What did you learn today?

One night I came across the beauty of adventure.

Whilst scrolling down the recent posts on my facebook I came upon 2 lads (namely Cas and Jonesy) who have just walked from the edge of Antartica to the South Pole and back (2200km+), Peter Muller who at 69 years of age has just completed an ultra marathon in the Yukon in Canada where it is -39 degrees, Ebony Newman who is riding her horses from Cowell to Cummins, and Jeff Johnson who is walking East/West across Australia. All four are raising money for various charities and all four show the beauty of adventure.

While sitting in the dark scrolling through the links attached to these people, I decided to 1. get up and turn a light on so I could see what I was doing, and 2. start to write. Very rarely do I get the urge to write, but after stumbling around the coffee table to turn the light on, I picked up my computer and starting writing this.

What if people who climbed mountains, trekked through harsh landscapes, jumped out of planes, swam incredible distances or rode their bikes around the world weren’t actually eccentric or crazy, or whatever other describing word people use: What if they were just normal people who loved seeing new parts of the world and testing the limits of their body. I often wonder who they compare adventurers to in order to classify them as adventurers, when does a hiker, or biker, or paddler become an adventurer?

While I was reading about the walk undertaken by Cas and Jonesy I found myself with butterflies in my stomach as I realised that these 2 guys are creating a new generation of adventurers. After seeing pictures of kids waiting for them at the airport holding signs of “welcome home”, it dawned on me that they are an inspiration to so many people, and for me anyway, they make me extremely proud of what a couple of Aussies can achieve.

I am often caught saying that people who climb Mt. Everest or those who partake in cross-continent marathons are an altogether different breed, but after seeing what the ordinary person can do in the face of adversity I am starting to change that opinion. Yes I do believe that they have another level of mental toughness, and a pain threshold much greater then most, but in the end aren’t they just ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Are they not just people who woke up one day with an idea and had the opportunity, passion and drive to make it happen?

Shouldn’t we all strive to achieve something new each day, and in doing so make the imprint we leave on the world an extraordinary one. We don’t all have to climb Mt. Everest or run until our feet fall off, sometimes a simple hello can change someone’s day, and when we look at all the amazing feats that the human body and mind can achieve, we must not forget about the everyday heroes who make the world a nicer place to live just by being in it as well. The mums and dads who teach and nurture their children into becoming caring adults, the friends who make us laugh when we want to cry, the people who give their lives to save others and the ones who with a simple phone call can make someone smile. These people along with those who push their body to its physical limits, all play their part in creating extraordinary things everyday.

I am a big believer that everything extraordinary in this world comes from learning new things. Whether that be learning how to paint the colours of the sky, learning how to paddle a kayak, learning how to accept people for who they are, or just learning how to take in the beautiful things in the world. In the past few weeks I have learnt a couple new things including how to reseal a leaking tap, how to grow plant cuttings, the recipe for a delicious marinade and how to use a trencher on the dingo. Although I’m not sure if anything extraordinary will ever come of learning these things, they were quite interesting to learn none the less. Somewhere between unscrewing taps and realising I had run out of washers, I got to thinking about how many new things we learn each day. The more I think about it, the more I realise that there are so many times in a day when I learn something new, and so many times when we create the possibility of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

So what did you learn today?

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