Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Ever been parched for adventure? I can't seem to get it off my mind, and the more I crave it, the more I think you want it just as bad as I do. That's right, you. And me. We want adventure. We want to feel alive, vibrant, like we're on top of the world! Bear in mind that our levels of adventure may be different.

Your heart might skip a beat when you buy 2% milk instead of skim. Or when you turn off tom-tom and just drive. Or when you pack up and move to a place where the face in the mirror is the only one you recognize. Or when you jump off a rock 90 feet above the sparkling blue water of the Mediterranean Sea.

Whatever it is, we crave adventure. It makes my heart burst. Adventure is the rush that comes with knowing that something about this moment is out of your control and you absolutely love it.

I received Francis Chan's book crazy love yesterday. The foreword says this, "God put me in Simi Valley, California, to lead a church of comfortable people into lives of risk and adventure. I believe He wants us to love others so much that we go to extremes to help them." I have a funny feeling that if I keep reading I will be challenged beyond my wits and, should I choose to change, every day will be a crazy adventure.

I'm confident that you and I crave this because God made us to want passionate, vivacious lives. If jumping out of planes can become routine, then why were we created with this bottomless pit? Jesus -- God -- left a heavenly throne to come to our floating sphere of dirt and water to save us from the worst imaginable fate... eternal separation from him. He's given us rather adventurous guidelines to follow if we want to be part of his work here. Reckless abandon is all he asks...

Here's the bit that gives me confidence to jump: "...we are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor , yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything." 2 Cor 6.8-10

Thursday, June 17, 2010


The first thing I want to do after a sedentary day at the office is to run. Today was going to be adventurous: I was going to explore an unknown, new-to-me route at Garden of the Gods. Crazy, I know. About ten yards in I discovered my legs felt more like a Clydesdale’s than my own. After 43 minutes of running and stopping and backtracking and cutting through hillsides of baby cacti and shrubs, I found the trail I needed and walked the last mile back to the Taurus. 
At the same moment I was blindfolded by a cobweb, I was asking myself a question. Why are certain character traits so much more revolting to me than others? Am I afraid that the one trait I despise most in other people is in fact true of me?  
Take self-centeredness and self-promotion, for example. I get sarcastic and roll my eyes when I see it. Is it because I am more self-centered than I’d like to be? I rarely update my facebook status. I often consider it one of the biggest "who cares?" on the internet. Last week I posted a link to my blog on my facebook page, at the suggestion of one of my friends. After he posted his blog on facebook and told me how many people had visited five minutes later, I put on my pretend look of shock and told him it was shameless self-promotion. And then I did it and felt queasy about it. I might do it again today. 
Here’s the catch: I think we all possess those traits we dislike in a style more pleasing to us. With self-centeredness, it’s not that I don’t want to be noticed; I do. We all do. But I prefer to be stumbled upon than force everyone within the sound of my voice to notice. Same with my blog: I’d rather it be found by accident and enjoyed as a pleasant surprise than to see that you visited because I told you it would be a pleasant surprise. See the difference? It’s not a surprise when I tell you it’s going to  be a surprise. I think the moral of this story just became my love for surprises. 
The End.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Blob

The 20-somethings of the world are establishing a trend. Instead of dating, they're blobbing. The older generation, happily married 25+ years, can't understand it. Grandparents certainly can't understand it. I don't even think 20-somethings understand it, but they surrender to it anyway.

The blob is a mass of people that intend to remain "just friends" until death do we part. Almost every one of those people, if cornered, would admit to wanting love and marriage {note: this does not make them desperate}. I call it 'the blob' because it follows you and sucks you in until you disappear inside it and make it just a bit bigger and more powerful than it was before.

It seems to me that most people want to be married but feel strange admitting it outright. Instead, we go in secret to the privacy of our computers and become one of 20 million people per month that try online dating in hopes of finding that special someone. After a date with Chainmail Guy and the dude in metallic spandex, Comb-over Man arrives wearing chinos and a tucked-in polo...only to reveal he's been in college for 12 years and lives with Mom. With no luck in love, we return to the blob so we can at the very least enjoy our weekends once more.


The blob is fun and easy. It requires very little of us, and everyone gets a half-hearted version of what they truly want. I guess that's worth it. Guys don't have to commit or risk rejection, and girls get companionship...sort of.

I promised myself I would not tell this story to anyone, but as it turns out, I've already told 342 people so I might as well make it available on the world wide web. It's a story about a gutsy guy who made me swoon in less than nine seconds. Why? Because he knew what he wanted and went and got it. That makes a woman out of a girl.

I had just finished working the registration table for an event we were holding in Washington DC. I was a bit frazzled and standing in between two of our Directors. Both men. This strapping young lad left the reception, walked right up to me and after looking at my nametag, asked if that was my real name. I was not in the mood for whatever this was. Of course it was my real name, and I told him so. Then he told me that he asked because he simply had to know my name. Call it cheesy, but how many of you fellas would actually have the guts to do it? Needless to say, my mood changed -- for the rest of the week. The following details are irrelevant to the topic, but whether or not I see him again, he will always remain an icon of sorts.

Now I know that men are capable of this. I'm quite certain I didn't dream that up. I was beginning to wonder if what everyone said was true: if I didn't give a guy googly eyes, bake him cookies twice a week and offer him my heart and soul on a silver platter, I'd be lucky to receive a nod in my general direction.

This post was not to draw any conclusions; it was simply to stir the pot. And to the dear friends in my own blob, I love each of you and can't wait to encourage every one of you to make your move.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Beastly Incline

Colorado summers are some of the most spectacular summers in the world and also happen to be a large part of why I continue to live in Colorado Springs. That said, I'm thrilled that summer finally decided to show up. With summer comes outdoor adventure, prolonged daylight, warmth and open windows. It means breaking up with the treadmill for a few months and taking to the trail. It also means hoisting oneself up the Incline.

I wrote about the Incline last January, so I'll spare some of the details this time around. I climbed it Monday for the first time this season, and to my bewilderment, the Incline has become a wildly popular activity. A crossfit group from Denver drove over an hour -- on a holiday -- just to do the Incline. I suppose I should be happy for this, because it means people are challenging themselves to the point of excruciating pain instead of lazying around the pool. Does the word 'masochist' come to mind?

I don't truly hate many things. I hate the Incline. To be fair, I only hate a small section that is between the halfway point and the top. It's that part where you've exhausted your legs and your lungs, and it's just as painful to stop and rest as it is to keep going. Didn't know that was possible. It's irritating because on either side of the railroad ties is thick forest, loose gravel and an impossibly steep slope. No pleasant rest stop with a Gatorade stand. You look up and see railroad ties, you look down and see railroad ties, and that's when you make the decision: you're either going to sit down right there until you die, or you're going to put one foot in front of the other and keep climbing because you know you can. And that's the fun part. The sick, sick, fun part.

After the last step, I turn around and look at what I've just climbed and can almost only see the bottom where the cars are. It's that steep. Then I look around for someone to kiss and celebrate with. No I don't. To get back down, you have two options: back down the Incline, or four miles down Barr Trail. I usually take Barr Trail. It is so exhilarating that I often think my heart will burst if I don't jump off the side of the mountain and sprout wings.

About halfway up when asking myself why we do this to ourselves, the lesson from this video came to mind. This motivational speaker is so motivational that you have to watch to the end to learn the lesson in whole. {warning: i was laughing out loud to myself the entire day following my first viewing}. Inspiration at its finest.

You Can Do Anything