“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.
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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…