It’s Not An Adventure Unless It Scares You

by Carilyn on February 13, 2013


And I’m ready to be a little scared – in a good way. I’m excited about my empty calendar just waiting to be filled with new adventures. And it seems there are endless possibilities.

And there is my problem – there are too many options! I spent my downtime reading every “adventure” book and blog I could get my hands (and eyes) on and I’m completely overwhelmed with all the wonderful, thrilling options! So……what to do? What to do?

Run the Appalachian Trail like Jenn Phar Davis? Cool! Her book, Becoming Odyssa, made it sound like a fantastic idea! And then when I read she was named a National Geographic Explorer of the year for 2012, well, that just made the whole thing sound even more enticing. Who cares if I don’t live anywhere near the AT, or that I know nothing about multi-day (month) trail running? Or camping. Or fending off bears, and such. I want to go! I want to go! I want to go!

And what about kayaking around a country? How awesome would that be? After reading “Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent”, Joe Glickman’s account of Freya Hoffmeister’s successful solo circumnavigation of Australia in a kayak (who, by the by is currently spending 2 years(!) circumnavigating South America – Freya, not Joe), I’ve been toying with the idea of kayaking up the California coast. No, I’ve never kayaked for more than a few hours at a time. But, who cares?! I’ve read about Freya doing it and now I’m inspired!

Or maybe I should take up snow biking? Yes, that would mean having to move out of Southern California and relocating to someplace like Alaska, but hey, it might just be worth it! After reading, Arctic Glass, by Jill Homer, I temporarily forgot that: 1) I hate, hate, hate being cold; and 2) I cannot ride a bike on dry flat asphalt, much less on mountainous icy trails. Am I going to let that stop me? No! (Okay, probably yes, but I don’t want y’all to think I’m a pansy.)

Sadly, while in my “adventure planning frenzy,” I made the mistake of reading “Into Thin Air,” by John Krakauer. Eek! That book just gave me nightmares and forced me to block all mountain climbing sites on my computer. (Well, okay, only after I obsessively googlestalked every person on the ill-fated expedition and then spent 3 days reading all the articles on the climb.) No, I will never climb Everest. No! No! No! (But please e-mail me if you know of any other good climbing books. Except for the one where the guy cuts off his own arm with a pocket knife. I’m SO not doing that.)

Anyway, I’m planning out my year, excited about all the possibilities, and loving reading what all of you are doing (Go SuperKate, Pensive Pumpkin and Olga – you gals rock!). Here’s to an Adventurous 2013!

Happy Running!



pensive pumpkin February 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm

oooh! I’m totally internet famous now! LOL

I keep trying to talk SuperKate into hiking the PCT with me. Thus far I have a firm commitment for 2022. You in?

As a fellow reader of such tales, I have some recommendations. Accidental Adventurer by Barbara Washburn is a memoir by the first woman to climb Mount McKinley, in 1947. It’s totally amazing to me. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is about the PCT, and Kate and I have both drooled over that one (right, Kate? right? yes! PCT 2022!) For a different sort of adventure, I like The Wild Trees by Richard Preston, about hippies climbing redwoods. I knew a girl in that book when we were in college. And to assuage your fears after Into Thin Air (which is a terrifying book, put it down and walk away) I suggest Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. It is about who lives in these situations, who dies, and why. I read it any time I feel life overwhelming me, and it helps tremendously.

Now I have written a book on your blog, there will be a quiz later, and you get a gold star for each book you finish. 🙂

Izzy February 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm

The Appalachian trail sounds like so much fun! You should do it…. !

Char February 13, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I’ve just finished Born to Run so my vote would be to run in the Copper Canyons with the Tarahumara. I’ve heard it’s not cold.

Kate February 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Yes!! PCT ’22!!

Into Thin Air convinced me that I never, ever (ever!) want to climb Everest. Ever.

Two snaps up for Wild! Good read, for sure. More fun bike adventure books are Momentum is Your Friend and…crap, I forget the title of the other one, but he rides across Canada with his family…by Joe Kurmaskie. Awesome books!

Carilyn February 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Awesome list, PP! Can’t wait to start it! Thanks so much!

Carilyn February 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm

It does sound fun, doesn’t it, Izzy?! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Carilyn February 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Copper Canyon has always been on my bucket list, Char, having grown up on the border. I hope to get to run it one day!

Carilyn February 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Yes, I loved Wild, Kate! Great book! And I will totally join you and PP in 2022 – unless I can convince y’all to do it sooner! 🙂

Pensive February 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm

It will take weeks, and for some reason Kate is taking the well being of her children and marriage into account. Silly girl. PCT2022!!

Kirstin C (@ultrarunnergirl) February 14, 2013 at 8:18 am

Into Thin Air was pretty horrible to read. I have zero desire to climb Everest, that’s for sure.
Running the whole AT or kayaking the CA coast sound fun! Torturous fun, but fun. Can’t wait to hear what you are gonna do!

Kirstin C (@ultrarunnergirl) February 14, 2013 at 8:19 am

ps your JPD link doesn’t work, try this:

Carilyn February 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Thanks, Kirstin! I will keep y’all posted :). And thanks for the link – I just put “Jenn”.

Marcia February 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Into thin air! Listened to it on a long car trip a long time ago. Maybe not Everest but lately I’ve been thinking Mt Ranier….

olga February 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Into thing air was a book that got me into all this mess. It was year 1999 late, and my then boss gave it to me to read. Right there and then I decided I want to get up Everest – I love suffering. So, two months later, February 2000, I take my then husband “hiking” Mt. Washington in NH, tallest peak (just a tad over 6k) yet the windiest place recorded in US. With our luck, it was -50F with wind at 50 mph and gusts at 80 mph (once above tree line). Nobody else attempted that climb that day. Last quarter mile had to be crawled on the hands and knees – so we don’t get blown off…3 months later I ran my first race and stuck with it. My now-ex had become a climber and a mountaineer (we had an over-2 year climbing gig, then I committed to racing only, and he turned into technical mountaineer). This book is fully responsible for having crazy ideas taking me outside the box. No, I don’t want to climb Everest anymore – it’s too expensive and too populated, none of which I picture as my thing. But I am grateful for reading it.

That said, thru-hikes is something I’d like to do in the future. The problem is, I don’t know when. I am too responsible to drop my job (or my family) for more than 3 days at a time.

And that, again, has me stuck with races up to 100 miles tops.

Which happen to be something I enjoy anyway. The rest I dream about:)

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