Getting started: original

Hi, so you’ve decided to have an adventure and you don’t know where to start. Well you have come to the right place. Adventures are the best, easiest and funnest way to live your life and they are my way of getting a ton done, having a lot of fun and growing as a person at the same time.

Adventures themselves are just lots of smaller mini adventures rolled into one bigger adventure. We will begin with something small, a mini adventure to get you started and get you acquainted with the reasoning behind living your life as an adventure.

What’s a mini adventure?

An adventure is when you try something just to see if it is something you like.
So a mini adventure is when you try something small and easy to do just to see if it is something you like.

You go on a mini adventure any time because they are so small and easy and there is always a mini adventure you can do wherever you are.

Some of the mini adventures I have done were as simple as

  • trying home roasted or fried onions with fast food like Macdonalds,
  • fruit pie for breakfast,
  • fruit with chocolate
  • Paying attention to the world as it passes by. Observing the clouds in the sky the flowers on the ground and the birds in the trees
  • taking a different route to school or work
  • taking a break at work and exploring the local area a little.

It’s amazing what cool stuff is within easy reach and how many great experiences come out of an adventure.

The following introduction takes about 15 minutes to listen to or read so I want you to start by finding a window in your day where you can focus for that long. Use the time as an opportunity to explore some me time whether you:

What is around you?

Explore your environment. You probably don’t think there is much around that is worth an adventure. I didn’t know myself for years but when I started exploring I was amazed by what I found and I still keep finding new things.

  • pop out at lunch and find somewhere nice to sit,
  • or listen while having a wander,
  • get some shopping done or run some errands
  • or even just stay at your desk while there is a break in the day

What can you eat?

Explore food and drink, you don’t even have to get off your butt to explore because food and drink is this bit of fun that’s waiting to happen 3 times a day or more if you are like me😀:

  • I combine fruit with cakes and chocolate all the time
  • try something you wouldn’t normally order
  • go somewhere different for your meal
  • take your meal somewhere and experience it differently
  • make a unique combination with leftovers

What helps you recover your balance?

Explore connecting with yourself and learning what brings peace to your mind, body and emotions.

  • I listen to podcasts, audio books and music
  • I listen to the background noises to hear the birds, bees and other wildlife that I forget are there
  • I practice letting go of thoughts and letting them wash over me as a 30 second meditation to train my mind to let go
  • If you’re stuck at your desk then do some admin where you don’t need to think so you have time to listen

Whatever you do enjoy the experience of focusing on yourself and go where the mood takes you. I can guarantee this won’t be your average life coaching session 🙂

There is so much I have found just by taking a different route and following my nose. At some point you get a surprise where the adventure just turns beautiful, the sun is at the right angle, the wind is just right and a gorgeous smell just hits you and that moment is what makes you smile for the day or even the month. Whatever it is you’re glad you tried something different because you’ve found a new happy place to add to your collection.

To give you some inspiration here is a brief list of what I have found through my adventures:

  • A windmill built in the 1800s 5 minutes away
  • A medieval abbey about 20 mins away
  • Remains of the fishing lake for the monks of the abbey just 5 mins across from the windmill
  • A railway walk where a train called newport nobby used to run from Wolverton coach works to Newport Pagnell that’s just 10 minutes walk
  • I found Stanton low which has the ruins of a church and is such a tranquil and unspoilt bit of countryside only 20 mins away
  • There’s also a ton of fruit trees where we pick fruit for free and enjoy later in the year.
  • Fruit makes chocolate nicer, I know, I missed out on that for years and it’s so simple
  • Fruit pie is better than cereal to start the day but getting my 5 a day is much easier
  • I pre roast vegetables like peppers and onions and bring them to work to upgrade packet soups

How can adventures make me healthier?

For years now I have been enjoying the benefits of going on daily adventures and slowly figuring out how to help others do the same. This is my attempt to explain why they are so good for you.

Recover your balance

Now we step back and look at why adventures are the most natural, easiest and fun way to get your health on track.

This site is all about living a natural life in a modern world learning from our ancestors while we enjoy the play and ease of modern life. This introduction explains why everything becomes so simple once you connect with your nature and go on adventures.

To start with health is all about balance which means not too much or too little of anything. Therefore good health needs a balanced life which means a balanced diet and balanced movement.

So in order to find your balance for the rest of your life you must first start by finding your balance for a second, then a minute, then an hour and so on until you can find balance any where any time for life.

But what is balance? it’s just that state when your body, mind and emotions are in a happy place and you’re comfortable. You should be able to get there by listening to the messages from inside you, your instincts, your nature, but humans are unlike other animals because we don’t listen to our nature. We used to but we don’t any more. Which is why we can’t find a natural balance in our lovely modern world, because we have lost touch with our nature.

Quite literally when our body needs a nutrient or needs rest for example we don’t give it the right nutrients and we often bypass sleep and trick our body to stay awake. Numerous studies have shown that animals will fix the problem naturally, think of elephants that eat clay to get the mineral they need because they listen to their body. So to fully enjoy our modern world we really just need to regain our ability to recover our balance by connecting with our nature and the nature that surrounds us.

