Category Archives: Blog

Time for some “HEAVY” lifting.

Recently, I received a heartfelt and vulnerable instant message from a woman on The Adventuresome Life Facebook page. I’ve included a brief portion here:

I just wanted to pass along how inspirational you are for me. I’ve read your blog and decided to follow you on Facebook just to see reminders that help keep me going. I’ve been through a lot over the years.

She shared some specific details about what she has been through and the hurt she has felt in response.

I’m a good person. I love easily and wear my heart on my sleeve. I just wish I was stronger. You seem very together. How do you do it?


To which my partial reply was:

I do it the same way you’re doing it. By living, breathing, feeling, falling down, getting back up, making mistakes, celebrating victories, nurturing my self-worth and being willing to learn.

I can relate to EVERY part of your message. Your battles have been my battles. And still are some days. You’re not alone.

Strength and courage are “muscles” we develop – just like biceps, quads and abs. You have to exercise them consistently in order for them to grow and get stronger.

Remember, the only way for you to recognize how strong and courageous you are becoming is by knowing what it feels like to be weak and afraid.

It sounds like you are identifying things that no longer work for you. That is the perfect segue way into creating what is acceptable to you now. Keep going!


What stood out to me more than anything was her wish to be stronger. By seeking outside of herself what strength would look like, she was missing the true strength that was already present inside of her at that very moment.

She had lived through all the challenges in her life up to this point. She was reaching out for support and willing to share her story and experience. She was open to seeing things differently and trying new things. She was taking accountability for her own life and what it could look like now.

Ironically, she was exemplifying strength and courage but couldn’t see it for herself, in that moment.

One of my favorite authors and teachers, Pema Chodron, an American, Tibetan Buddhist Nun, suggests that we don’t expect ourselves to be anything more than what we are right now. That our emotional upheavals are fertile ground – the very stuff of waking up. They are opportunities to practice.

To flex and develop our muscles.

And sometimes the tougher or more challenging your life circumstances, the stronger you become (i.e., the heavier weight you must lift, the more potential for growth and development).


 You see, we’re all a lot more alike than we are different. At the root of it all – our fears, “flaws” and “weaknesses” come from the same yearning – we all just want to know that we matter.

The more that we are able to recognize our deep-seated destructive patterns and how they play out in everyday life, the more empowered we are to trust in our dreams, in support that is always there and in our own decisions.

I’m so grateful this young woman reached out to me. Her message embodies the human experience. It confirmed for me to keep carrying out my vision for The Adventuresome Life – to support myself and others in seeing and experiencing life for the true Adventure that it is – a personalized gift handed to each and every one of us in order to grow, develop and expand into the best version of ourselves.

So if that’s what it’s all about – why not enjoy it?

Want a good place to start?

It takes STRENGTH to move towards what you really want in life. To live an authentic life. To say “Yes” when you’re bombarded with overwhelming and conflicting opinions of others; when you’re predisposed to accepting “the way it is”; when you feel unworthy or wrestle with undeservedness; despite the fact that you dumb yourself down to make everyone around you feel more comfortable. IT’S TIME to push boundaries beyond expectations that others have set for you and that you have unconsciously accepted as your own.

Exercise your STRENGTH and join me for The Inaugural Adventuresome Life Experiential Retreatshop November 5th & 6th, and let’s explore further. Spots are still available.

Yes. That’s right. I said “Retreatshop”!

The “Retreat” portion is your chance to get away…not far from home…and not for long. Step outside of your monotonous routine. Beyond the usual. Maybe even outside of your comfort zone.  Just enough time and space to experience some Adventure against the beautiful, autumn Iowa landscape.

The “Workshop” portion refers to the activities, exercises and challenges we will engage in. Each created with the intention of overcoming self-inflicted barriers, challenging debilitating beliefs and developing an Adventuresome mindset and tools for use in everyday life.

All in a safe and supported environment alongside other fellow Adventure seekers. We’re in this together!

The weekend will include indoor and outdoor activities, exercises and challenges – mental, physical and sacred- which will encourage you to practice exploration, look at things in a new way, and overcome fears and beliefs that might be tripping you up.

In the spirit of Adventure, I am handling this much like my Adventure racing days. The race directors would send participants minimal general information like where to show up, and when and what supplies to bring.

The details of what we would specifically be doing were left out by design. As they are here.

