Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Finding Adventure

A couple of nights ago I was trying to go for a bike ride in the late-afternoon/early evening and got caught up in preparation; wearing the right clothes, having the right amount of water, getting the right music, etc. I decided downloading a new album for the ride would be a good idea but by the time I made the purchase on iTunes I didn’t realize that the album was 40 tracks long. By the time the download completed it was 10:30PM! I thought, “This is way too late to ride.”

I was very disappointed because I was already ready to go and really looking forward to this ride but because it was “too late” I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I sat down exasperated and opened my e-mail and thought about turning on the TV and the thought occurred to me, “If it is too late to ride, why is it not too late to watch TV or check my e-mail. Why am I not going to bed?” I realized that I could easily stay up late doing other things, “wasting time” when really the “too late” concept was just an illusion.

I got on my bike and left with the cool air on my face and the moonlight on my back. I picked a low traffic, well lit side road and started riding. About half way through I came to the end of the lighted paved road and thought about turning around but since I was already breaking rules by being out “too late” I figured “what the heck?” and hit the dirt road with nothing but the moonlight guiding my way.

Throughout my ride I experienced some amazing things; for one, it was beautiful out there! The moonlight made everything a gorgeous blue color and throughout my ride through previously unfamiliar terrain I saw beautiful things like the moon reflected in the water in a drainage pit, the yellow street lights exemplifying the leaves on trees and even the color of cars and it’s contrast with the blue that the moon made everything not under it’s cone of yellow illumination. I rode and rode and rode through the crisp, cool air getting faster and faster seemingly fueled by the exhilaration of being out in such unknown territory.

At one point I was racing along at the side of the road, the street lights ended and the road on the side fell away into a gravel driveway which I wasn’t able to see under the shade of a tree. I hit the gravel at high speed, my adrenalin kicked in, I lowered my gear peddled and turned, and took my feet off the petals too stop. I nearly crashed… but I didn’t.

After the near miss I rode the rest of the way even faster as the rush had yet to wear off and cruised home. I looked at the clock and realized; I was only gone for 30 minutes! It was 11 o’clock, I showered, then hit the bed dreaming of racing through moonlight.

The point I am trying to make here is I had an adventure; an accessible thing that anyone can do in any amount of time. What makes an adventure?
  • Risk – The risk can be of any kind of consequence not just physical danger. For me it was the actual risk of danger.
  • Leaving one’s comfort zone – Going somewhere you don’t know or doing something in different environment. For me it was doing a daytime activity late at night.
  • Stepping into the Unknown – A willingness to explore is required. Riding on to that dirt road into the literal dark was the example of this for me.
  • Mindfulness – A true attention to self and one’s surroundings is required. It is not an adventure unless you are continually looking for the adventure in everything you do. If I hadn’t have noticed the beauty and the thrills I was experiencing it would have just been a bike ride.
The Memory of my 30 minute bike ride will last with me for a very long time. It is an example I see over and over again in my life, if I look at everything I am resistant to doing with a perspective of “What if I just did this thing regardless of all these excuses?” many more adventures are open to me. My challenge to you; do something outside of your comfort zone, step into the unknown and have your own adventure. If you have experienced this feeling before or have your own ideas of what makes an adventure please comment here, I would love to discuss.


Tara Rodden Robinson said...

Wow, Brian! What a great post! Loved your descriptions of the ride and how it felt to you. So often, we talk ourselves out of experiences because we "shouldn't" or it's "too late" or we're "too" something. Great job on tackling that limiting belief and giving it the smacking around it deserved. :)

Lotsa best wishes,

Brian said...

Thank you for the term "limiting belief" that is the description that I didn't know I couldn't think of as I was writing it.
"too something" is the kind of negative self talk that can be used against us unbknownst to the one that is using it! Thank you for the comment, that clarified the concept even deeper for me.

Unknown said...

Great post Brian. Two things I took from it was not letting preparation getting so carried away that I don't get things done (a problem I often have) and not talking myself out of experiences.

Thanks Brian!

Brian said...

Thanks for the comment Gretchen, I personally believe being engaged with an experience is an expression of love for God.