look behind the Ranges--
Something lost behind the Ranges
Lost and waiting for you. Go!”
-- Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
(Selections from Everest: The West Ridge, David Brower, Ed., Sierra Club Books, 1966)
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Some of us are much more adventurous than others. But enjoying a taste (or even a “full course meal”) of adventure can add spice to anyone’s life.
Adventure can be stimulating, energizing, exciting, and fun. At the same time, seeking out adventure doesn’t have to mean risking your neck.
Many outdoor activities offer adventure, especially when practiced in wild natural areas, away from the predictable routines and comforts of life at home or work.
Those of you who know me could probably predict from seeing the title of today’s Update that I would be bringing up the subject of hiking. You guessed right!
Hiking is one of many ways we can add a measure of adventure to our lives. Adventure may enter a hike because we can’t predict exactly what will happen.
It’s rare to encounter real danger, or total surprises, other than coming face to face with a wild animal (who unless provoked will almost always flee without incident).
Every day on the trail is sure to be different. Weather, lighting, the people we’re sharing it with, our experiences – all are going to be different each time we hike.
Our senses, nervous systems, minds, and bodies constantly receive new stimulation from endless inputs furnished by the natural world. It’s the opposite of routine.
That stimulation is an important part of the formula for the “hikers high” that many of us know. It’s one reason why we tend to feel terrific during and after a hike.
If you’re not currently doing so regularly, are you willing to “take the risk” of enjoying some healthy doses of adventure… and all the pleasures that go with it?
-- Charlie Cook