I’m asking you to bring an Adventuresome attitude with you to The Adventuresome Life Inaugural Retreatshop, so why not start now?

Do not stop thinking of life as an Adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence. 
– Eleanor Roosevelt



Wesley Woods Camp & Retreat Center
10896 Nixon Street
Indianola, Iowa (Southwest of town near Lake Ahquabi State Park)

We will be staying in the New Life Cabin.  The cabin has heat and air conditioning. Twin over queen bunk beds. Modern indoor plumbing, private showers and toilets. A large deck with lounge chairs. And a fire pit – which we will put to use.

Adventure is not outside of us; it’s within. – George Eliot



Saturday, November 5th – Check-in begins at 9 a.m.

We will be kicking off the weekend with the Launch Party portion of the Retreatshop promptly at 10 a.m. so I suggest you get there as early as 9 a.m. in order to get settled in before the festivities begin!

Saturday lunch and dinner will be provided. As well as breakfast on Sunday morning.

There will be a myriad of Adventuresome experiential challenges and exercises throughout the day from morning until evening.

With an end of day celebratory bonfire and challenge before retreating to the cabin for some rest and relaxation Saturday night.

Sunday morning after breakfast will be the Final Fun Adventure Challenge for the weekend, followed by some reflection exercises back at the cabin before packing up and heading home.

Checkout is Sunday, November 6th by 5 p.m. We will probably be wrapping up around the noon hour, but you’re welcome to stick around and enjoy the grounds and facilities further if you wish.

It is only in Adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.  –
 Andre Gide



As stated above, meals will be provided by the facility. There is a small fridge in our cabin with very limited space. I highly recommend you bring your own cooler with a personal stash of snacks and/or beverages to consume between mealtimes.

Our activities will be indoors, outdoors, daytime, nighttime, and will include all the elements – water, fire, air and earth. At any given time, you may be hot, cold, wet, dirty or covered in sweat. Bring lots of layers and options for change of clothes.

Come prepared for any type of weather. This is Iowa after all!!

As for your feet, bring comfy shoes, and at least one pair of close toed shoes. (i.e. – running/walking/athletic shoes with a supportive sole and/or hiking boots)

I recommend that you ARRIVE in your cutest, comfiest outfit that you can move in – and you don’t mind sweating in. (i.e. – yoga pants, workout gear, loungewear)

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an Adventure. – William Feather



Our rustic cabin does have heat/air but we will all be sleeping in the same quarters, and everybody’s body temperatures are different so I suggest you bring whatever bedding – including sheet & pillowcase – will keep you the most comfortable. There will be lower bunk queen beds and upper bunk twin beds available.

Our cabin does have modern plumbing with private toilets and showers. You will need your own towel, wash rag and toiletries.

BACKPACK (optional)

All other equipment needed for the weekend will be provided. Yes, I said equipment. Doesn’t that make you wonder?

Life is either a great Adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller

Alcohol is not allowed on the premises. I would appreciate it if you honor this rule. It’s only for a little over 24 hours! This is a place where my son, Street and I stay often and I would like to stay on good terms with the staff. Besides – with all of our explorations – you’re going to want clarity of mind, physical prowess and to be hydrated.

Especially for our Sunday morning Finale Adventure! I can pretty much guarantee you will be challenged, you will have fun, and you will break through some sort of current barrier you have set for yourself.

You will be supported in every way throughout this process. You will not be forced to do anything you do not want to do – although I will highly encourage you to at least try, to look at any fears that may come up for you, and to challenge the beliefs that keep you from moving forward.

Come with an open mind. A sense of Adventure. A willingness to face fears and open up to new possibilities.

Feel free to reach out to me with specific questions: Just know that ALL of your questions may not be answered by design.

My intention for The Adventuresome Life Inaugural Retreatshop is to send you home with an expanded sense of capability and possibility. With applicable tips and tools for orienteering everyday life. And with some new fun memories, stories and relationships that will inspire you to inspire others – by living your fullest potential.

An Adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.
An inconvenience is an Adventure wrongly considered.
 – G.K. Chesterton

Reservations are limited for this Inaugural Event.

Sign up by Midnight, Monday, October 24th – Cost is $99.99 for the weekend
After Monday, October 24th – Cost is $109.99 for the weekend
(includes accommodations, meals and all activities and Adventures)

$10 Early Bird Discount

Please send this link to any friends or family members who may want to join the Adventure!


