Tuesday, January 17, 2012

31 Days of Adventure Week in Review

Connect the old-fashioned way

Many of us have family and friends spread all over the globe. Emails, Facebook updates, texts and blog comments are all great ways to stay connected. But think about the joy that comes from a hand-addressed letter in the snail-mailbox. When's the last time you sent a handwritten letter just to say hi?

Today, go analog and send a card (or letter) to someone far away. Or heck, send a postcard to your next door neighbor.

Find a card laying around the house. If you don't have a card, use a piece of paper, or you can get creative and make your own. Then write a nice note, address, stamp and send!

I used to write letters all the time. Being a military brat meant constantly leaving my friends and family at a time when there was no email, text messaging and long distance calls were too expensive to run up massive bills over the silly conversations little girls have. 

I remember drawing a dot on the back of the envelopes I sent to my cousin Wendy with the phrase "Postman's peep-hole" written under it. =) And to my BFF Heidi, I would try to come up with 'new' and exciting stationary which included letters written on toilet paper and a barf-bag from a flight I took once.

While it's been a looooong time since I've hand-written an actual letter I did snag a couple of postcards at Squaw Valley (while we were in Tahoe getting married) to send to a couple of friends but it took this adventure prompt to finally get around to sending them. I also got a few more at Moaning Cavern this past Friday...they'll be in the mail tomorrow!!

Pull out a $10 word

Today we bring you a linguistic adventure:

Learn a new word and incorporate it into a conversation with a loved one or colleague.

Bonus challenge: Strike up a conversation with a stranger and use your new word.

Extra-extra bonus: Make up your own word, teach it to someone else and use it in a sentence with a stranger.

Total fail on this one...I have no new word. 

Ideas that are twice as nice

Friends and loved ones can add an element of spice to any adventure.

Today, why not invite a friend to join you on a creative endeavor? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking: make a meal together, paint a picture, sing a song, read a story aloud, build a sculpture or script a screenplay.

How does including another add to your experience?

I really like the idea of reading stories out loud but I also suck at it...often stuttering or reading in a monotone, which is neither entertaining nor romantic. But nothing thrills me more than to watch a mushy chick flick with the characters reading poetry to each other while they enjoy a picnic next to a babbling brook...one day, perhaps.

Instead, my husband and I do crossword puzzles together. Sometimes we just pass the paper back and forth and other times I lean over his shoulder and we work on it together. The best part about this is he doesn't even get annoyed! It's become our 'thing'.

Listen to the voices in your head

Here's Sara Lingafelter's (RockClimberGirl) prompt for today:
"Listen to the voices in your head. We all have them (right? Or is it just me?). Throughout the day, they tell us what we should and shouldn't eat, who we should or should't talk to, and what we should and shouldn't do with ourselves. We don't even notice them most of the time—we just carry out their orders.

"Today, stop and really LISTEN to those voices with intention—as if they're coming from a friend or family member. Which messages or instructions really stand out? Are there ones that you might need to defend yourself against? If so, stick up for yourself to that voice.

"And, if there's a quiet little (or not so quiet little) voice that pipes up that you identify as your creative self—consider DOING what it asks of you rather than putting it on a shelf for another time (or worse—to be forgotten)."

Oh boy, the voices, the voices. There are so many!! Okay, truth be told I have the same voices many of us have...the old "I'm too fat, I'm not pretty enough" sort that I've been working on tuning out. But the one that lingers and, perhaps, could be the grand-daddy of them all is "you're not ______ enough...", not good enough to write, not strong enough to summit Mt. Shasta, not fast enough to break my marathon P.R., and of the other "enoughs" that keep me doubting my abilities.

The only way to squash that voice is to just go after my dreams...submit the article, attempt the climb, run my best race and accept the outcome knowing that I gave it my best. Surely that beats not even trying and always wondering.

The gift of vulnerability

Sometimes it can seem like we're alone in the world. And that we need (or it's easier) to do everything ourselves.

We're here to challenge that assumption with today's adventure: Ask for help.

It can be hard to ask others for help. (It's usually much easier to offer to help others.) What do you need help with today?

Lunches made for your kids? Input on a project at work? Painting your living room? Moving furniture? A shoulder to cry on? Shoveling a drive? Holding yourself accountable for your goals? Brainstorming a new idea?

Go ahead. Be brave. And vulnerable. Ask for help.

I'm dangling right in the center of this picture!
So, thanks to Groupon I had the ultimate opportunity to ask for help while I tackled a huge fear I have...heights. Several months ago I purchased vouchers for my husband and I to do a zip-line adventure at Moaning Caverns. Since they were close to expiring we planned a spontaneous trip to Calaveras County spending the night in Angels Camp and tackling the Cavern the following day. 

The ropes coming out of "The Chimney".
While we were there, we decided to add on the rappel into the cavern. This is a 165 foot hair-raising, nerve-racking descent into what appears to be a black hole...terrifying for someone with a fear of height or claustrophobia. There are sections of the rappel that are called a free descent, meaning you literally are hanging from your harness by the rope, no where to grab and no where to put your feet, over 100 feet in mid-air.

The Hubby on out way back up. 
Inside the cavern...there are beautiful formations and it's HUGE!
With the help of my husband, and a pep-talk from the wonderful staff at Moaning Cavern, I was able to complete my rappel without needing a rescue. There were times when I started to freak out and just wanted down but my husband encouraged me to take a deep breath and look around. It's not often you get to see such amazing formations that are perhaps millions of years old.


  1. Whoa!! Hooray on all your adventures this week--especially the cavern. Just listening to your description got my heart beating a little faster. Awesome, awesome, awesome way to beat those voices and prove to yourself that you can do new things even when it's scary. :)

  2. Ah, facing your fears...you look like you had an awesome time, too! Don't you just LOVE Groupon? Nothing gets me motivated to do something different like a deal! lol


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