Posted by: Joe Nuss on Feb 16, 2012
By Will Kelsay
The cushy seat of the shuttle bus, the chattering voices of passengers all around, an ear-to-ear grin from the elated feeling of infinite possibilities – a moment on Jan. 14, 2007, is saved in crystal-clear mental HD as the precise moment that I decided to stop putting my dreams on hold and to start living a life of mind-blowing adventures. I had just worked out a plan to take a summer-long trek around the U.S. racing XTERRAs. For years I had dreamed of traveling all over the country, but life (my excuses and fears) always got in the way. In that moment, I decided that those excuses and fears would no longer hold me back. Four months later, I locked the door to my apartment, climbed into the driver’s seat, and fired up my ’79 Chevy Eldorado motor home to begin what would be known as “Will’s XTERRA Adventure.”
Adventures – big ones or small ones, planned ones or unexpected ones – if there is a chance to experience the unknown, you’ll find me there. By wholeheartedly embracing XTERRA’s motto of “Live More,” I have gained the ability to do just that. In hindsight, I ask myself why I had not been doing this all along. The answer: the same thing that keeps most of us from achieving our dreams – excuses.
Excuses hold us back and keep us from achieving what we desire most. Excuses are aplenty when trying something new, scary, unknown, or when potential failure is at hand. But, my experience is proof, you can cast away those excuses and you will find a way to make your dreams possible. Though we often forget, we must remind ourselves, it’s worth the risk. No one desires to live a life of regret due to fear or apathy. And so my message to you is: Make a change, and make it now.
Each time one of these fanatical adventures is concocted, I take a step back to analyze it from a variety of angles. I ask myself, is this really what I want to do? Can I accept the consequences of the choices I would have to make to get there, and would I regret not doing it? Finally, I look at how to make it all possible. In 2011, I accomplished my dream of crossing all 24 time zones in the Triple 6 Adventure (six races in six weeks in six countries). You can take this same approach to make your dream adventures a reality.
In 2012, I am taking a month-long trip to the South Pacific racing XTERRA Guam, XTERRA Philippines, XTERRA Saipan, and the Tagaman Triathlon. Picture spending four weeks swimming in crystal-clear lagoons around the remnants of a World War II tank, tearing through lush tropical jungles on wicked singletrack, and sliding down a waterfall on the way to the finish line. Does that sound appealing to you? If so, you should join me! Think you can’t? Think again. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to “live more.”
3 Steps to Make Your Adventure a Reality
Follow these steps to make your next adventurous idea a reality:
1. Prioritize. Ask yourself what the necessities are in your life. What can you sacrifice? What is unalterable? How important is that dream to you?
2. Be creative. If one of the priorities you listed is limiting your desired situation, be resourceful and devise a way around that roadblock. Take a step back; look at the positives, the negatives, and all the potential outcomes and scenarios of that adventure. Really turn them inside out, upside down and backward. Approaching a situation from a single standpoint will leave you with limited options for success and increase the possibility of failure.
3. Formulate a plan. Start writing things down. Having a timeline and direction for pivotal components will allow the endeavor to become reality. With realistic steps in place the impossible begins to seem possible.
Following these steps made “Will’s XTERRA Adventure” a reality. First I made traveling and racing my top priorities, but that led me to a major roadblock – insufficient finances. Step two is where I found the solution. I stopped thinking about my goal from the aspect of “I want this because it’s fun” and began looking at it from the aspect of “How could I use my talents to enable my goal?” That led me to the plan of paying for my trip by promoting sponsors via clinics, talks and media. By applying these three steps, I took a seemingly overwhelming obstacle and found a creative way around it.
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Will Kelsay is a 30-year-old professional off-road triathlete from Boulder, Colo., with an everlasting smile and a thirst for adventure. Keep up with his exploits at @WillKelsay and www.WillKelsay.com.