If you have bunk or roommate requests, they will be accommodated if possible, on a first come first serve basis.

Also, if you have any food allergies or diet restrictions, please let me know as soon as possible.

I always say to myself when I’m gearing up for something challenging, a new experience, or in moments where fear and reservations are keeping me from moving forward, “Let’s do this!”  Then I put one foot in front of the other. And sometimes JUMP.

If you have even a glimmer of curiosity about this event, that’s all you need. Sign up and show up. Can’t wait to see you on November 5th!

The biggest Adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. – Oprah Winfrey

The Case of the Disappearing Blog

A few days ago I wrote one of my favorite blogs. Ever. It was all about the Adventure race I participated in this past weekend. It was heart-warming, funny and chock-full of inspirational and applicable life lessons. I spent about 3 hours getting it just right. Then – in the moment I was sending it off to my editor, of course – I realized I had two versions saved in two different places with the same file name. Hmm.

I was rushing because I needed to leave to go pick up my son from cross-country practice. In my haste, I replaced one file with the other. You guessed it – the final draft version with the earlier brainstorming version. And – poof – just like that it was gone! Sigh.

When I complete a piece of writing, it’s kind of like giving birth – the peaceful moment when labor has ended and you have a beautiful creation in your arms. Seriously, I’m hardly able to contain my excitement and share “my baby” with the world.

But in this particular moment I felt more like I was in full on labor – in a state of shock, gasping for air! I gradually came to my senses enough to call a computer service technician. I spoke to a gentleman – far from hopeful given what I had shared with him – who told me to bring my laptop in, and he would see what he could do.

First I had to pick up my son at school. Along the way, I took a phone call that I had been waiting to receive. The conversation was sensitive and emotional, concerning a young family member that has been distressed.

So by the time I arrived at the computer store, I was emotionally hanging by a thread. The gentlemen I previously spoke with over the phone greeted me – knowing the scenario – and promptly went to work attempting to retrieve the file.

Within about 5 minutes or less – he closed my laptop and said, “I’m sorry.” I had physically replaced a newer version of the file with an older, previous-draft, incomplete version of the same name. He didn’t want to delay the inevitable – which was for me to get home as soon as possible and attempt to rewrite it all from memory.

I choked back tears – barely able to squeak out a passable “thank you”.

Attempting to mask my devastation, I made a beeline for the parking lot. My son followed – still with absolutely no idea or explanation of what the heck was going on.

Once in the car, I went into full-on ugly cry. I was so disappointed. I had worked so hard. I felt in sync and inspired writing that blog. And just like that – it was gone. Like it had never existed. All that time, energy and creativity wasted. The hours I spent writing and editing multiple drafts down the drain. How would I possibly re-create it? I felt panicky. Frustrated. Downright pissed.

I went through the first 4 stages of the grief and loss process in my head – one after the other – all during the short drive home.

1. Denial: “There’s no way that just happened. I’m going to open up my computer, and it’s just going to be there. That guy didn’t know what he was doing. I’ll be able to find it.”

2. Anger (I’m really good at this stage – lots of practice –but spending way less time there these days): “Are you f***ing kidding me? That did not just happen! This is bullshit! I’m such an idiot!”

3. Guilt/Bargaining: “What have I done? Maybe if I just hurry up and start writing again, it will miraculously all come back to me verbatim, word-for-word, exactly as it was. If ever I was going to be gifted with a photographic memory, now would be a good time.”

4. Depression (fueled by Drama): “This isn’t possible. This is a tragedy. This is the worst day ever. Everything is going wrong. I’ll never be able to recreate it. I might as well give up. Throw in the towel.”

My son was being very quiet. Realizing I hadn’t said a word to him since he had entered the car, I tried to redirect my sorrow and began asking how his day was. He was very distant. Muttering one-word answers to my questions while staring out the passenger side window.

Sensitive to pretty much everything at this point, I went into mom-worry mode. I began repeatedly asking him what was wrong, pushing him to talk to me.

I felt like he wanted to say something, but just wasn’t saying it.

My mom-dar was accurate.

What came out of his mouth was a complete surprise!

“I think you’re over-reacting about this whole thing.”

Silence. Silence. Silence. Remember to breathe.


I had a knee-jerk reaction and began lashing out, telling him he had no idea what it felt like to pour your heart and soul into something, make a stupid mistake and have to live with the consequences (although I’m sure he will get his chance at some point).

