Jumping From Airplanes

Be Wildly Adventurous

Today's blog is the first of a four-week feature focus on adventure. In my wildly happy world, an adventurous spirit rules.

There have been times in my life when extreme adventure intrigued me; when I wanted to push my boundaries physically. After reading Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” I considered how rewarding it would be to do the PCT or the Appalachian Trail. I was curious about white water rafting even though I was scared shitless of actually doing it. I didn’t DO either thing, but I had my fair share of wanderlust, and could certainly imagine the rush of such physically challenging adventures.

Compared to the average Jane, I’m generally a risk taker with a high tolerance for stepping outside of what I know. I like experiencing spontaneous adventures. Extremes give me an adrenalin rush. I want to go where my heart desires while exploring new places and poking the edges of my comfort zone.

The wiser I get the less interested I am in taking risks with my physical body (and admittedly the less able my physical body is to do those things). And there is nothing wrong with that level of adventure -- it’s just that I’m not interested in undertaking a grueling physical feat.

Years ago, I was doing Crossfit, paying the price with perpetually sore muscles resulting in walking like an old, old lady. My coach at the time asked me why I was doing this. He asked “Charrise, do you ever imagine yourself on a bodybuilding stage, oiled up for all to see?” Ha! My answer was, of course, NO. With an uncomfortably long pause, I got his point and subsequently stopped punishing my body with Crossfit.

And there’s nothing wrong with Crossfit; it just isn’t for me.

The same is true about adventure. To be wildly adventurous doesn’t mean I must jump from a perfectly good airplane. It may mean stretching myself like I did today.

I had planned to check out the opening of a new local art gallery featuring two artists I had never heard of. I was thinking about it all day, looking forward to meeting the gallery owner in anticipation of perhaps learning what it would take to become a featured artist in his gallery. But I was also nervous because I didn’t know anyone that was going.

I went anyway. I learned about the artists and got to see how the art was displayed and priced. It felt awkward because the gallery space was small and intimate and people were generally in conversation with one another. Except for me. This may come as a shock to some who know me because I meet people I don’t know all the time, but it’s not comfortable for me to make small-talk. It was a stretch. An adventure.

For me to be wildly adventurous, I crave more spontaneity and more unusual experiences.

Life is not about accumulating more - more money, more cars, more possessions. Rather -- I’m happiest when I am exploring something new with fresh eyes and an open heart.

And if you’re someone who seeks adventure by jumping from a perfectly good airplane -- go for it. To each her own.

What does being wildly adventurous look like at this time of YOUR life?