Tag Archives: adventure

Boots, Class & a Little Sass

Well, I’m back in the saddle again!

I lost my way for a bit. Became worn out and saddle sore. Got bucked off my horse. And dragged along behind for far too long. AND finally, found myself face down in the mud!

So, I decided to take the advice of a dear, long-time friend who was born and raised in Southern Oklahoma.

With the dynamic drawl of a bonified badass southern belle, she commands, “Pick yourself up by your bootstraps, Girl!”.

You don’t dare argue!

Even though my blog, TheAdventuresomeLife.com, has already been in some form of development for three years now, I have found myself lost – often.

Leaving me with another point that I can’t argue – my heart and soul feel a void every time I’m not actively creating, connecting and continuing to grow it.

I can’t even give you a specific reason why. Sometimes it’s just the overwhelm of day to day life. Other times I’m placing other needs, responsibilities or priorities of my own or the needs of other people above it. I set it aside in the name of being tired, scared, or too busy.

The noose around my neck from judging myself for getting off track or losing my way – again – is enough to prevent me from moving forward. From finishing what I came here to do.

During my adventure racing experiences my teammates and I would get lost ALL THE TIME. The courses we competed on would cover many miles and all sorts of terrain, sometimes over multiple days of racing.  The only solution when we considered ourselves to be lost, was to get ourselves found by:

  • Asking for help or directions (if there was another team or race official within 20 miles of us)
  • Backtracking to where we last knew where we were and starting over again
  • Pulling out our map (if we had one), getting our wits about us, and devising a plan
  • Wondering around aimlessly until something made sense or looked familiar (My least favorite and the most time consuming – but still an option)

These same tools are accessible to us in our lives as well. The only difference between racing and everyday life is our ability to have:

  1. Acceptance. Getting lost was a given when I was racing. It was just part of the deal – to be expected.  We often forget the same holds true for life. We allow ourselves to panic or judge ourselves far too harshly.
  2. Willingness. There was no giving up in adventure racing really. Unless you wanted to sit down in a dense forest, stop paddling in the middle of a lake, or refuse to rappel down the mountain you just climbed. One way or the other, you had to find the finish line to be able to go home. Life is similar. Our willingness to keep moving is the only option we really have.

So make today THE day. Grab your boots. Or your Adidas. Or your 3-inch Jimmy Choo pumps and prepare to lasso whatever it is that you’ve been chasing, avoiding or denying yourself for far too long.

Maybe you want to finally shed a few pounds by adopting healthier lifestyle habits. Maybe you are in dire need of saying “NO” to some people or things – to stop running yourself ragged over other people’s priorities and “emergencies”. To finally find or pursue a passion you’ve been denying yourself. Open your heart back up to love. Be brave enough to go after that new job or career path. Or just allow yourself to take a breath, relax and just be.

In my case, it’s piss or get off the pot when it comes to creating, building and sharing my vision. My passion. My purpose.

TheAdventuresomeLife.com is your place to go for tips, tools and experiences that are designed to help you:

  • Gain acceptance of what is and has been
  • Bust through barriers that stand in your way
  • Tackle perceived obstacles
  • Overcome paralyzing fears
  • Set new sights and attain them
  • Realize new paths and possibilities
  • Discover solutions for your life
  • Create quality connections
  • Build confidence in making choices
  • Experience new levels of peace and understanding
  • Feel more alive right now
  • Have more fun in every aspect of your life

Life is one big Adventure!

You can SEE IT in what’s right in front of you.

You can SEEK IT beyond your current level of acceptance, perceived limitations and understanding.

Life is not about never getting on the horse, so as not to fall off.

What a snoozer that would be – Zzzzzzzz.

It’s about getting on your proverbial horse in the first place. Learning the ropes. Getting the feel. And inevitably falling off. Again. And again. And again.

The only way to keep on living is to stand up, dust yourself off, and get back on.

Wahoooo! Let’s ride!


There will be new things to come from TAL in the coming days, weeks and months. I’ll keep you posted. But in the meantime, I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Anything from this week’s blog speak to you in particular?  Something you need to sink your spurs into? Any other topics you want to hear about? Questions for me?

