Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Are you stuck in a rut Choose your adventure! Do you ever feel like life is an incredible adventure and absolutely anything is possible? I had a week like that. I noticed it particularly on Friday when I went for my normal swim and had so much energy I swam an extra quarter mile past my regular routine, then chased the swim with 30 push-ups. The entire time I felt energized and capable of accomplishing anything I set my mind to. Mental attitude is the biggest factor in producing results. I was reminded of this truth last Thursday night, when, at the Wild Scenic Film Festival, I watched a video about three climbers who scaled YosemiteÃ¢â¬â¢s iconic El Capitan. What made this climb particularly impressive is that all of the climbers were disabled. One had been born with just one arm (a Ã¢â¬Å"minor inconvenienceÃ¢â¬ according to him); the two others had lost a leg each, one due to a climbing fall and the third from bone cancer. Said one of the men: Ã¢â¬Å"The right attitude and one arm will beat the wrong attitude and two arms, every time.Ã¢â¬ If you have any doubts, watch this inspiring film: Mind you, I am not planning on scaling any peaks even with all my limbs- not in this lifetime. But the sense of excitement that spurs these climbers is accessible to all of us at every moment. For me, it started with an assignment I was given during a workshop with the Wright Institute in Chicago. Prior to the workshop, I was in a rut. Daily tasks were feeling like a grind and I thought that maybe I needed to travel out of the country for a while to break my routine. Then came the homework for the first night of the workshop: to create an adventure! The adventure beginsÃ¢â¬ ¦ It was already midnight and class was starting up again at 8am the next morning. What adventure exactly was possible in that short a time frame? I found out the next morning. I woke up before my alarm sounded with cramps, in an empty house that belongs to my cousin Zack. I thought to myself, Ã¢â¬Å"I could lie here trying to sleep or I could get up and have an adventure!Ã¢â¬ I decided to get out of bed. As soon as I entered the shower I remembered that Zack had mentioned a big bathtub with whirlpool jets somewhere in his house. I donÃ¢â¬â¢t normally take baths, but this time I decided to interrupt my regular pattern. I got out of the shower and began searching for the whirlpool, towel wrapped around me, leaving a trail of wet footprints. In the basement, I found a bathtub Ã¢â¬ ¦ full of cleaning supplies. The search continued, and I finally found the whirlpool, which I filled up Ã¢â¬ ¦ but I couldnt figure out how to turn on these fabled jets. I got into the tub anyway, but thought, Ã¢â¬Å"Hey Im on an adventure! This wonÃ¢â¬â¢t do!Ã¢â¬ So I got out of the tub, looked at all the switches on the walls, and finally figured it out. Back in the tub, I noticed a line of tea light candles along the side of the bath. But no matches. My refrain: Ã¢â¬Å"Im on an adventure!Ã¢â¬ So I got out of the tub, looking everywhere until I found matches. I was going to do this thing the right way! After a few minutes the jets turned off and suddenly I was relaxed and floating in a self-made paradise, being held gently by warm water, surrounded by glowing candlelight. I was so glad I had chosen this adventure, rather than sleeping another hour or going to my default of Ã¢â¬Å"I donÃ¢â¬â¢t take baths.Ã¢â¬ Unexpected treasures, unprecedented energyÃ¢â¬ ¦ When I went to hang up my towel, for some reason I decided to look behind the door rather than hang the towel where I had put it before. I found two beautiful dragonfly hooks which I hadnÃ¢â¬â¢t noticed before. Who knows what can show up out of a sense of adventure? Who knows what else I had been missing? My adventures continued in the days following the workshop. Out of a conversation with a friend that felt a bit scary at first, I unexpectedly drove to Minneapolis and stayed two days, all because I decided to take some risks and not let anything stop me. Today, a week after the conclusion of that workshop, my energy is still high and I canÃ¢â¬â¢t wait to discover whatÃ¢â¬â¢s next. So how about you? Are you living an adventure at every moment or are you stuck in a rut? Are you letting anything stop you from creating an exciting and energized life? Whether your challenge is staying upbeat while facing unemployment, creating joy within your current circumstances, or scaling a rock face- itÃ¢â¬â¢s all in your frame of mind. The right attitude, moment by moment, means you can have the adventure of a lifetime right in your own backyard.