I think, to some extent, everyone’s confidence has taken a little bit of a hit over the course of 2020. There’s a little more fear, uncertainty and conservative behaviour creeping into to everyone’s lives at some level, and even though I talk a good game, that counts for me also. Whilst a little nervous, I had my first real adventure this week since COVID has kicked in, and it was such an awesome experience that I want to encourage you to embrace any and all opportunities for adventure.
I had a school session booked in for last Friday. It had been booked in for several months, and because of current circumstances, I had assumed it would be an online session for this group of year 9 students. Well, about a week before the session, I got an email from the guy who was co-ordinating the session to say they had justified my visit as ‘being essential,’ and so I would be going to the school. Interestingly, my first reaction to that was not excitement that I would be getting out to go to a school, it was actually a little anxiety.
I was anxious for several reasons. The first being that the school is in Geelong, a rural town about 90 mins to two hours from where I live, and I don’t have a driver’s license, so I didn’t know how I would get there. The second reason was one I had fought hard for 8 months and was fear about getting out in public again, even though I knew there was nothing to worry about, the bad news and fear that had gripped the world had infiltrated my defenses. Finally, because I had been at home delivering online sessions for so long, and it had really become my new normal, I was concerned I would not click back into the face to face session as easily.
However, despite my concerns, I decided to embrace this adventure, get out there and make it an amazing experience. The main challenge was getting there, so I decided to catch a train into the city and another out to Geelong. Then I had a friend who wanted to observe the session, who would pick me up from the station, we would go to the school together, afterwards go out for lunch and then she would drop me back off at the station. Sounded like a great plan until the school came back and said that they could not approve her visit, as it was against the ‘COVID’ rules. So, I had to get myself to the school, and then she would pick me up afterwards.
At this point, however, I was committed to and actually getting excited about this adventure. My amazing father, always concerned about me, actually offered to pay for an Uber from my place to the school 90-minutes away, a $150 fare! As much as I appreciated the offer, and told him so, I explained how I was committed to and excited about the adventure of finding my own way there. I think he thought I was a little looney, even though he has got used to that over the years. So, Friday came along and off I went. I caught and Uber to the station, a train into the city, a train to Geelong, got a taxi to the school, but because of roadworks and lots of confusion, I ended up walking about 1km on a dirt road, jumped a locked gate and finally got to the school. Quite an adventure already!
I then delivered this session and, oh my gosh, it was so amazing to be back in a room with real people. I could see their faces, feel their energy, respond to their questions, interact with them and I really feel like I made a difference in their lives. It reinforced to me my mission and purpose in life and it excited me even more to get out, travel, have more adventures and impact more lives, all around the world. I left feeling so incredibly inspired and energised.
My friend picked me up from the school, after her own challenges finding it, and we went off to have lunch at the café she had booked. The adventure continued as, after we were asked for ID at the café, they told me that I could not eat there because I was from Melbourne, the naughty corner of Australia and the world! I wasn’t allowed to eat in any café or restaurant because of the COVID restrictions place on all Melburnian residents! So, we went and bought some take away and sat on the grass overlooking the beach and had a very enjoyable lunch and conversation. Not what we had planned, but an exciting adventure, nevertheless! My friend dropped me back at the station and I got home without any further detours and, as I thought about and reflected on the day and adventure I had just had, I smiled!
I am so glad I did it. I was a little hesitant at first, but so grateful that I chose to take it on. I know life is still a little uncertain at the moment, but don’t let COVID or fear dampen your adventurous spirit. There is an amazing world of opportunity, joy, achievement, significance and purpose just waiting for you. In my podcast with Kim Vandenberg, called, ‘Stay in your own lane,’ she talks about her wonderful adventure of getting to the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a swimmer. She totally embraced adventure in her life, and it has led to some incredible outcomes and opportunities. So, why not you? Get out, while you can, and make the most of every second of the wondrous possibilities and excitement that life offers each and every one of us if we are willing to embrace adventure.