THE BIG IDEA: ADVENTURE
IN EVERYDAY LIVING
The High Adventure Coalition was
never intended to cover only extreme sports. It's possible to live an Adventurous
Life without ever setting foot on a mountain top or ducking into a cave. Here are a few
examples of what we mean:
Alisha and Adam just graduated from Utah State
Getting an education teaches you to use your brain, to better understand and appreciate
all the opportunities and challenges life dishes out.
You don't need to attend school to educate yourself. Read. Instigate interesting
conversations. Watch quality television programming. Ask questions and listen closely to
other people--especially those who are different than yourself. Keep an open mind in all
Education--whether formal or informal--opens doors throughout your entire life. Open
doors mean you can live a more rewarding and inspiring life. What could be more important
Diane starts college this fall.
She's excited to begin and takes on any new challenges the same way she did this move
that scared her while rock climbing. "You just try. Just do something." She
didn't think she had good enough hand or foot holds, but made the move anyway and
discovered it wasn't so hard after all. "If you never try, you'll never know, and the
longer you wait before you try, the more tired you'll be when you do. If you waste a lot
of time, you'll regret it later."
Shaun had a few friends over for dinner
one night when Katie said "There are cheap tickets to Paris right now."
"Let's go," Shaun answered.
"Are you serious?"
Two weeks later, they landed at Charles de Gaulle airport, rented a
car, and toured France, Italy and Switzerland for nearly two weeks.
"Skiing the Alps, visiting friends, and climbing in Fountainbleau
were the highlights," Shaun says. "I'm so glad I went."
Katie took a trip alone to Scotland as well where she was hit in the
face by a drunk but then defended by one of the many guys who hit on her. "It's all
about collecting experiences," she says. "Why wouldn't I go?"
Bursts of Speed
On Tuesdays and Thursdays I had no classes to teach at the local
college and sometimes accepted substitute teaching jobs in the secondary school district
to try to make financial ends meet. One day during a break in classes at the junior high
school, I found this quote taped to a wooden podium in the classroom:
(from the upcoming book High Adventure Coalition by Shaun Roundy)
."Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste
a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts
don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful
marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than
otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey...delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust,
cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling
bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."
Gordon B. Hinckley
The most common junior high school subbing assignments came from teachers who worked in
the "resource" classrooms with children who had been removed from other classes
because of their utter lack of discipline and the havoc they wreaked there. How these
teachers manage to get through as many challenging days as they do is a mystery to me.
I wondered if this quote had been taped here to calm a teacher whose nerves were
frazzled, who had expected more from life but now struggled both to make ends meet on a
teachers salary and to keep her sanity while trying to maintain order among the
preadolescents in her classes. I wondered if it served as a consolation, as some kind of
permission to give up on other dreams or wishes for a more fulfilling life.
I copied the quote onto a scrap of paper and read it over and over. I wondered if it
was true. I wondered if I would save myself a great deal of effort and frustration if I
simply accepted this quote as the unchangeable way of life and the world.
In the end, I could not bring myself to accept it. I decided that life is what you make
it. I chose to believe that I have the power to make my dreams come true. I looked around
and saw so many opportunities for adventure and to experience beauty and joy that even
with moderate effort, I could fill my glass to overflowing.
I am bound and determined to not allow the quote to become true for me. I am determined
to fill my life with continual breathtaking vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. I
believe I will succeed if I remain willing to do what it takes.
Maybe even if I succeed, the quote will still be true. Maybe only the perspective is
what matters. Surely most of my efforts will not succeednot on the first try, at
leastbut if I notice and remember only the thrilling and the beautiful, then my wish
will have come true.
Maybe the key is not to expect life to be bliss, but to not mind the missed putts, the
tough beef, the cinders in your eyes and the ordinary people that fill our thrilling,
Months later, I found another quote by the same man:
"There is no substitute under the heavens for productive labor. It is the process
by which dreams become realities. It is the process by which idle visions become dynamic
achievements. It is work that spells the difference in life. It is stretching our minds
and utilizing the skills of our hands that lift us from mediocrity."
I will work at my dreams and the repetitive word "most" from the first quote
will not, in the end, apply to my life.
Send in your essays, commentaries or photos
that illustrate and teach Adventure in Everyday Living.