I have always had an adventurous spirit, but it wasn’t until later in life when I realized that adventure helps keep me balanced and happy. I have done a lot of thinking on the subject of adventure and I have had a lot of fun reliving my adventures since I have started SpiritStrike.com. There are many benefits of adventure and some of them will be personal to each adventurer, but I have found several stand out benefits that are fairly universal.
In this day and age, where work takes so much of our time, it is easy to forget to live life. It’s easy to just accept being tired and stressed all the time. I was always waiting until I could “afford” an adventure or until I had “enough time”. Eventually, I got fed up and just started fitting small adventures in where I could.
For me, the stress relief begins right from the planning stages. When I am building a motorcycle route or figuring out the logistics of my next scuba trip I am already imagining my adventure. In my head, I have already escaped and I am enjoying the possibilities of what’s to come. Some adventures are somewhat technical and require specialized gear. I enjoy the process of researching and picking the right gear. Imagining how I will use it and seeing that adventure in my mind’s eye is a great stress relief.
I have also learned that I enjoy what some would call “extreme” activities. One of the reasons I like these kinds of adventure is because it requires focus. When riding a motorcycle you need your head in the game. It can literally be life and death if you are not focused. Scuba diving requires you to be aware of your depth and air supply. Concentrating on your breathing can help extend your down time and there is a meditative quality that is very relaxing. The main thing to realize is that you are no longer focusing on work or worrying about anything else except what you are doing. Your focus is required for the adventure at hand and that brings stress relief.
Learn and Explore
Anytime you try something new you will have to learn a new skill or develop existing skills. Some of my adventures require a bit of training, other adventures you can learn in the school of hard knocks. While developing scuba skills I have learned CPR, improved my swimming technique, and learned how to rescue a fellow diver. My scuba adventures have even led me to volunteering with a local fire department as a rescue diver. I have learned search and recovery techniques and pushed myself to withstand extreme conditions without giving in to panic.
Motorcycling has led to an increase in my skills as a mechanic and my understanding of engine performance and riding technique. I have even learned better negotiating skills as I have bought and sold a few bikes. I have learned about trail side repairs while dual sporting and I am still learning how to ride off road.
The culmination of new skills leads to the ability to explore more. These skills allow me to discover the bottom of the ocean, experience cavern diving in Mexico, ride into the wilderness on my motorcycle and find the little known things off the beaten path.
Exploring changes us. We see new things and we gain new perspectives.
My friends and family would say that I push things too far sometimes and take too much risk. What they don’t always know is how much I have prepared and how much practice I have gotten. I work up to the big stuff, but the big stuff is my favorite part.
I had a goal to take the big jumps on the snowboard. It took me a long time and several snowboard seasons to pull it off, but I did it. I stood at the top of that jump with my heart pounding and pushed through the unknown to get that experience. It was awesome and I learned that I am capable of a very big jump on a snowboard!
On the rescue team we were challenged regularly. I now know that I can tolerate 38° F water in only a 5 mil wetsuit for 40 minutes. I also know that I can control my imagination when it makes me see things in zero visibility water.
While dual sport motorcycling I found out that I could endure a 19 hour ride with trail side repairs.
When you get the chance to test yourself, always take that chance. Don’t be stupid, but find out exactly what you are capable of. I guarantee you will be surprised what you can do. We are all extraordinary, but we do not all realize it.
Make New Friends
Every adventure I have ever taken has allowed me to meet new people. Some are just characters you meet on the road, and some will become friends to share more adventures with. The people you meet always enhance an adventure. My riding buddies and I have taken a lot of motorcycle rides together and we run across somebody interesting every time. In fact, these road characters usually add something to the stories I get to tell. When you go out there don’t be shy, meet your own road characters and make new friends. If you run into a situation that becomes difficult you may find that you have an even stronger bond.
Sharing an adventure with a friend makes the whole trip more fun.
This is truthfully one of my favorite aspects of adventuring. I get to tell the stories for the rest of my life! I love the fact that I will have great stories to tell my son and hopefully my grandkids someday. I hope that I can inspire them to think about the possibilities life has for them, and to imagine things they can do themselves. It is my intention to instill a healthy sense of adventure and to lead by example. I am very excited about sharing adventures with my son as he gets older. Then we can tell our stories together!