Why I Sign Up For Goals That Scare The S**T Out Of Me

Di Westaway | Chief Adventure Chick at Wild Women On Top and Coastrek

Despite what some people might think, I don’t sign up for big, hairy, audacious adventures because I like pain and suffering. In fact, my decision to take on adventure challenges is actually about avoiding it. It's about pleasure. It's about magic moments. It's about living a life that has depth as well as length. 

This might surprise you if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, but I'm not always motivated. If I don’t have a big, hairy, audacious goal to get me out of bed for a hike or kayak before sunrise, I’ll hit snooze. Again, and again, and again. If I don’t have to haul my body weight up a cliff on my next holiday, I’ll enjoy that second scoop of ice cream, thank you. Sure, I’d love some more cake.

Adventure goals motivate me when I’m not feeling particularly inspired. And they can do the same for you. There’s nothing like a big hairy audacious adventure challenge to launch us out of bed to train in the rain. Without a second thought, you throw off the doona, lace up your runners, grab a coffee and get outside, doing the stuff that’s tough.

And it’s the same for the rest of life. Whether it’s finding love, starting a business, applying for your dream job, buying a house or climbing a mountain, an adventurous journey is a motivator which pushes us through obstacles in pursuit of opportunity.

You don’t have to climb Mt Everest to feel adventure’s results and benefits. Just going outside and climbing a tree works wonders.

This is the principle behind using the ‘Adventure Mindset’ to drive motivation, not just to move more but to achieve anything in life that’s challenging.

Back in our cavewoman days, we were motivated to move a lot to find food and escape from danger. 

In nature, every day was an adventure of survival. The paleo woman didn’t choose adventure, it chose her. Finding food, water and shelter motivated her to run, climb, leap, bend, bound, think, plan, innovate and thrive, making her healthy, happy and exhilarated.

Girls Alpamayo

But now, most of us are too busy, too tired, too full, too fat, or too frantic to move, and we think exercise is hard, sweaty, painful, boring, expensive or just plain yuck. A desire for wellness or weight loss isn’t enough to motivate most of us to move and puff regularly. It wasn’t for me.

Adventure no longer chooses us, but we can choose it.

Active adventure motivates us to get outside, to get moving, to eat nourishing food and to feel exhilaration without the drudgery of diets, the torture of training and the guilt of time out.

Playing with the kids in the park, walking along the beach with your buddy or hiking with friends in the forest builds power while reducing stress.

Like playtime at school, adventure engages fun before fitness. But the result is the same. Active adventures in nature improve fitness, health, happiness, sleep, memory, immunity and longevity while reducing stress, rumination, heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, anxiety and depression.

You don’t have to climb Mt Everest to feel adventure’s results and benefits. Just going outside and climbing a tree works wonders.

Physical activity in nature is not only healthier, it’s also a time-efficient way to get a mind, body and spirit workout. Playing with the kids in the park, walking along the beach with your buddy or hiking with friends in the forest builds power while reducing stress. It provides both the yang and the yin, the social and the meditative. Fitness in nature is healthy on the deepest level. For busy women, it’s a winner.

For me the ‘Adventure Mindset’ has been both the motivator and the recipe for having a life I love, with people I love, while doing good. It will be the same for you, as it is for tens of thousands of women across the planet who have discovered the power of adventure.

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