Adventures are my way of exploring the nature that is in everything from the hunting and gathering we do right in our homes and neighbourhoods, to discovering the birds and bees and other wildlife that live in our cities and to the lost wildernesses that lie beyond because they are all connected. One days hunting and gathering around your neighbourhood, stocking your shelves and building your nest prepares you for the great modern migrations across the country and overseas on days out and epic holidays.

Get back to nature.

Cave people and hunter gatherers of old did not have gyms and diets did they, instead they chased, they climbed, they played and they explored. Think of any nature programme and the animals you see just go about their day don’t they. They run, jump, climb, sit around, chill out and there’s no big fuss but they’re much healthier than we are.

Then watch a programme about native people from any era and they do the same. They build their homes like animals build dens and nests, they look after each other and play and explore their local area looking for stuff to build with, and stuff to eat.

Thats all they do and guess what, they get better at what they do regularly don’t they because they gain their strength by following their nature.

Adapt your modern ways

Now I’m not going to tell you to make like Fred Flintstone and go find a cave and live in it while building campfires. No, that’s for your holidays when you go exploring :-).

Instead I want you to see that humans and their basic needs haven’t changed and never will, its only our environment that’s changed. So all you actually have to do is adapt the modern life you live to suit your human needs instead of ignoring your human needs to live a modern life. It’s not hard because the modern world is built by humans for humans so it just takes a little effort and a sense of adventure.

It’s not what we have but how we use it

So If you use your imagination you can see cities as being like mountains and shopping malls and the like as being like forests or meadows full of things to eat and use. Then you will start to see how we use these spaces to get what we need to build our dens or caves, furnish them, attract a mate, feed and clothe your children. The modern way of life is much like the ancient way just in slightly different environments.

The differences between the ancient and the modern way are the problem because we have lost our ability to adapt to situations, physically, mentally and emotionally which is what life in nature teaches.

It’s not what you do it’s the way you do it

So I still build my nest and decorate it, I hunt and gather at home finding toys under the sofa, cleaning out the attic, playing hide and seek or exploring my local area but I do it more naturally so that I develop the ability to be comfortable in any environment not just the man made ones.

It should be easy

It is this simplicity that makes what I do seem too easy because if you observe nature the healthiest animals make it look easy they don’t strive to make life hard. They train through play and do what they love using pain and bad tastes as a guide for things to avoid not things to chase.

The best hunters in tribes have always been elder hunters and their hunts can last for days. They are not big intense affairs, but long periods of watching, thinking and tracking with only very brief periods of intense activity because that is all that is needed. The same is true in animals, the hunts have a lot of low level preparation with only a relatively brief amount of intense work. Which is why we should also focus on the low level, low effort work that we can do throughout the day because it prepares us for the intense activity.

Its not what you look like that matters its what you can do

You can’t tell the best hunter or gatherer by the way they look so what I look like is not as important to me as what I am able to do because life is to be lived. So I see the world around me as a bunch of opportunities for fun and I spend my days playing.

Take this example:
I can go out for a lazy walk, have a bit of food in the field I pass, find some insects in the undergrowth with my little one, make a den then wander home for tea with him on my shoulder?

That’s a nice fun day isn’t it and it’s what humans have done for ever but can you do that now at the drop of a hat? Most people can’t any more for a whole number of reasons but since we all know that our ancestors could then it can’t be genetics that is the reason most of us can’t, it must be the way we are living and the result of what we do on a daily basis.

The day I describe is an adventure because it’s a big thing taking hours and going far and it’s pretty tiring having all that fun 🙂 so this is the goal and something we do when the time is right. We don’t need to do it every day instead we build to it in everything we do. So that our lives prepare us for the fun just like our ancestors lives did.

Explaining exactly what you need to do is more complicated than it sounds so it’s actually much easier to tell you to learn from your kids because it’s pretty obvious that they are closer to nature than you are. As a parent I just spend my time watching my little ones perfect posture, effortless way of moving and natural way of eating. He is far more in tune with his instincts than I am so as I teach him how to live in the modern world he teaches me how to get back in touch with my nature.

This means sitting like a toddler sits, on the floor. It took time (months) for me to really get used to it but through an adventure in Bath I learnt that the Romans never used furniture which reminded me that tables and chairs are relatively modern inventions. Most cultures didn’t like them because they ruin your health. Funny that 🙂

We still have chairs and I use one at work I am just no longer chained to it. If I am having a picnic I can just sit and I am happy because that is what I have trained for. My muscles and tendons have adjusted and can easily take the challenge, even after walking a long way to get me there.

When I stand up I stand up like a toddler because they are so effortless and squat with ease without complicating the process through laziness. I’m being vague describing exactly how to stand and move because teaching some one to stand, squat or walk properly is far more complicated than it sounds so I’m saving that for later and in truth it’s just easier watching your kids do it because they really are the best example you will ever find. That’s really the first adventure you should ever do, just play with your kids in their play space. On the floor at home is what I do because this is what most cultures do. They just sit around playing and watching others play and sharing tales.

