Sometimes, I think we get caught up in what the word “adventure” really means.
Thanks to the ski porns and huck fest edits of today, our concept of adventure is a little skewed, usually including (but not limited to) epic landscapes, gorgeous-fit athletes, death-defying stunts, and all-in-all, an inspirational yet unattainable experience.
Those videos have their place in our lives. There’s no question about that. If we didn’t have episodes of Demshitz or weekly releases of some sick Sweetgrass Productions flick, where would we be amid an insanely boring, post-adventure-weekend Monday at the office?
But I can’t help but wonder sometimes if those cinematic works of wonder really help to inspire the weekend warrior to go outside and play. I can’t help but think that maybe, just maybe, some people may see Ingrid Backstrom soaring downhill in some remote Alaskan mountain range and become frustrated that they are either a) not as badass as Ingrid Backstrom or b) not in Alaska… or, if you’re like me, c) both.
This inaugural year of the Live Outside and Play project has seen tremendous success, and it’s largely due to the support of our sponsors. When Eddie Bauer came on board, I was excited to work with a brand that catered not only to the core adventure athlete but also to the stay-at-home-moms-and-dads and the weekend warrior who holds a 9 to 5 and still crushes class V creeks on Saturdays. Their threads are functional and fashionable, looking equally at place on the trail as they do at the coffee shop. While Eddie Bauer certainly offers those core athletes a technical line of clothing, in all, the brand offers a little something for everyone and promotes, through its tagline “live your adventure,” a commitment to exploration, no matter the level.
So live your adventure.
Don’t compare yourself with the Ingrid Backstroms or the Eric Jacksons or the Alex Honnolds. Their life is our play. You may have jobs, kids, parents, school, goals, dreams, that don’t involve skiing every day. Or maybe they do. The point is, don’t get caught up in where you aren’t. Embrace where you are right now. If freesoloing El Cap is on that list of goals and dreams, take proactive steps toward attaining that, but don’t feel frustrated when you’re not looking up at its base a year from now.
This is easily one of the biggest challenges I face on a daily basis, but it’s an important reminder for us all. Your adventure might not entail a monthlong trek into the Andes. It may be as simple as a morning jog in the woods outside your house, or a little 10-minute yoga session before you head into the office. Whatever it is that you can fit into your life, do it. Live your adventure and no one else’s.