Adventure Mentality

Photo Credit: Johan Mouchet on Unsplash

I like to write about our family adventures. Not from the perspective of “oh look at me and this awesome adventure,” but more the perspective of we’re not special, if we can do these trips or hikes anyone can.

But it’s worth taking a step back and more generally looking at adventure for us as parents and as a family.

When he was alive, my grandfather used to take two walks everyday. The first was the long one, he would get up early in the morning and walk 3 miles. It helped his health more than any medication ever did. The second, he would take in the afternoon and bring his overweight Scottie dog, Dooley, along.

When my family and I were visiting, I’d usually go with him on both walks. The one in the morning was nice, we moved along at a pretty good clip for a kid and an old man.

We walked, chatted and enjoyed the morning before the Florida heat set in. He only had a few routes to take from their house, so within the first few days of our visit he pointed out all the interesting details he’d noticed on previous walks and where all his neighborhood friends lived.

The second walk was much different. We moved slowly and stopped frequently so the dog could check the urine-signed guestbook on every tree within leash radius. And we never covered anywhere near the distance we did in the morning. Overweight Scottie dog, remember?

A few times my grandpa sensed my impatience on the afternoon walk and he’d always say “This walk is for Dooley, I got my mine this morning.” I think I just rolled my eyes.

As with a lot of great wisdom, I didn’t realize the value of his mentality at the time. He had the patience to just accept this walk wouldn’t be what he would do on his own.

The first walk I took around the neighborhood with a toddler who refused to sit in his stroller is about when my grandfather’s wisdom hit me.

Right now I need acknowledge that, yes, I am indeed comparing one of my offspring to an overweight Scottie dog. If the leash fits…

During the walk with the rebellious toddler my frustration started to boil over, but somehow I had a brief pause and thought to ask,

When I decided this walk isn’t for me, I was able to enjoy it for what it was: being outside as a family.

This mentality has seeped into all of our outdoor family excursions.

I’ve even broadened what I consider an adventure. That definition now includes things that in my early 20’s would not have even registered on the (unofficial) Richter Scale of Adventure.

Things like riding a balance bike around the block may not be future events at the X-Games, but a stubborn toddler sure enjoys them. Even if we move at the pace of an overweight Scottie dog.

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Mitch at Chasing Hills

The guy behind ChasingHills.com, which is a site that sits at the intersection of fatherhood and adventure, with a very generous definition of “adventure.”