Assignment: Create A Lifestyle That Feels Like An Adventure
Adventure No. 1
Life transitions make you do a lot of “thinking” about what’s next so I’ve given myself an assignment: create a lifestyle that is fun and adventures and makes you feel comfortable and mindful. Changing, and defining what you want things to change INTO can be scary.
It’s also completely freeing and empowering. I get to take control of my “new” life design. Listen to my inner guidance about what things fit and where.
I get to be in charge of saving mySELF.
I don’t know what comes next but I’m a BIG fan of CREATING things. So, I decided I should just start integrating my “assignment” into my life and throw in some moments of fear and uncertainty to ensure I grow and overcome along the way. Sometimes our greatest comfort evolves from something we feared into discomfort.
So how am I going to do this? One word.
52 of that one word actually. A process I’m calling #Adventure52 (because if you know me, you KNOW there’s gotta be some hashtags involved in the FUN!)
For me, adventure can be described as any of the following:
- Doing something new
- Spontaneous plans
- Activities that bring about feelings of excitement and bravery
- Things that make me feel empowered and free
- Something that makes me feel a little scared or anxious because it’s uncertain or I have questions about my abilities.
Using my personal “definition of adventure” means I can get that thrill from lots of sources and activities. It means I don’t need to travel across the world to some exotic location (although I’m never one to turn down that opportunity).
So how did the #Adventure52 thing begin?
Well, I guess you could say it started like this:
Conversation with a friend a few weeks ago: “I’m going to do an adventure challenge. An adventure a week. Something I want to learn. Something I’ve never done but wanted to. Something I’m scared of. I’m going to do it! Whatever “it” becomes…
52 adventures. Maybe I’ll blog about it…
I think I’ll start with stand up paddleboarding because, well, I’m kinda scared of it.”
Friend: “That’s amazing! You are always the friend I think of when I think adventure. And, stand up paddle boarding? I want to go too!”
Repeat that conversation with about five other friends and the reaction was always the same: “That’s amazing! You are always the friend I think of when I think adventure. And, stand up paddle boarding? I want to go too!”
Why Was I Scared of SUP?
I won’t be good at it (I don’t like not being good at things).
I’m not in very good shape.
I have muscle and nerve damage in one leg from a serious blood clot several years ago. My balance isn’t great (probably more from the “shape” thing above if I was honest).
I’ll fall off….(I have no fear of water. I love water. In fact I’m pretty sure I’m secretly a mermaid. This was all related to the not being good at things fear).
I wasn’t the only one with fears of course. One of my friends who was excited to join has a fear of water. Like a serious anxiety, doesn’t go into the water, fear. But, she wanted to do this. So she signed up and was IN. It made this an even more exciting adventure because now I’d inspired someone to overcome a major fear!
85 Degrees and Sunny – To the Beach We Go!
I picked our best option, a lesson with popSUP on a weekday afternoon on Lake Washington. I anticipated a weekday would be less crowded with boats and people. More space to work through our uncertainties and fears.
Perfect. We’re preparing. We get there…
When the temps get above 80 in Seattle people start to kinda freak out. Houses without air conditioners, which is normal in this area, get hot. What happens when people get hot? They go to WATER. So much for a not crowded day on the boards in Madison Park!
After a few minutes of “on land” tips on using a SUP, into the water we went!
As the refreshing (read COLD) water mixed with my “I’ll be bad at this” anxiety and my friend’s fear of water there was nowhere for either of us to go but forward.
So forward I went…
Who am I kidding…I think I went every direction EXCEPT forward…
on a paddleboard…
on my knees…
having no clue WHAT I was doing…
heart beating a little faster as the lifeguard continuously yelled at me to stay away from the swimming area…
“If I knew how to navigate with my paddles and go where I wanted I WOULD! Stop yelling at me!!” The words rang loudly in my “head voice”.
Board pointed in the right direction. Forward movement. Crisis averted.
Off we GO!
Knees to feet. I’m doing this!!! I’m STANDING on a paddle board. It’s not that hard!
Straight to half moon oar turns. Quick turn sweeping paddle from back to front.
I was a navigation EXPERT…
OK…maybe EXPERT is too strong a word but after a while I could stand, paddle, turn and all the while have conversations with our instructor and my friends.
90 minutes floating on the water feeling my “mermaid tail” evolving was magical. The blue water and majestic mountain in the distance were more beautiful than I could ever describe.
No, the photographer has no photos…the other awesome thing about being on the water…UNPLUGGED! I decided I’d do something “different” in this post and just use words to paint pictures…is it working?
Even more beautiful? I did something new. I did something that was a little scary.
And, I didn’t fall.
But, if it had the lake would have caught me. My friends would have cheered me back onto the board. Which is exactly what happened when someone fell. We had each other’s backs. We were an Adventure Team!
How did I feel when it was all done?
The discomfort I created around SUP out of fear of not being “good enough” to do it turned into one of the MOST comfortable feelings I’ve had all year and I’ve been dreaming about going again every day since.
My friend who was afraid of the water? She fell. A few times. Into the water that I know frightens her. You know what happened when she fell the first time? She talked herself down from anxiety. She got back on the board. She stood back up. She paddled on. When her final fall and getting back on her feet felt insurmountable, she sat on her board. In her comfort zone. Paddling along. Still part of the adventure. But, doing it her way.
We don’t know what we can/can’t do until we try.
I didn’t fall. My balance was fine. Or, fine enough. I loved SUP and I’m already planning to go again. And, it’s a great workout (ask my thighs and abs). So I can get rid of all my excuses and assumptions and look at what else I’m scared of and making excuses about and try it!
Doing something that is scary leads to doing more things that seem scary.
I reached out to my friend who is afraid of water a couple days after our SUP adventure. “How are you? How are you feeling about your day on the water?” I asked. “Good. I’m out doing something else I’ve always felt uncomfortable doing.” she texted back. WOW! GO! FEAR OBLITERATOR!
Find YOUR way through the fear.
My friend taught me several amazing lesson that day (and the days after). She was a true testament to “feel the fear and do it anyway.” She also found her comfort zone amid the fear. When the anxiety of getting back up on the board and possibly falling in the water again got too much, she sat. She went where HER comfort was. She was still “in the game.” She was still a huge part of the adventure. But, she was doing it HER WAY. And then, she took it off the water and into life and tried something else that she found uneasy.
SUP on the canals in AMSTERDAM, my heart’s city.
March Trip to Amsterdam: I thought these people were crazy! Now, it’s just one more reason I want to be there! Life transition destination goal #1: Amsterdam Living!
What do you feel and think when you read that word?
Are you interested in getting more adventure in your life? If you live in Seattle you can join me on my #Adventure52 quest. If my adventures fit YOUR adventures…
You can also sign up for melissaAnne Colors blogs and updates using the button below and download my FREE ebook to help you think about your adventure definition and make a list of things YOU can do to mix up life a little and feel that adventure feeling.
Let me know what you come up with and what you schedule as your first adventure! I’ll be sharing more of my #Adventure52 stories soon!
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