“It wouldn’t be an adventure if you knew the ending”
The Feeling of Adventure
When was the last time you could hardly sleep with excitement? When was the last time you closely watched the calendar for an upcoming event that your had prepared for but had no idea how it would end? This is what happens when you have an upcoming adventure. For kids, these feelings happen all the time, whether it is the first day of school, tryouts for the all-star team, the first time on a plane, or a family camping trip.
As adults, in the bubbles of being busy, we often lose this feeling of adventure in our lives. We have our monotonous daily, monthly and yearly routines that control our lives. We have obligations and commitments to others, and we have society’s expectations to continue living up to. To liven things up, many people take a vacation to the same spot every year and do the same things.
Adventures Keep Us Alive!
Sure, you may think of adventure as an activity with a higher probability of death than your normal routine but the lack of adventure actually presents a far grater health risk. Analysis of brain chemistry shows that we are usually healthier and performing better when there is risk and exploration in activities.
Adventurous experiences release endorphins that act as a type of mood and pain regulator, produce mild euphoria, decrease appetite, and boost your immune system. A deficiency of endorphins causes depression, chronic unexplained pain, and a low tolerance for pain. In many instances, low levels of endorphins are misdiagnosed as depressive disorders.
Get More Adventure in Your Life
To find adventure, you don’t have to hang off the side of a mountain or save for years for a dream vacation to Borneo. You can start tomorrow and it will cost you nothing. Think about the passions you had as a teenager and now think of your comfort zone. Come up with a way to reignite or follow your passions that will challenge your comfort zone. This could be joining a dance class, learning a new sport, traveling to an area you have never been to but always wanted to explore, sign up for your first marathon, or jump on a roller-coaster.
Adjust Your Adventures
7 years ago, when I moved back to Newfoundland from British Columbia, several friends asked me how I was going to get my mountain adventure fix in Newfoundland. After exploring and climbing remote mountains for 15 years, I was a little concerned about getting my adventure fix as well and I didn’t have a good answer for them.
Fortunately, I quickly found my outlet in two unexpected areas: endurance sports and entrepreneurship. There wasn’t always the risk of life and death involved but these were two activities I was passionate about, which excited me and certainly left me not knowing the ending. Today, both these activities are a big part of my life everyday and they honestly keep me ALIVE!
This week, I am reminded of my adventure running the 2013 Boston Marathon. You can read my full race report here.
How do you incorporate adventure into your life? Let me know in the comments below.
Now go out, push your comfort zone and embrace the ADVENTURE!