It was like an Emmy-winning soap opera performance.

I went on and on and on. And on.

Side Note: Gee, I wonder why my son would be hesitant to tell me what he was thinking? Ugh.

Once we got home – he retreated to his room as I set at the kitchen table – head in hands – trying to calm down, figure out what now and motivate myself to start wracking my brain and re-writing. I shifted into the fifth stage of grief and loss.

5. Acceptance: “There’s nothing I can do to change it now. Stewing about it isn’t getting me any closer to an acceptable and productive outcome.”

And then what I’m referring to as stage 6:

6. Moving Forward: “How can I use this scenario to learn what I need to learn, as well as teach my son a valuable life lesson?”

The answers that came to me were not necessarily what I expected.

It was more than the obvious – don’t replace your newer word doc with an old one. Or slow down and take your time, so you don’t make these “stupid” little mistakes.

I went to the base of the stairs and called for my son. Believe me – he was less than happy to heed my request as he descended the stair case.

I started by admitting that in the grand scheme of things this really wasn’t that big of a deal. I had let the combination of disappointment, rushing around and emotional overwhelm get the best of me, culminating in a perfect storm.

I acknowledged that from the moment he entered the car (I was still on the phone – hanging up just as I was walking into the computer service store), he had no explanation of where we were going or what was going on. I apologized for that and let him know that I could understand how overwhelming it must’ve been for him.

I was human. I was having “a moment”. And in the future – whether with me or with someone else he cares about – sometimes it just feels good to be reminded that everything will be OK – especially in the moments you’re unable to see it for yourself.

I assured him that my feelings and emotions were not his fault, and he had no responsibility to make me feel better. But also that simply saying – “I’m sorry that happened, Mom. I can understand why you feel disappointed. You know it’s going to be OK.” – could work wonders.

We all need acknowledgement of our feelings at different times. Reminders of our worth and abilities, especially in moments of distress. That everything is still alright, despite disappointments. I like to call it “backup.”

And who knows, maybe I was meant to “lose” the content in my original blog so that I would write this one. Maybe this will be the exact message that someone will need to hear – and that will make it all worth it.

Apparently it was exactly the life experience that I needed – since it was graciously offered up to me with just the push of a button.

Now if I can just remember everything I learned from this experience and practice what I preach with my son when it’s his turn to need backup.

Live. Learn. Repeat when necessary.

Any part of this story resonate with you? Do you know that feeling? Had a similar experience? What did you do? What did you learn? Share comments below.

And remember to click on this week’s Adventure Challenge and put thought into action.

Let your light shine!

Recently a young Millennial reached out to me with the question, “What do you do when you feel like you’re fucking everything up and nothing is going right?” In other words, she felt unhappy. Life felt difficult and disappointing. And she wanted to know what to do.

I decided to write about this subject this week because this young woman who reached out to me was not the first – and I’m sure won’t be the last Millennial I encounter struggling with these same questions and feelings.

And let’s face it, it’s not exclusive to Millennials. We all have felt this way and wrestled with these questions at one time or another – and quite possibly still are in this exact moment.

What I do think is different for Millennials are the expectations of always feeling good, having it all together. That things should always come easy, knowing exactly what they want at a young age, and to do whatever they are going to do at rapid pace – all while in the public eye.

But – and this is important – these are learned behaviors and beliefs.

None of which are realistic. But here’s 5 things that are realistic:

  1. It’s not NORMAL to never feel bad, experience confusion, make mistakes, wish you could take something back or have a do-over. So let’s start there.

Quit feeling bad – judging yourself – for feeling bad. For not having all the answers. For making mistakes! Too many of us become paralyzed in our lives by the belief that nothing should ever be hard, bad or uncertain.

If you never experience darkness, how would you know what you love about the light?

If you never took that first step and fell on your ass, how would you have learned to walk?

When was the last time you learned to appreciate something more because it went away?

Having things all figured out is a load of bullshit. So we can all just drop that expectation now and begin feeling better instantly.


  1. Accept that things are currently not as you would like them to be. Don’t avoid them. Don’t pretend. Don’t numb out. Don’t look to others to fix it or to make you feel better. Do your part. Which is all of it. It’s your life. Own it. Live it.

