I write some about that wonderful feeling of just sitting and enjoying the outdoors. Watching, listening, smelling, all these senses can be truly rewarded during the simple task of just letting things happen around you. But that is only a part of my story of enjoying being outside.
I come from a competitive family. My father was (and still is) a record setting swimmer. My sister went to college on scholarship from her swimming endeavors. Me, I was a swimmer but never attained the drive to stick to just one sport. I rode bikes as a kid sometimes 100 miles on a weekend on cheap banana seat bikes in the 70’s, I started running when I was in the Navy, I did my first triathlon in the early 80’s and my first adventure race about 10 years ago. Now at 48 I still enjoy adventure racing and triathlons and mountain biking.
The competitiveness is also a big part of my wife’s make up. During the last adventure race we did we got beat by a couple of women who travel all over the country to do these races and all my wife could say is, “I hate getting beat by girls!”
So yes, sometimes my idea of being outside involves intensity. It could be training for an event or the event itself. Sometimes it’s the best way to force yourself out into the environment. This past weekend’s trail ride at Cane Creek State Park was a scouting ride for an upcoming adventure race in June. Last fall we did some orienteering at Burns Park in North Little Rock to prepare for a race. These little training runs/rides have taken me to places both externally and internally that I wouldn’t have been to otherwise.
If this kind of experience interests you than check out some local races and find out what you need to get going. Ozark Extreme has an adventure race series that will be featuring Arkansas State Parks this year and DLTmultisport runs a series of on and off road triathlons, duathlons, bike races, etc. and is a good place to start. Train properly, start easy and pretty soon it will be a big part of your life.