Monday, March 26, 2012

Experiential

As mentioned here at some point over the last few weeks, this past weekend was the 2012 Rocky Mountain Regional Conference for the Association of Experiential Education. I had a great time in Durango attending and presenting workshops in regards to adventure education, outdoor education and experiential education. I even held a workshop on Ultra-Marathon Running and how it took can be used as an expeditionary tool to engage participants in transformational experiences leading to social change.

I just wanted to take a moment to outline my big take aways from this weekends conference. It's important to understand, I suppose, why I even went. Most folks who read this blog know that I work in Boulder, CO as a Professional Adventure Guide. My job is far more encompassing then that. I am also the Operations Director for this adventure travel company and work as a lead facilitator for Corporate Adventure Training experiences. Much of what I do on a daily basis, is work towards a better and more socially just society.


Be An Ambassador Of Hope
This was part of the message during Dr. Dan Garvey's Keynote speech on Friday Night. "Be ambassadors of hope." Just think of the incredible power in that sentence. As our world continues to change and as we begin to discover the many things in our society that are broken (capitalism, politics, economics, healthcare, etc.) WE must be ambassadors of hope in order to motivate and inspire the countless many we'll need to engage with us in our next social renaissance. This is heavy shit, I know, but hey.. it's important and it's going to happen. As Dr. Garvey told us, at various points in the history of man - any time the going has gotten tough, or that things have been discovered as broken, derelict or defunct.. a social renaissance has taken place.

For years, this blog has been all about hope. I look to my many readers who are runners, hikers or just adventurers in general and I say the same to you; "Be ambassadors of hope." Now is a great time for you to share the trails, to write about your adventures as a way to inspire.. and do both of these tasks as a way to promote hope. Hope in our abilities as beings, hope in our abilities to transfer what is learned on the trail to our every day lives and to create a more positive environment for us in which to live and learn.

It's Really All About...
While giving my workshop on Ultra-Running and Experiential Expeditions, one woman in the audience whom is a non-runner came out with an amazing quote. She said, "Because it's really all about just getting to the core of what makes us who we are." To have played a role in teasing this thought out of another human being is humbling enough.. but then to think about it in context and what it truly means. She hit the nail on the head. It's why we summit mountains, and run crazy long distances, or seek out that next great adventure, and push ourselves to the limits... we don't discover this when sitting behind a desk at work, or pushing papers... we truly do discover who we are, down to our bones, when we are pushing ourselves and breathing the air. Incredibly profound.

"If We Don't Think.. Do We Learn?"
I came up with this quote while on a run in Durango. People ask me all the time what I think about running vast differences. Honestly, sometimes the answer is nothing. So I ask the question, "If we don't think.. Do We Learn?" I hope as the reader of this post.. you can take some time to really think about the question on a deep level.. and decide for yourself. Hell.. post your conclusion below, I'd love to hear it. My honest opinion is that we can indeed learn without thought.. we learn through simple actions of intuition. Cause and effect.. without reflection.. man.. I could go on for hours arguing the point with myself even.

Human Potential is Alive and Well
It is amazing to go to these conferences and see how willing people are to learn. How willing people are to challenge their own beliefs. How willing people are to step beyond their comfort zone. I LOVE IT. People are so willing to open their minds, their hearts and inspire their fires to be more then they think they are and do more then they think they can. This is the essence of Human Potential. I am more invigorated now then ever to spread the word of what is possible in us all. To share through experience and inspirational stories. HP is alive and well.. in us all.. lets push each other to tap into it!