Here’s an outdoor thing I’ve never once regretted (Outdoor Diary)

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You know the photos don’t tell the whole story: doing something cool outdoors or going on an epic adventure takes work.

And I don’t just mean deciding where to go and then peeling yourself out of your house. I mean:

  • Sacrificing other things you want/need to do
  • Living with the discomfort of flexibility
  • Preparation and vision

But is it worth it? Yes.

Listen to this episode to hear more now!


Some of the good stuff:

[:35] Just a little introvert dilemma

[1:06] Answering the call of adventure despite inconvenience

[2:56] You’re going to have to make some sacrifices

[3:40] Some of them will be related to flexibility

[5:07] Regrets? None so far.

Connect with this episode:

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.

As an introvert I face a mighty struggle with Fear Of Missing Out or FOMO. I really, really, REALLY want to stay home or do things by myself. I love me. Being with me is the best. And being with me at my house surrounded by all of my comfort items is peak wonderfulness. This is probably why I love my van and even the vest I wear to run with so very much — they are both full of my self-sufficiency comfort items.

But I digress.

This love being at home and by myself is an absolute war with my second love, which is to to be out doing epic things and having fantastic adventures. Because while I really do like being at home and spending a Sunday just clicking away at to-dos in my home or, better yet, curled up with a good book is super ideal sounding, the other part of me absolutely does not love the idea of missing out on the epic thing.

In short, I want to go on adventures, but to do them I have to fight with my other want of staying home.

But truth is, once I get past that internal struggle? I’ve never once regretted doing the epic thing. I’ve never regretted the process of planning for it. I’ve never regretted the sacrifice and the other things I’ve given up to make it happen.

It’s easy to say that on the other side of having done something exciting and memorable outside this week. Photos only tell the story of how awesome it was to be out there. After picking a day in the coming week that seemed to have the most ideal weather of all of the options, a few friends and I met up at a parking lot at 8 a.m. with running packs stuffed with jackets and snacks, and ran about 8.5 miles out to a frozen lake full of towering blue icebergs on the edge of the Knik Glacier. We crossed two streams with our feet protected in trash bags. We gingerly traveled across what I have to say was a very sketchy seeming iced over river crossing. We reveled in the stunning blue, other-worldly landscape of the glacier lake. And then we ran back to our cars. The trip took us just under 5 hours, including the glacier lake exploring time.

But since getting there and home was kind of a haul – 40 minutes each way to the parking lot – and since the run completely wiped me out and I spent the rest of the day sitting in a chair eating snacks, it really was basically a whole-day commitment.

Now, let’s think about all of the things I missed by doing this. I had to take a day away from a really important and time sensitive grant project I’m doing for a start-up online news website I’m launching. I got up at 4 a.m. so I could get a couple hours in on it and another project before the run. My kid had a really important doctor appointment, and since they were booked out and I couldn’t move it, I lucked out by my husband being available to take my son instead, something that isn’t always the case. Running this made me so tired, that I then lost the rest of the day for any other projects. I actually prepared most of what we were going to eat for dinner before I left that morning so I didn’t have to do it when I got home. Also, because I missed that time for working on the project, I then had to work on it over the weekend instead.

I also had to sacrifice the idea of making a set plan for the week ahead of time. This adventure was really weather dependent, and I knew if I got to Thursday and the weather had changed, we’d be canceling. I love a plan — but I’ve learned the best adventures require intense flexibility. For most people, that flexibility is something you have to prioritize in life thanks to things like jobs and schedules. If you want to be someone with tons of it, you need to build your life around the concept. Life does not automatically lend itself to flexibility. I’ve made some pretty major changes in my life over the last year to make it so that I have more of that.

Finally, the pictures don’t show the work I did for this adventure ahead of time. We did a similar run in 2020 that has stuck in my memory, and I knew this was something I absolutely, positively wanted to do this March. I don’t know about you, but I am not someone who can wake up one day and simply run 17 miles. I have to work up to that and maintain a base fitness level.

And so that’s what I did. Running in the winter is a whole different thing, so I focused on making sure I had time on feet that wasn’t too far away from how long I think this run would take. That meant running in the winter even when I didn’t want to, even when the weather was horrible. And when I started having breathing problems thanks to vocal chord irritation — I know, I was surprised that’s a thing too — I got extra careful about making sure that wasn’t going to be a problem all spring, which actually meant not running in certain weather.

Sacrifice. Flexibility. Preparation. Those are the costs of a few hours to do something epic outside.

And have I ever regretted them? No, I have not. Not a single time. When I think about it ahead of time, the things I have to give up might seem like too much. But in retrospect? It was worth it.

You can see photos from my epic day going to the Knik Glacier on Humans Outside on Facebook and Instagram. And I want to see photos of your outdoor time, epic or not, Share with with #humansoutside365. And until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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