I like to read about the adventures of intrepid endurance athletes. Long-distance hiking, multi-day ultrarunning, paddling, and cycling are among their activities. Some adventures are in pretty remote and exotic places. For the most part the authors seem to be enjoying themselves, although they definitely go through some rough patches, so I find it inspirational. But I’ve always wondered if a tamer version could be done locally. There is the concept of a “staycation” where you take time off and relax and enjoy the activities near home instead of traveling somewhere. So I wondered about “stayventuring”, or bagging a lot of local adventures as day trips while sleeping in my own bed instead of wild camping or trying to sleep in an ocean-going rowing boat.
Another way to look at it is when I plan my endurance exercise. It seems excessive to plan more than a couple of hours a day for multiple days in a row. I know triathletes, cyclists, and ultrarunners in training do it. But it seems a bit much if you’re not pointing at some competitive event. But people who hike long-distances, such as through-hikers on major trails, hike all day. Day after day. People who ride their bikes across the US bike all day for many days. And there are guided cycling tours you can go on where you cycle for hours a day. I wondered why I couldn’t do this locally, “stayventuring” for hours a day for a few weeks. But I never got around to actually doing it.
That changed recently when I found out on may 21 that I needed rotator cuff surgery. I was scheduled for June 14th, which was just over 3 weeks out. I had just gone through a period of rehab after breaking my collarbone where I couldn’t exercise as much as I’d like and had gained some weight, which for a few weeks I’d been bouncing back from. I knew I’d be exercise-limited again while rehabbing the shoulder. I thought, “it would be great to get in as good shape as I can in the time remaining before the surgery”. What if I tried my stayventuring idea out, doing some kind of local adventure each day for 3 hours or so? Also, I knew I might be typing-challenged with my arm in a sling during rehab, which would put a dent in my blogging. It would be nice to have a backlog of trip reports I could put out as blog posts during that period. So for the last couple of weeks, and this final week leading into the surgery, I’ve been doing day trips to local adventures. For the first couple of weeks it was exclusively biking because I was nursing a strained achilles tendon, but I’ve started throwing some hiking in too (actually combination bike-hiking) this past few days. It helps that my hybrid bike has electric assist which lets me cover a lot of ground. But some of the adventures have also been local rides on my new bike, without assist. Two of my recent posts “Nice Ride With New Bike- Big Wheels!” and “A Nice 3 Hour Ride to The Southwest” were the first of my stayventures. I’ll be reporting on the others starting next week.
I can say now that overall I’ve enjoyed the process a lot. I’m getting in great shape, I’ve revisited some of my favorite haunts and discovered new ones. And this fits a lot better into a relationship than me going off somewhere for weeks on an adventure. My wife is less interested in participating in activities of this level, instead she enjoys walks closer to home. I can still fit those in also, because my stayventures are all in the morning. She does her own thing while I’m out gallivanting, then we have a nice lunch together and spend the rest of the day together.
My 3 weeks of stayventuring have ended and it’s on to a few weeks of a tamer lifestyle, rehabbing the shoulder after my surgery Friday.