Reverb 13 | December 21 | Encounters

Encounters: What thing did you keep encountering this year over and over again?  Was it something you learned from or just a strange coincidence?

Friendlies, I have said it before and I will say it again: Finding a way to give up the control I think I need is freeing. Freeing for myself and freeing for those around me who would otherwise be caught in my web of “do it my way… or else.”

I think my battle song for 2013 has been: “It’s out of my control! And that’s okay! No, really. It’s okay!”

And in this new space I have encountered some wonderful things. Mostly, some wonderful adventures.

See, I have this husband who watches movies on Netflix about extreme things: extreme hiking, extreme biking, extreme skiing. And when the movie is over, I am often saying, “Wow. That’s pretty impressive that these guys/ladies can do this [insert extreme thing here]. Kind of made me nauseous watching, ya know?” And with a slightly crazed look in his eye, he will look at me and say, “We could DO THAT!!”

And it is in this or a similar manner that I found myself crying at the top of a local ski area, locked into planks of death skis, my heart in my throat and my life flashing before my eyes.

And how I found myself the owner of a touring bicycle and frame bags and making the earliest plans for a 2700 mile trip through the country in the summer of 2016. And because of this big trip, the idea of which was spawned by a $20 movie I bought Aaron for Christmas last year, it is how I found myself strapping my sleeping bag to my handlebars and biking 30+ miles for a camping trip west of the Twin Cities this summer.

bike car pass

And it was a rather benign internet search of “things to do in Kaua’i” that led me to activities like sitting on this or that tropical beach, drinking this or that tropical drink, and eating this or that tropical food. The same search led Aaron to “hiking the Kalalau Trail” and suddenly we were packing hiking backpacks, beef jerky, trekking poles, the tent, and some sleep sacs to tackle one of America’s Top 10 Most Dangerous Hikes.


My need to plan, control, and know what is going to happen next translates to a fear of things that are unpredictable. Which, when we get right down to it, is actually everything. That fear doesn’t go away once I let go of control. It makes home right in my chest, thumping on my heart and gently whispering to my brain, “This is terrifying, isn’t it? You didn’t have to do this to yourself, you know.”

I do know. I don’t have to do anything. Maybe all the hiking, biking, running, and so on will make my life shorter. But so far, it has made it incredibly full of the most fantastic encounters.

Let the adventures continue.


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