The time will pass anyway. You can either spend it creating the life you want or spend it living the life you don’t want. The choice is yours. – unknown

Do whatever it takes to live YOUR life. – Dana Shane


  1. Be willing to see things differently. More importantly, try something different. There is another way. There is always another way – even if you can’t currently see it. If what you’re currently doing is causing you pain and suffering – you can do this or you can do that – but what you can’t do is keep doing the same damn thing and expecting different results.

Keep moving – little by little or with a great big leap. Make choices that feel better to you – more in alignment with what you want and who you are.

And have patience.

You will hit roadblocks. People will disagree with you. Some may try to stop you. You will make wrong decisions and experience setbacks. And guess what? That’s ok. Just keep being true to who you are, protect what you want and stay in motion.


  1. There’s nothing quite like working for what you want, knowing – or finally realizing – you’re worth it and collaborating with what or who resonates with you in order to create it.

The PROCESS, with all its bumps and bruises, is an integral part of how you will get to where you want to go.

It’s how you learn what you like, what you don’t like, what you want, and what you won’t accept. The process helps you gain awareness, get wiser and become a more compassionate human being.

Being able to accept and understand others will allow you to feel more accepted and understood.

I would argue that everything that is a part of the process – your process – is FOR you. Any life experience – no matter how challenging and maybe even especially when it’s challenging – is your opportunity to wake up, to fight for yourself, to take the reins, to shine brighter than before.


5. NOTHING is a cure all. And there is no place to get to where all the answers will be revealed – where you will have it all figured out.

If you find that place – the land of having it all figured out – beware. An opportunity to learn that the only certainty we have is that nothing is certain may be just around the bend.

It’s just a matter of doing life – being committed to taking care of you – and rising each day, willing to do it all again. No matter what has happened in your past. No matter what might attempt to get in your way in the future.

You’re only job is to engage. To participate. To create your version of what you want the world to look like and how you want to contribute.  And sharing your own personal flavor with the world matters – don’t forget it.


Remember, It’s ALL an Adventure! You’re on a magnificent journey that is your life. Hang on for the ride! Explore! Enjoy! Celebrate!

Living an Adventuresome Life is an active choice…from moment to moment. Head on over to the Weekly Challenge for encouragement and guidance in making those choices.

And for a little practice, share what lights YOU up below!

What is The Adventuresome Life all about?

Reserve the first weekend in November for The Adventuresome Life’s Inaugural Experiential Retreat & Workshop! It will take place in the Des Moines Metro surrounding area. Expect an Adventure! More details coming soon.

The Adventuresome Life is designed to engage, educate, challenge, support, entertain and inspire you.

When you sign up to receive FREE weekly Adventuresome tips & tools – above or below – you’ll get a weekly email reminder in your inbox that provides access to that week’s blog or vlog, encourages you to comment and share on the site, and dare’s you to participate in the Weekly Challenge – by taking actionable steps towards living a more Adventuresome life.

Whether you decide to engage with that week’s challenge or not, be sure to take a few minutes and write about your experience – or reservations – in your FREE 52-Week Adventure Journal. A link was provided in your welcome email from The Adventuresome Life when you signed up. But the journal is now downloadable by clicking on the TAL Journal graphic at the top right hand corner of this page.

If you signed up and have not been receiving emails from The Adventuresome Life, please search your junk mail or promotions folder – and mark the emails ‘Safe Sender” or ‘Not Junk Mail”.

If you have taken those steps and still are not receiving my emails, please reach out to me direct at I’ll be happy to problem solve with you!

I don’t want you to miss the emails I’ll be sending out in the coming month about the Inaugural Experiential Retreat & Workshop, including more specific details and how you can reserve your spot. Keep your eyes peeled!

There’s nothing quite like “losing” to remind you how much you’ve really won – if you’ll allow it

Hi all. Just wanted to offer an update on the 60-Day Body Transformation Challenge.

I am not the $10,000 winner, if you hadn’t already heard.


For all the finalists, the hard work it took and sacrifices we made to accomplish the results we did in such a short period of time, is something we all share and only we can truly understand. But even more so, to put ourselves out there in such a public and vulnerable way, in order to be judged, required a lot of courage.

I took myself out of my comfort zone once again! Good always comes from that.

Proud to have been listed alongside the other 4 national finalists. And congratulations to Kim C., fellow Des Moines’ club member, the $10,000 winner!

Thanks again to everyone who offered support and encouragement during this process. In particular, my trainer at Lifetime, Payton Mass. As I said in my essay, he saw what I was capable of before I could see it in myself. If you’re looking for someone to be in your court, to help you bust through limitations you have placed on yourself – with just the right amount of comforting support mixed with a dose of “Get off your ass and do it” – he’s your man!

