An Easy Way to Push Past Your Comfort Zone

My life, pre and post disability, has not been short on adventuring. I like testing my limits, being outside and trying to get from point A to B under my own power. And even though the word may conjure thoughts of large expeditions and far off lands, adventure, at its essence, is far simpler than that.

In his best-selling book, Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes, the British author and adventurer Alastair Humphreys describes adventure as, “A state of mind, a spirit of trying something new and leaving your comfort zone. Adventure is stretching yourself mentally, physically or culturally. It is about doing something you do not normally do, pushing yourself hard and doing it to the best of your ability. You do not need to be an elite athlete, expertly trained, or rich to have an adventure.”

Humphreys developed the idea of microadventures, for which he was recognized as National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2012, as a way to break down the barriers — whether monetary, time, fitness or experience — to adventure. He spent a year in his home country only doing adventures that left from his front door and could be completed in, at most, a long weekend.

The concept is especially appealing for the disability community because it shows that adventure is relative — your level of function, personal finances and how much free time you have don’t really matter. What matters is that you break out of your normal routine, whatever your “normal” is, push yourself a little, and find a little fun and maybe even some extra confidence in the process.


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