Here’s to being Adventuresome…and all that comes with it.

Recently, I convinced my personal trainer to be my partner in a local Adventure Race.

It may seem like it should be the other way around since my race partner, Payton, is a health and fitness professional, was a Big 10 collegiate athlete and just happens to be 19 years my junior.

You may remember Payton as the personal trainer I spoke of previously. He helped me become a national finalist in the Life Time 60 Day Body Transformation Challenge.

In other words, I paid this young man to kick my ass and basically torture me – and it was worth every penny, ache and pain!

The text conversation went something like this:

Me: I REALLY want you to be my adventure racing partner on Sunday. 2 mile canoe. 4 mile trail run. 11 mile bike.

Payton: I haven’t ran a mile in months. I would legit die.

Me: Paybacks.

So with less than a week’s notice, he agreed with this statement:

Excited for The Des Moines Adventure Race this Sunday. My client REALLY gave me no choice after these words (above). I inflict so much sweat, tears and pain on her. It’s time she gets to see me struggle. Here’s to being Adventuresome!

He may be able to hold grown women up in the air with one hand, do a back flip from a standing position and “walk around” on his hands with the greatest of ease, but what this race was about to ask of him would be something he had not yet experienced.

I was in my element – years of boating, biking, running, adventure racing and triathlons under my belt. But I was quickly reminded of how each and every race presents you with trials and tests that change you – offering up life lessons that apply well after the race.


Here are some of the lessons I was reminded of during the constant physical and mental demands of  this 3-part, non-stop, 2-hour race:


CANOE (2 miles) – Sometimes you intend to go one direction and the current of life takes you another.

With Payton’s upper-body strength, my kayaking experience and the fact that it was the first leg of the race, I thought the canoeing portion would be the least of our worries.

Although we managed to not tip over or find ourselves paddling in circles, the canoeing portion proved to be more of a challenge than I had thought it would be.

Unlike navigating solo – which I am used to in a kayak – we had to work together to keep the boat propelling forward while staying on course. Payton (the strength) in the front and me (the experienced paddler) steering from the back.

The more you can keep your canoe in a straight line, the less work it is – path of least resistance.

Sounds simple enough, right? Easier said than done.

The combination of our uneven strength, our inexperience with co-piloting a canoe, and the inability to read the wind direction and water current quickly became apparent – and quite humbling. We continually had to correct our position as the boat started veering in unintended directions.

There was nothing to do but repeatedly make adjustments, keep our cool, continue communicating and work together.

No amount of frustration could justify giving up. The only thing that would get us where we needed to go (the run transition area) was to keep paddling.


RUN (4 miles) – Slow and steady may not “win” the race, but it will get you to the finish line.

Running has always been “my thing.” I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. Combine running with winding trails through nature – and I’ve pretty much found my happy place.

Payton, however, not so much. Prior to this race, he had never run more than 2 miles at one time.

I was asking him to run farther than he ever had, through fields and trails of uneven terrain, after just paddling in a canoe for 30 minutes (you use more of your legs and core muscles than you might imagine). All while making sure to leave enough energy and ability to bike 11 miles after the fact.

I wouldn’t define myself as a fast runner, but I have had a close relationship with endurance over the years. I kind of go into my own world, fall into a manageable pace and keep on trucking.

Side note: In Adventure racing, teammates must stay within 100 feet of each other at all times.

But today it would be Payton’s world.

I knew from past Adventure racing experience that if Payton was forced to attempt to “keep up” for 4 miles straight, it would take a toll on him – both physically and mentally.

So I encouraged him to set the pace. My theory worked. Every time I would follow his lead, his pace would quicken.

If I had pushed Payton to run faster than his comfort level and current ability – we may not have finished the run – let alone the 11 miles of biking that was awaiting us.


BIKE (11 miles) – Keep your eye on the squirrel – or whatever it takes to finish what you started!

The bike portion of the race required us to bike around an hourglass-shaped road 3 ¼ times. Payton had ZERO experience on a bike. I was actually pleasantly surprised by his comfort level and agility on the bike despite this fact – must be the gymnast in him.

