The Pictures Look Intimidating
I can’t tell you how many times people have commented on my pictures and said things like “I’d never ride with you, I couldn’t keep up.” Time for a truth bomb, whether it’s snowboarding or mountain biking I’m not that fast, or that strong (look closely at this picture to see how hard I’m concentrating).
The pictures look intimidating, but I can assure you I’m not. When I hit the hills with my friends I’m normally near the end of the pack in terms of speed and skills… however, that motivates me to keep pushing myself and trying harder!
I regularly go solo on adventures, and by solo I mean myself and the kids alone. From cross province road trips, to weekend escapes, to teaching them how to mountain bike, a lot of the time when my hubby is at work we’re off on an adventure. I regularly get applauded for my “courage” to take on such tasks… and while they aren’t easy, they are always worth it!
I Get Scared
From driving conditions, to freak storms, to losing a child, to someone breaking in to my car, or tent, or losing the keys, when I’m travelling solo my anxiety kicks up and I get scared.
Depending on the adventure level and what we’re tackling depends on how nervous I am, but I try to always do three things.
- Be Prepared – If we’re out hiking, does someone know where we are and when we are expected back? Do I have my essential ten items? If something goes wrong, do my kids know what they should do?
- Make Joint Parenting Decisions – I try to make decisions with my husband as much as possible, even when we’re travelling solo. This helps me ensure we’re on the same page and talk through the pros and cons.
- What is the Cost of Not Partaking in this Camp, Adventure, or Activity? Life is way too short and I believe that we have to live every moment to the fullest. So if we say no to that trip, that adventure or that new thing, there’s a cost. A lost opportunity is a day not lived to the fullest!
Why Are You Such a Risk Taker?
Too many people think I’m a risk taker and I really couldn’t be further from it. I like adventure, but I don’t like danger, and would never put my kids in a dangerous situation. So while family friendly river rafting could be perceived as being dangerous, statistically speaking, the most dangerous thing is actually the car ride to the adventure!
What Are You Teaching Them?
Being able to go on adventures teaches my kids a plethora of life lessons…
- Being Prepared – When you’re travelling with kids they have to be more self sufficient and prepared. From taking care of their own items, to planning bathroom breaks, to deciding what to wear, these are life skills that will become part of their life skill sets.
- Evaluating Risks – Whether it’s jumping off a cliff into a waterfall, going zip lining, or trying a new skill in mountain biking, being able to evaluate risks and decide which ones are worth pursuing is an essential life skill. The ability to say, “This is scary but I’m going to try it anyways” transfers to relationships, to education, to asking for the promotion, to starting your own company.
- Going Outside Your Comfort Zone – I push my kids regularly to try new things and get outside their comfort zone… which is not an easy life skill. However, life is filled with moments where you have to get uncomfortable to make decisions. If they see a friend being bullied, or are in a relationship that they need to get out of, it’s those uncomfortable conversations that will help them. So learning how to be comfortable being uncomfortable is something I put a lot of value on.
- Time is Valuable – The time we spend together going on adventures is priceless. From board games at the campsite, to long conversations during a hike, I know that my kids will only be little for so long and this time that we have together needs to be capitalized and spent as wisely as possible.
The Biggest Surprise – My “Get Over Yourself” Moment…
One of the most humbling “get over yourself” moments of my adventure career was when I took my kids on our first solo road trip to Waterton Lakes. Proud of the 4 day journey, I had arrived at the park and was proud to be camping with my kids and setting an example of how other moms could take their kids outdoors. But guess what, I was the last one to the party!
When I arrived, on either side of my campsite, I had single moms who were off for the week with their kids! There were at least four campsites worth of moms on their own with their children! There I was thinking I had invented the idea and was quickly slapped into reality that hey, what I was doing really wasn’t so heroic, and what the heck took me so long to get out here!
Would You be Willing to Plan a Solo Adventure With Your Kids?
This is one of my favorite pictures of our recent adventures. One where they took the lead and we went touring around the inner harbour in Deep Cove, North Vancouver. I simply got to sit and enjoy their spirit of adventure and willingness to head on out and explore.
I challenge you to plan at least ONE solo adventure with your kids this summer! It may not be easy at first but I can guarantee one thing, it’ll be worth it!