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:

hagrads.jpg (21052 bytes)Alisha and Adam just graduated from Utah State University.
Getting an education teaches you to use your brain, to better understand and appreciate all the opportunities and challenges life dishes out. hadipenguin.jpg (23937 bytes)

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 cases.

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 than that?

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."

francefont1.jpg (15862 bytes)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?"


Thrilling Bursts of Speed
(from the upcoming book High Adventure Coalition by Shaun Roundy)

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:

."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 teacher’s 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 succeed—not on the first try, at least—but 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, beautiful world.


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.

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