A friend had loaned him a bike and helmet to use for the day. Very kind. But after just one lap sitting on that bike seat, Payton was not feeling the kindness.

It was clear that the bike was not fitted correctly for Payton’s body. We had adjusted the seat for his height. But there are many other factors that go into properly setting up a bike.

About halfway through our second lap, we had to stop and stretch. Payton’s right quad was seizing up on him. If you have ever had this happen – you know that this can be a race ender. No choice in the matter. Done.

As Payton stretched, I looked him in the eye and said, “If we need to end it here, I support you. We did what we could. But if you want to finish this thing, I’ll get you to the finish line. But it’s going to hurt.”

Payton didn’t even hesitate. He jumped back on his bike and said, “Let’s finish it.”

About every few minutes, in no particular order, he would mutter with a clenched jaw, teeth gritted. “Damn hands. Oh, my back! My neck hurts. My quads are burning.”

I continually offered words of encouragement to motivate him, mental images to distract him, and physical tips to try and ease his pain.

As we were coming around the back loop on our 3rd lap, I thought I heard Payton say, “Where’s that f***ing squirrel?” I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. I thought he had officially lost it!

But as we came around the final bend – the last quarter lap of the race into the finish line – I saw a dead squirrel laying in the middle of the road. I hadn’t even noticed it before in our previous laps. But Payton had. And it had become his dangling carrot.

In the end, that damn squirrel would be what got him to the finish line!


Taking it all in after the fact – Phew! What an Adventure! We really have nothing to lose from trying new things, challenging our own perceived limitations (you are always stronger and more capable than you think you are) and sharing in the experience of it all with others.

In a nutshell – pun intended – I was reminded:

  • Life doesn’t always go as planned, but your only real option is to “keep paddling” and make adjustments as needed.


  • Work with your “team members” – whoever they may be. Keep communicating. And when one of you needs a little extra help – make a choice that benefits all parties involved the most overall.


  • Decide what you want, and then use whatever it takes – even if it’s a squirrel – to help you get there.


Now it’s your turn! Join me November 5th & 6th for The Inaugural Adventuresome Life Experiential Workshop at Wesley Woods in Indianola, Iowa.

You’ll face fears and address self-imposed limitations. Develop a more Adventuresome attitude and approach to life. Experience fun, joy, passion and purpose.

After all, what is life but one GRAND ADVENTURE!

This week’s Adventure Challenge is pretty matter of fact.

Seek Adventure in EVERYTHING. And I do mean everything.

Adventure requires you to be bold; daring; take risks, be corageous. It can be humbling. It may feel hazardous, dangerous or perilous at times. It usually involves excitement, the unknown and taking chances.

Adventuresome choices are almost always preceeded by a dose of fear.

Find it in your work.

In your relationships.

In your day to day comings and goings and doings.

In your whatever you’re going through in life.

Take notice. Appreciate it exactly as it is. Find the Adventure in that moment, experience or exchange.

Then write about it in your FREE TAL 52-week Adventure Journal.  Here’s a link to an original copy if you haven’t already downloaded your copy from the home page to your desktop.


Chances are if you’re here and reading this you are already signed up to receive The Adventuresome Life FREE Weekly Tips & Tools in your inbox.

Thanks for saying, YES!

But if you’re here and you’re not signed up yet – Welcome! Woot, Woot! Just enter your name and email address at the top or bottom of the page and “Let’s do this.”

Or if  you’re not seeing your TAL (The Adventuresome Life) emails in your inbox, please contact me direct at danashane@theadventuresomelife.com and let me help solve the mystery.

I don’t want you to miss a single weekly blog or challenge.

You never know when it will be the exact message your need to hear at exactly the right time.

In addition – I will be sending out  reminders in the coming months with details of courses and events that will provide guidance and support in helping you live your most Adventuresome life.

If  you already said “Yes” to The Adventuresome Life, please take a second to invite someone else to do the same. Send a text or email to a friend with a link to my site inviting them to go on this Adventure with you.

Or share my posts from Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I am posting something almost daily now.

