It’s an all-too-familiar lament this time of year: I meant to get out more, be more adventurous. I don’t know what happened …
You look back on the camping weekend that instead turned into a garage-cleaning weekend, the paddle trip that wasn’t because the water wasn’t just right. The hike that, as the day neared, you didn’t feel you were in shape for.
And now, the year drawing to a close, you find yourself melancholy with regret. You felt this way at the end of last year, now that you think about it. And perhaps the year before that as well.
To be clear, no one gets out enough. Asked, “Getting out much?” I doubt anyone has ever replied, “Sure. More than enough, actually.”
There’s not getting out enough and there’s not getting out anywhere near enough. Followed by a heavy sigh.
The good news?
Now is the time to make sure the pattern doesn’t continue, that you don’t feel this same way again next year.
Start by putting your woe-is-meness to good use. How many nights would you have been content — no, happy — to have spent in a tent this past year? Write it down: that’s your 2016 goal. Same with your number of days on the trail. Was it half as many as you’d hoped? Write down your ideal number. Maybe you wanted to try backpacking in 2015 — but didn’t. Add that to the list. Likewise, your number of days on the water, or whatever your adventure of choice.
Making a list of adventure goals is a good first step. In fact, it’s the key step because these are the goals you want to reach, unlike those health goals from New Year’s resolutions past: to drop three sizes by bikini season, to evict refined sugar from your diet, to see your toes again.
Adventure goals: enjoy the journey
Adventure goals are as worthy for the journey as for the end result. (Who gets as excited about six months of cottage cheese and grapefruit as they do about being able to slip back into their high school parachute pants?)
You’ve set your goals, you’re excited. Here’s where the problem typically arises, when you ask yourself, How do I make it happen?
What you need is direction to help you figure out these key questions:
- What’s realistic? You say you want to spend 50 nights next year in a tent, but is that feasible? What about your other obligations, your family, for instance? Do you have enough time off from work to get 50 nights in? You can quickly derail a goal by setting it, realizing it’s not possible, then abandoning it altogether. Better to set realistic, but still ambitious, expectations.
- Where do I want to go? Let’s say one of your goals is to take a week-long backpack trip. First obvious question: where do you want to go? Do you want to go alone? Would you like to go with locals familiar with the area? What season is best? And what specific gear will you need for where you’re going?
- I want to experience the “best.” Maybe you want to hike the best trails in the state. So, er, what are the best trails? And by “best” do you mean trails with the best views? The best waterfalls? The best old growth forest? It can take a little investigating to find your personal best.
- How do I prepare? Here’s a popular goal: Climbing a fourteener — that is, a peak that tops out at 14,000 feet or above (there are 54 in Colorado, prime country for achieving this goal). Where can I find trails around here that will prepare me for the elevation gains I’ll face? What about the altitude issue — how do I prepare for that? And what’s a good fourteener to start with?
Adventure Coaching: what it’s about
For some folks, the thrill of the adventure includes wrestling with these questions and issues on their own. Odds are, though, if you continually find yourself at year’s end lamenting the trails not traveled, the adventures not taken, you are not one of these people. Odds are you could benefit from GetGoingNC Adventure Coaching. With GetGoingNC Adventure Coaching, you get:
- Initial consultation. After filling out a questionnaire identifying your goals (general or specific), we’ll meet to discuss them in detail. From that initial consultation comes an IPA (Initial Plan of Action).
- IPA. Your IPA outlines various options and what will be required of you to fulfill each option. This is not a detailed plan of attack; rather, an overview of what would be required, to give you a better sense of the task.
- Plan of Action. We’ll go over the IPA and come up with your final Plan of Action, which will include a detailed plan of attack. Together, we’ll devise a plan that’s realistic and meets your adventure goals. The Plan will include your chosen goal, logistics for achieving that goal, and a training plan for meeting that goal. A key element of your plan will be an in-depth look at the gear you’ll need, how to plan and execute a safe trip, and resources you can use to achieve your goal. The goal is to have a Plan of Action in place within two weeks of signing up for GetGoingNC Adventure Coaching.
- Monthly phone check-in. Once a month, we’ll touch base by phone to see how your goal is coming along, making adjustments, if necessary.
- Open email access. Feel free to check in with questions via email as need be. If an answer is better handled over the phone, we’ll make that happen.
- One goal or more. Your Plan of Action needn’t be limited to one goal. If you want to learn to backpack and climb 10 of North Carolina’s 40 6,000-foot peaks, we’ll devise a plan that addresses both goals.
- Journal. You’ll receive a journal to help you keep tabs on your progress.
- Twenty percent discount on any Get! programs, including GetBackpacking! and GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes, and others that may develop during 2016.
- Cost: $175. That covers a year of coaching.
That is, why trust me, Joe Miller, to help you avoid feeling like you do now at the end of 2016? Because I love seeing people get out of the outdoors what I get out of the outdoors. I experience this regularly through our GetHiking! and GetBackpacking! programs — and I want to experience it more in 2016. As for credentials, you’ll find those here.
Sign up below and avoid the adventure blues at the end of 2016. You’ll receive your 2016 Adventure Questionnaire within 24 hours of signing up.
Questions? Contact Joe Miller at email@example.com or call 919.791.6155.