An Adventure to Live



I’m starting to get to the center as to why I am even here – a thousand miles north of home and nearly 2000 miles into this trip. I’m refining my journey. I started by just driving north and having no plans or direction other than getting to Canada. About 20 years ago as a very different me, I read Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. In the text, he proposes that all men have “a battle to fight, adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.”

Much life experience has taught me that Eldridge might not have been on the mark. We, as men, certainly have battles to fight (but this is not exclusive to men). All of us have an adventure to live in the life we’ve been given. However, I’ve never understood the concept of a beauty to rescue. Even back then, the idea felt foreign even when I wasn’t quite out. I see my person as a partner in life – an equal in this journey through this life rather than somebody to rescue from their circumstance.

Nonetheless, since reading that book, I’ve held onto the phrase “an adventure to live.” In my 20s and 30s, that meant riding motorcycles to all sorts of crazy places, which was the sole reason I created this blog (Post #1). As I took on a marketing role, I was on a plane every other week, and the thought of hopping on a motorcycle to travel yet again didn’t feel as freeing as before I started traveling. Those close to me said I’d last 2 years. I made it three.

Many years later, the pandemic hit and put new pauses on that adventure. Through that season, I (along with many others) struggled with isolation. 18 months of sheltering in place by myself left its mark – for sure. About halfway through the pandemic, I took a motorcycle trip into the Sierras. I expected that ride to bring about the joy of being alone on the motorcycle; it highlighted the pain of so much isolation with shelter-in-place guidance (It’s ok to say “I’m hurting”). Reentry into a post-pandemic world didn’t seem as simple as just going back out again. I’d learned new patterns in those 18 months that weren’t easy to shake (A motorcyclist marked by Covid).

Back in 2009, I stumbled upon Crescent Lake. I have a photo of jumping from a dock into its clear, cold, deep blue-green waters that always made me smile. Honestly, it’s one of the most beautiful bodies of water I’d ever seen, and that’s saying a lot, having traveled all over the west searching for clear, high alpine lakes. One of my favorite activities while traveling is swimming in the clear, mountain water. I walked about halfway in, and the water was about up to my waist, and I froze. Sure, the water was cold, clocking in right under 60°, give or take.

My pause was more than just the cold water. There was hesitation I couldn’t deny. Earlier in the trip, I’d spent the weekend working alongside my partner on his motorcycle’s fuel system. We suspected clogged fuel injectors early on in the process. In some ways, I felt like I’ve picked up some clogged adventure injectors post-pandemic. I’m not as forward as I thought I once was. What if the water is too cold? What if my blood sugar goes too low? What about that deep dark spot over there where I can’t see the bottom? What might be hiding in the grass below? The hard part was I don’t think the hesitation was just about cold water.

After about 10 minutes, I just let go. Sure, the water was cold. I could feel the tingle all over my body and a shiver down my spine. In spite of that, there was freedom underneath the water’s surface in such a beautiful aquarium. I’d let go of one thing to embrace another.

As I was getting out of the water, I could see a father on the dock who lost his hat as the wind blew it into the water. He was calling to his kid to swim out and get it. The kid wasn’t so sure. I motioned to the father to see if he wanted me to get it, but he used the moment to stretch his son’s adventure. I could clearly a paralell of my own stretch in the son’s moment. The son wasn’t so sure he wanted to go into the dark, cold waters.

This trip is different from others solo journeys I’ve taken in the past. I’m connecting with all kinds of people from different parts of my life and making new connections out on the road. I’m reminded that the adventure to live isn’t a solo sport. It’s about bringing a set of people alongside your adventure and you alongside theirs to live more fully.

In a simple moment, several things clicked for me – take bigger bets, reach out more intentionally, and realize there is adventure ahead wherever I am in life.



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