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Adventure! - Gear West

Summer is fading away and stuff in general is just as weird (if that is the correct, catch-all phrase to politely cover all that has happened and is still happening in this United States). Facts: GW has just received its first shipment of affordable bikes to sell since July / masks are still mandatory / Bussing, its restrictions and associated costs may determine the fate of organized youth and high school skiing this winter / lets don’t even discuss what is still happening in Chicago, Mpls, Kenosha, New York City etc… / an expensive bike is stolen from my bike store because we were too trusting / how will my restaurants and fitness owner friends make money once the weather changes? / and much more!

Years are zooming by! No matter how many fish oil tablets I take, I am still 61 and must make more life adjustments to experience adventure! Who doesn’t know friends (or ourselves) who were dealt a difficult hand within past years? Who does not pause to absorb the statement “All you can control in life is how you respond to life?” I constantly want to get better, do better, try better, and appreciate better, even though we all have restrictions, real and imagined. I recently purchased a book recommended by a long-time triathlete-related girlfriend titled “Atomic Habits”(James Clear). For some reason, the explanation and suggestions by this author super motivate me to re-attempt to design and commit to specific systems, even tiny ones, that will direct me to the goal of more adventures in my 60’s.

Daily, I look for and try to feel motivation. During my weekly Lake Minnetonka swims (old ironman training habits), I take a half-way break on the muddy shores of the little turnaround island to think for a minute or so and give blessings. Appreciation that I can still complete this 2.2 mile out and back swim fills my mind. I reflect on the fun times had with triathlete friends on this summer swim. This year, by myself since Ironman races were cancelled, I search for mental take-aways before plopping back into the weedy water. On one swim stop my head demanded, “Don’t text and drive! Stop it! Stop it! Listen to me!”. The previous week my head suggested, “Be more delightful!”. Probably because I was super grumpy and short to my husband the previous evening. HE should be the frustrated one, since his ‘bad hand’ dealt last year was losing ¾ of his eyesight to an undetected tumor. Even if I must work more because of it, HE is the one who suffers the ultimate consequences and I was not the supportive person I could and should be.

Anyway, I am sharing life experiences because I assume, we all have them. The folks I spend time with are, like me, always looking to ‘become more’ even if it is just to reduce cookie intake.

In my quest to find time to hike more, stand under the full moon longer, learn Outlook better, reduce carb intake and teach my poodle one impressive trick, I discovered the Mongol Derby, a 1000 mile horse race/ event across Mongolia.


After watching the video, the move “All the Wild Horses” found on Amazon, and reading the book, a desire to experience an event like this has taken hold of my heart. The physical need to wind up my life, loping horses over a Mongolian steppe relates to the way I began my athletic activities, cantering my Pony Club horse thru forest preserves in grade and high school. Participation would take two years of planning, and big changes. I would have to find friends’ horses to ride and put triathlons to rest (after 35 years). The race is expensive and a tiny bit dangerous too, so maybe it is a stupid romantic late-life crisis. But my business head is spinning. Baby boomers are a big market I am told. Would a vitamin company discover sales possibilities in sponsoring a grand-master athlete? “A 1000 horseback mile ride across Mongolia may not be in your future, but take just two fish oil pills a day and imagine goals you CAN reach? “.

Dreams. Which could become reality if we plan and want them bad enough. Possibilities are still, sort of, endless, but we can’t wait too long at an advanced age. Maybe a Mongolia experience is a too selfish, but from a lofty goal, I can mold something still audacious but more manageable. Either way my head is creatively thinking.

Stuff is thrown at us, and it sure takes a lot of effort to clear a path to reach life goals, but there is hidden beauty and excitement in the effort.

- Jan Guenther

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