There are those moments in life you pinch yourself, wondering just how you ended up there. This is one of those moments. Here I am, hiking though the southern Sierra mountains, the Barrancas of Northern Mexico, with famed ultra-distance, Rarámuri runner Manuel Luna as my guide. Luna, featured in the best-selling book Born To Run, barrels ahead…
Viewing entries in
A late-summer storm gathered in the distance. The brilliant hue of orange, purple and deep red clouds merged with nighttime blues as my flight, Miami to Havana, crossed the Florida Straits. Silence took hold, marking entry from known into that of an unknown. Only an hour prior I’d left the bright, digital billboards, city traffic lights and illuminating high-rises along Miami’s coast; a stark contrast to darkness now covering much of the island below.
“Once in a blue moon,” so the saying goes. And under such a moon, the alarm on my phone chimes. It’s three am, early on Saturday morning. My eyes rapidly open, coffee brews and a hot shower wakes my aching muscles in a modern beachfront bungalow. My first full day on the French Polynesian island of Moorea begins with this ritual, the same before any long run. Bib pinned to my shorts, shoes laced tight and I’m out the door. Moments later, I stretch before the starting line of the Tahiti / Moorea Marathon. Little did I know what adventure these islands, just a quick overnight flight from Southern California, had in store.
My watch ticks 11:30pm as I step out of the cab and up to the double French doors of the boutique Rivera del Rio hotel. A warm ocean breeze threatens to blow off my beach fedora. With just the slight crackle of the trees and the faintest crash of Pacific waves blocks away, Puerto Vallarta is calm tonight.
Before my knuckles meet the door with a knock, it swings opens, “You have my pizza? You’re two hours late!”
Snowflakes crusted my window as I peered down into vast openness. Jagged silver mountains cut into nearby clouds. For years I’ve been fascinated with what, with who survives when green is gone and winter white rules. Curious, ready to explore, I landed ready for adventure. In just days I’d run 100 miles while pulling a 25-pound sledge loaded with survival equipment under a 48-hour time limit. My days prior would be spent travelling Alaska, learning how to succeed in The Last Frontier… in February…
In my experience, adventure leads to the desire for more. As we open ourselves up to new ideas, to uncertainty, to learning from others, new questions arise. Life seems more complete, yet simultaneously, I’m aware there is so much more to do, see, and experience.
Recently, I found myself in a cozy London hotel room. The floor to ceiling windows framed a typical English, October evening. Classic street lamps illuminated a gentle fog. Pedestrians bustled in their overcoats. The glow of the West End marquees flickered from around the corner. It was the perfect evening for a new idea to brew…
How did this midwestern eighteen year old risk-taker become a thirty something Angeleno content in mediocrity? Slightly over three years ago, on just another Tuesday afternoon, one thought stopped me in my tracks, “I’m bored.” This was not the passing thought of another mundane, humdrum day but the kind that demands action. These next steps would determine direction.