I found myself at home, injured, on a long weekend, completely bored out of my mind. I told my husband I was considering getting a weekend job. I already have two jobs, so this was completely absurd. I was dying on the inside. I could feel my anxiety levels rising as I sat at home, unable to get out on the trail, which is my number one form of therapy to burn off the crazy. And then someone asked me a question that really made me rethink how I was spending my time (moping on the couch).
“How do you live an adventure inspired life?”
My gut reaction was, “by spending every possible moment outside, hiking.” But as I tossed this question around in my mind, I realized that living an adventure inspired life is a truly sad concept if I’m only living that way when my boots are on the trail. What an incredible injustice I’m doing to myself and everyone around me, if I’m only allowing myself to be the best possible version of myself when I’m on the trail.
That just seems ridiculous.
The reality of the situation is, the majority of my life will not be spent in the mountains. I have a job, family, friends, responsibilities. I do not foresee becoming a nomad anytime soon. In fact, if you do the math on the percentage of time I spend hiking, it doesn’t seem spectacular. Let’s aim high, and say I go hiking once a week. It will probably average out to that, when you consider winter weather, injuries, busy schedules, but also overnight trips and hiking multiple times a week in the Summer. Let’s ballpark that I spend 10 hours a week on the trail. That’s 560 hours per year. There are 8,760 hours in a year, which means I potentially spend 6% of my time hiking (and that’s if I’m using a pretty high ballpark number). So far this year, since I’ve been injured, I have spend 6 hours hiking, out of the 1,224 that I have been alive, which means I have spent .4% of my time hiking this year.
That doesn’t seem like I’m living an adventure inspired life.
Maybe living an adventure inspired life means a lot more than just spending as much time as possible outside.
Not only do I believe you can live an adventure inspired life off the trail, I believe that is the entire point. Being able to live an adventure inspired life at home on the couch with a broken tailbone is so much more difficult, but so much more important, than being able to live that way in the midst of a real adventure.
So what on earth does it mean to live an adventure-inspired life?
I believe it means you take what the trail has taught you and you put it into practice in your everyday life. You take those principles, those ideas, those lessons, those moments of inspiration, and you put them into practice in the moments that feel the farthest from an adventure.
I hike because it helps me find healing, wholeness, and joy. It shows me that the world is still a beautiful place, no matter how broken it is. Hiking shows me what I am capable of – pushing through pain, climbing mountains, carrying my own weight, being the best possible version of myself. It gives me perspective, allows me to see what truly matters, and refuels me so that I am capable of loving the way I should be loving.
What does this mean for my every day life?
An adventure inspired life means approaching even the most menial tasks with the same vigor and determination I would approach a steep incline on the trail.
An adventure inspired life means remembering to look around me and soak in the details. Not letting life slip through my fingertips by just going through the motions. Taking deep breaths of mountain air, and remembering to breathe during the monotonous moments of every day life.
An adventure inspired life means investing in the relationships around me and loving with everything I have in me. It means taking time to refuel, so I can continue to pour into others. It means seeking respite for my soul on the trail, so that I can be at peace no matter where I am.
An adventure inspired life means seeing the beauty around me, no matter what my circumstances are. It is easy to see the beauty from the mountain top, and the more time I spend on mountain tops, the easier it becomes to see that beauty constantly surrounding me.
An adventure inspired life means being still and listening. It means learning how to be silent in the chaos, learning how to focus on what truly matters, regardless of how noisy the world around me becomes.
An adventure inspired life means approaching failure as an opportunity to learn, not as defeat. It means constantly learning from my mistakes and successes, and having a mindset of constant growth.
An adventure inspired life means making the most out of ever possible moment. Remembering what is important. Living in the moment, not dreaming of the future.
An adventure inspired life means remembering to love and be kind. Always.
I will keep spending time in the mountains, so that I can constantly bring what they teach me back into every day life. Because life is so much more beautiful that way.
What does living an adventure inspired life mean to you?