(Actually, he never cussed at me – although I’m fairly certain I might have thrown a couple of profanities at him – lovingly!)

And special thanks to my friend’s Teresa Speck and Debra Prentice, my son Street and the strongest woman I know – even if my muscles are bigger – my mom, Vicky Dishman. They, more than anybody, were there for the day-in and day-out of this process – all the highs and lows – and loved me anyway.

My pocketbook may not be full – but my heart certainly is!

I can sum this experience up with one quote, “She has fire in her soul & grace in her heart” – unknown

If this story resonates with you in any way or reminds you of an example of loss or grace in your own life please share in the comments below.

60 Days to Change!

I never could’ve imagined getting the physical results I did. That a body transformation challenge would so drastically help transform all areas of my life. I said “no” to a lot of excuses, habits, foods, distractions and other past priorities during the challenge. I discovered that what I got out of the challenge equally matched what I was willing to put into it. – Dana Shane


Physical Lessons I learned:

  • How to eat in order to fuel my body for optimal performance in fitness and day-to-day life, rather than exercising to counteract unhealthy nutrition choices – producing significant results in my physique as well as my psyche.
  • Strength training and lower zone heart rates burn fat more effectively and efficiently. Who doesn’t love that?!
  • Life-long health and fitness is a team sport – you will have more substantial permanent results when you seek the guidance of professionals and surround yourself with health conscious peers and community.
  • By the time you – or anyone else – starts noticing a difference in your physique, you will already have put in a lot of work and discipline. So it helps to be clear on why you’re doing what you’re doing and remember it every day – every moment if necessary. In other words – it all starts with your head!

But the physical improvements that came out of the challenge ended up being secondary to the transformational life lessons I learned.


Life Lessons I learned:

  • You will get out of any experience, exactly what you are willing to put into it. If you’re “thinking about it” or “sort of committed”, it will continue to be something you’re thinking about or you sort of make happen.
  • You can’t stay comfortable and expect to grow. Plain and simple. You have to be willing to try new things. To step into uncharted territory. To make attempts at things you don’t know you can do.
  • In order to make change you have to be willing to admit that what you’re doing already is not working (even if you think it should be). Be willing to learn and open yourself up to new information and possibilities. Accept support and guidance. “Wanting” something is not enough. Wanting it so much you’re willing to do exactly what it takes to make it happen is everything.
  • Achievement lies in the day to day DOING. The action. We all have things we would like to accomplish. But it takes daily commitment, focus and discipline to get there. Make a plan. Focus on the moment you’re in. Do what needs to be done each day. Then wake up and do it again the next. Tweak and improve your plan when you learn something new and beneficial that works for you.
  • Nothing is ever accomplished alone. So put yourself out there. Ask for support. Surround yourself with people who want what you want – for you. A lot of us hide our dreams and goals for fear we won’t actually accomplish them. Take that fear out of the equation and go for it!

If you’re inspired to participate in the Lifetime Athletic Club 60-day Body Transformation or Weight Loss Challenge, a new challenge just started this weekend, and you can still sign up. If you live in blood sugar levels the Des Moines area, and you’re looking for a trainer to get you started or guide you all the way through, get in touch with Payton Mass. He’s a miracle worker!

P.S. The photos have not been altered in any way, but there was tanning involved…obviously!

But really I hope this inspires you to go after anything you want in your life. Don’t forget to take the Weekly Challenge and write about it in your FREE TAL Weekly Adventure Journal.

Going after something you want is truly an Adventure! You will always learn something from the experience, and who knows you might just get exactly what you want – and then some!

To see more before and after photos from my body transformation challenge and to read more about what I did and why I did it go to:

Lifetime Athletic Club members can STILL VOTE now through August 22nd, 5 p.m. CST, one time per day. If you’re a member and you’re inspired and think I deserve to win, please vote!

Are you familiar with the game of chicken?

When was the last time you played?

For me, it was just this past week. Unintentionally.

I took an hour or so of my afternoon to fit in a bike ride on a beautiful, clear, hot sunny day.

I headed west on the bike trail that’s located directly behind my house.

The trail runs along a creek shaded by trees on either side – winding through the city – giving a feeling of being anywhere else but in the middle of a metro area.