Part of my goal in creating The Adventuresome Life is to create a space for Adventuresome minded and Adventure seeking individuals to interact and explore. So please encourage others to come along for the ride! Sharing our experiences helps us to feel understood, not alone, and supported – and simply put – makes it all that more fun.

Saying “Yes” to The Adventuresome Life is the first step – and practice – for saying “Yes” to life in general.

Does the idea of experiencing more of what you love, more often, appeal to you?

In one word, phrase or sentence, what is the single most prominent thing you are longing to say “Yes” to in life? Share in the comments section below.

Take steps THIS WEEK towards making that longing a reality. Be sure to write about it in you FREE TAL 52-Week Adventure Journal.


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 danashane@theadventuresomelife.com. 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!

Scared? Uneasy? Curious? Good. Let’s do this!

Scared? Uneasy? Curious? Good. Let’s do this!

Are you interested in embarking on an Adventure? Oh, I hope so. Because I’m ready. I would love some good peeps to come along for the ride! I feel like every single moment, event, encounter, tear, inspiration, temper tantrum, lesson, manifestation, endeavor and even curse word has led up to this exact point.

Clarity comes when we’re ready. I mean really ready. We may think we’re ready. But then again, maybe not—I call that the fizzle. A fizzle is not a failure. It’s just a rung on the ladder to readiness. And then all of a sudden, like a dodge ball to the face, straight from the one-armed hurl of the biggest kid in third grade, there we find ourselves: lying face up on the gym floor, knocked clean off of our feet, staring at the ceiling. That’s the kind of IMPACT I’m talking about.

You see, I’m a seeker. A searcher. A questioner. Ok, maybe a little bit of an instigator at times (hee hee).  I want to understand and explore. I want to feel. I want to love and live deeply. I want to connect. Learn. Listen. Remember. Create, re-create and co-create. And I want whatever gets in the way of me doing so, namely fear, to get the heck out of my way.

But if I’ve learned anything over my life thus far, it’s that fear doesn’t always show itself willingly. Fear is actually a master of disguise. It will fool you into thinking it’s every other emotion but fear. (HINT: All “negative” emotions are rooted in fear.) But call fear’s bluff (Hey, I’m not angry, I’m actually afraid), and you take away its power.

I have also learned something pivotal. With a little surrender, a lot of willingness, and an arsenal of tools and inspiration, we can release and transform our fears. And that opens up a whole new world of possibilities that we may have never even considered or allowed ourselves to dream.

Awareness of how our fears keep us from living our lives to the fullest is the foundation for living an Adventuresome Life. So when I feel stuck, anxiety-ridden, defensive, paralyzed, angry, unmotivated, depressed, judged or judgmental, numb, addicted, lethargic, vindictive and/or stressed (hopefully not all at once, but it’s been known to happen), I plan to stop and ask myself a question: “Why? What am I afraid of?”

I challenge you to do the same.

Keep following the story you’re telling yourself, keep asking questions. Do it with a friend, or on your own. Be willing to get REALLY HONEST with yourself. And then share what you find. This is a forum to explore and eradicate your fears in order to develop the Adventuresome Life of your choice and design.

Some of my favorite memories and happiest moments are when I have tried something new, overcame a fear, did something I never thought I could do, explored new avenues and took myself out of my comfort zone. I’ve loved it even more when I’ve shared in those experiences with others.

My personal goal is to see and consciously create Adventure every single day. To live, breathe and exist in an adventuresome mode. Dictionary.com defines “adventuresome” as “bold; daring; adventurous.” I agree, but I would add to that definition anything that feels new, a little crazy maybe, overcomes limitations set by ourselves or others, has an element of fun and excitement, offers a fresh perspective, takes us outside of our comfort zones, may feel silly, energizes, feeds our spirit, and propels us along in this journey called life.

I’m starting with this blog. I want to explore. I want to share in this experience with others. I want to identify, understand and ultimately overcome my fears and hear about you overcoming yours. I want to celebrate life through real action that brings me, and all of us, closer to being the human beings we are meant to be. And if we transform our country and our world in the process, well, what an Adventure that will be!

Got you thinking? There’s a lot more where this came from. Sign up below to receive updates, leave a comment or share your thoughts. We would love to hear from you.