The reason it matters so much what you can do and how well you do it is because if you are not living and moving comfortably you are probably not prepared for the life you are living.

If you never squat then you won’t be able to squat because you will have lost the ability. Babies and toddlers can squat but we unlearn squatting as we learn our modern ways because chairs support us more.

The problem is that your body doesn’t bother to support features that you don’t use so if you no longer need the flexibility to squat fully then your body doesn’t bother to maintain it so when you actually need to squat or when that’s the most efficient posture to be in you can’t do it any more and have to make do with a worse posture. That means your back, legs and other parts of you straining to form a less efficient posture.

Any time you are straining you are likely to push too far and tire out. Tiredness means fatigue and fatigue is when things stop working properly and break.

That’s pretty much describes the result of the differences between natural movement and modern movement. We aren’t capable of doing things we used to do easily which leads to unnecessary fatigue and injuries.

The answer is to move more fully by using our modern environment differently to remind our bodies how to move more fully

Don’t rush it, take your time

We don’t do this quickly we do it slowly over time. Go back to watching your kids and think how long it took them to grow into sitting and walking and talking. It took months didn’t it sometimes years because all the tiny imperceptible changes add up.

As you go on more adventures you will start to find things you wish you could do where your current limits are stopping you.

You can then start thinking about which adventures will help you change your limits and upgrade your body so you can do the things you wanted to do.

That is the beauty of how one adventure leads to another.

Funnily enough adapting to your needs is exactly what your body does but since we are much weaker and less adapted than we used to be when we go out and have our adventures We haven’t upgraded our body enough to handle the demands, so no wonder we find it so hard and get so sore afterwards.

Training is about upgrading our body and the upgrades we need go beyond just lifting a weight up and putting it down. We need timing and coordination while navigating terrain and working with others which we can find in play, sport or adventures.

Supply and demand

The modern problem is largely a problem of supply and demand because we have an excellent supply of food and energy but much less demand for that energy because we move so little. This situation has never happened before for such a large number of people because previously only the rich could afford enough food without moving to get it.

There are so many ways that supply and demand affect the human body so it is easiest to understand one of these first and learn the rest later.

One of the most important problems of supply and demand is the supply of energy and demand for it. Which will probably make you think of weight loss and the calories versus calories out model. That’s an extremely simplified version of events and the truth of how metabolism works is much more complicated. Just like it is for you at work or in the kitchen when you spend hours to produce something but pass it off as just a report or just a dinner party.

Metabolism is an incredibly complicated process that involves all sorts of cycles often combining two molecules to create another while releasing an electron that the body can use and that’s just what happens inside a cell when it wants to use some energy. There are also complicated processes for getting the energy in and out of a cell before the fat, carb or protein can be metabolised into energy the cell can use.

The challenge is that the calories in and calories out model only works if the calories make it to the power plants inside each cell called mitochondria and when they don’t it means something isn’t working properly.

Fitness is really just a measure of how well our body is working so when energy like fats, carbs and protein can’t be metabolised properly your fitness and health will be affected.

What this means inside your body is that there is lots of energy floating around but it is not locked up safely in cells where it should be instead it is causing havoc.

Diabetes: Where sugar rots you
I’m going to focus on Diabetes because it’s the most prevalent and dangerous of the modern preventable diseases and children are now leaving primary school with type 2 Diabetes. I feel if people knew how simple it is to fix then everyone would do it so this is my attempt at getting the word out.

When it is sugar that cannot get in and out of your cells properly then you have diabetes. Dentists teach us that sugar rots tooth enamel, the strongest part of your body so can you imagine the damage it does to the softer parts inside you? !!!

I know, scary isn’t it it but fear not because the answer lies in understanding the role movement plays in getting sugar where it is supposed to be so it does no harm.

Movement creates demand for energy and it is that demand which changes the way two thirds of your body (that’s approx 13 trillion cells) respond to insulin and either take up sugar or release it.

Nothing gets inside a cell without help except water, so sugar cannot get in or out of a cell unless a transporter of the type GLUT 4 is available to chaperone it. GLUT 4 is the only glucose transporter (GLUT) protein that responds to insulin and when you are unfit you don’t have many of these transporters on each cell and they don’t respond very quickly so when you eat a meal it takes a long time for the sugar and other resources to be put away safely.

When you move more and create demand for energy to be used the cells in your body create more GLUT 4 transporters to handle the increased demand. This allows sugar to be locked away safely and used when necessary which also allows fat to be used because fat can only be burned within a carbohydrate flame.

So movement solves the supply and demand problem of getting sugar into a cell so that it can not rot your body and it enables your body to burn more fat restoring the balance to your metabolism and allowing the calories in and calories out model to work.

Tackling modern diseases

The beauty of adventures is that they force your body to take care of its self by creating a need to fix damage from your exertions which reminds your body how to recover its balance. A good recovery response plays a critical part in combatting many of the modern lifestyle diseases because each disease is caused by your body not recovering properly. This is where the supply and demand concept really starts to make sense because it’s great to supply your body with great nutrients but you need to ensure those nutrients are put to good use not bad and movement is the most effective way of doing that.