But that all changes about 5 miles out when the trail exits the forest sanctuary and begins running parallel to a major thoroughfare that connects one western suburb to the next.

It’s a route I travel regularly.

The benefit of this route – besides being located right outside my back door – is that it extends for hundreds of miles with all sorts of wonderful Iowa towns along the way. Continue reading

Game. Set. Match. Touchdown. Huh?

Let’s just say today’s blog starts with a heated game of tennis – literally.

Sun shining down. No shade. 95 degrees. Peak humidity.

It was Father’s Day, and my mom’s side of the family gathered in my grandparents’ hometown to celebrate.

Despite the heat, a group of us, including my uncle and cousins, decided we should play tennis. Continue reading

Good vs. Bad. Is it really that simple?

I don’t recall anyone ever saying to me, “Dana Shane, life is all about feeling good.”  So where did that expectation come from?

I guess it makes sense. If any one of us were asked in a given moment, “Do you want to experience something that feels good or something that feels bad?” – what would you choose?

Duh. Kind of a no-brainer, right?

But we all know a permanent state of only feeling good is impossible.

With life comes death. With ups come downs. Life cycles. It shifts. It turns. Nature is a living, breathing example of it. Storms happen. Sometimes they wreak havoc. But then the sun comes out again.

And with every loss or downturn, we have the opportunity to realize and appreciate the gains and upturns.

Yet we spend an immense amount of time and energy being unhappy, put out and inconvenienced by those things that don’t feel the way we think they should or how we want them to.

Is it possible that our unrealistic expectation of a constant state of bliss is what really causes us harm and pain? The expectation of perfection rather than the reality of setbacks?

The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation. It’s our thoughts about it.
                                                                                                  – Eckhart Tolle

Historically, if things are seemingly going my way, within my expectations and aligned with what I want, I am happy. Smiling. Feeling good. Uplifted. Joyful. Secure.

But if they’re not, I’m sulking. Sad. Disoriented. Stressed. Frustrated. Afraid.

In essence, I’m like a marionette puppet. My strings being controlled by the circumstances of life.

Which has the potential to leave me in a constant state of hoping for things to go “right”, and in fear of things going “wrong”.

Everything that falls between birth (which we deem as happy) and death (which we define as sad) gets categorized as good and bad. I like this, so I feel good. I don’t like that, so this is bad.

Every thought we have determines whether we feel like we have succeeded or failed. Whether we or someone else is right or wrong. Whether we’re having a good day or a bad one.

Reality never wavers. Our thoughts and opinions about it do.

Wars are fought – in our minds, in our homes, in our world – over individual and collective thoughts about how things should be.

Of course we will feel happiness, sadness, anger, fear – the whole gamut of emotions. It’s part of the human experience. But if we accept our emotions, without attachment to what elicited them, how does that change the experience?

Recently, I was fortunate enough to hear a dharma talk by a Buddhist master and teacher. He shared, “This is that. That is this.”

I took it to mean it’s ALL necessary. It’s ALL there for a reason (or it wouldn’t exist). It’s ALL connected – the good and the bad.

What if everything is FOR us?

If you’re able to ask yourself that question – to consider the possibility – it leaves a crack. A little space for light to shine in. Room for a breath.

This allows us to relax where we would otherwise tighten our grip and tense up. To be with what we normally resist. To let go of the compulsive need to make things different or better. To makes things stop or to go away. To need to change ourselves or others. And to cease berating ourselves for not having all the answers.

This detachment from our thoughts about how things could have been or should be allows energy to move and flow, allows energy to continue or manifest in our lives.

Be open to why whatever is showing up is there for you. Relax into not needing to explain why.

During my adventure races, there were always challenges. That’s why it was called Adventure Racing. It was the whole reason I participated. To push myself. To grow. To learn. To overcome. To thrive. And it was exhilarating!

It would have been a pretty lame sport without the challenges – without the losses, wrong turns and setbacks. The parts that brought me to my knees. Had me questioning whether I could keep going. Forced me to second guess myself.

And so it is in life.

Some experiences you like better than others. Some parts you’re naturally better at. Some things you are more prepared for. For most things, there is no way to be prepared. You will have to face fears in order to keep moving forward. And it’s ALL unknown.

Life is the ultimate Adventure. All of it. The “good” and the “bad.” In the acceptance of that lies peace.

What or who have you decided is good or bad? Can you let go of your attachment? Just for today? Moment by moment? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!