All of my friends will laugh at this one because I am not one to try new things. When I go to a restaurant, I almost exclusively order the same thing. Or if I happen to be given the opportunity to do something new, for example jump out of a plane or try a new workout, I will absolutely decline. Experience and adventure mean more than just trying new things.
Three years ago I was in a damaged mental and physical space. My best friends were chatting that they wanted to do a running challenge starting in March to compete with each other on who could run the most during a week. The idea was to keep us all motivated to actually run and hold each other accountable since we were all living in different states. The moment those texts flashed on my screen I started crying. I was so embarrassingly out of shape and the idea of trying to run in public was terrifying. I was ashamed but the idea of not being able to do something with my best friends was more pressing. That evening, I went home and put on my warmest outfit (it was wintertime in New York) and set out on a jog.
I made it around one block before I had to head home.
The next day I did the same block. The day after I made it about three more minutes. Every day I came home from work and set out to do just one more minute than I did the day before. One day, I had the worst thing happen – I had to run by people who were outside on my route. As I passed, I heard them laugh and imitate my out of breath pace. I tried to make it home before I started crying so I turned the corner to my apartment and heard a new voice in my headphones: “Congratulations on running your first 5K!” I had been running for about five weeks and I never knew this was something I could achieve.
What happened from there was a continual push to go farther and faster than the day before. Eventually, I was headed off to Ohio for the summer which prompted me to look for “routes” to run by my new apartment. Browsing the area, I discovered that there were over 100 trails nearby. From there I began to go on my adventures, finding trails and either running them or using them to practice my phone photography (you can see one of my favorite photos above).
These are the types of adventures I’m looking for. Experiencing nature and my surroundings, be that on trails, rivers, or just experiencing the moment I’m in. Cleaning and pursuing minimalism has given me an experience and an adventure. I get the chance to focus on each moment and practice mindfulness as I change the life around me.