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Ordinary Sherpa: Family Adventure Coaching and Design

Dec 29, 2021

I heard an interview the other day with English writer Katherine May which introduced me to the term Wintering.  

I drew this quote from the Book Reads description of her book  Wintering The power if rest and retreat. 

“Ultimately Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear”

I’d like to share a recent wintering adventure story. …1:30 AM on our way to the airport. We have 9 bags of gear and ski equipment for the 5 of us. The 3 kids are bordering between comatose from little sleep and hyperactive about our upcoming ski trip and we end up in the ditch. It’s silent. You can cut the tension. My husband immediately tries maneuvering out and potentially a few expletives leave his mouth as he runs back to the garage to get a chain and his truck. The immediate feeling is defeat. This might be one of the lessons of wintering. When forecast is actually right and 9” of snow show up at precisely the wrong time. While our nature is to power through and look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel what our body really needs is rest. 

But wintering also suggests a bit of magic. There is a brightness the emerges when snow first covers the ground. A sparkle. Even fairytales use snow to demonstrate the magical nature of snow marking a transformation. And in this story the magic was all of us coming together to move all the bags to the truck and we left the van in the ditch and some how we made our flight with 30 minutes to spare. Despite losing an hour navigating the ditch, driving through snow, sleet, rain and dense fog to get there. Another magic moment was at the top of the mountain on the start of day 2 the sun was making the dusting of snow look like we were skiing on diamonds. All of my kids were skiing independently and quite honestly if I can brag on them with such technical skill that I stopped at the back of the pack and just took it all in. It had been 10 years of beginner hills and kids between my legs and now I was watching them and their form was so graceful, it was like I was watching them frost the mountain. 

Rush to the finish line then collapse. Each day is filled with an insurmountable task list that yearns for our checkmark and then amidst the scurry we reach the finish line to the coveted vacation time to a time of rest only to be too exhausted for authentic connection or creative adventures.  It seems in my life I am feeling the case of extremes and the shifting tides and finding any sort of illusive balance falls away to the demands of life.  And the adventure is simply navigating life.

Embark on 2022 It seems for me the accountability of a steady challenge has been the model that provides the greatest indicator of progress.  Purpose, passion and goals can easily lose their spark after 3 weeks. Heck sometimes after 48 hours.  Creating lifestyle challenges that help me progress towards a larger goal.  

It’s less about what I do for this challenge, but more about how I do it.  It’s less about the process, because quite frankly process goals get really boring.  

Here are 10 Challenges you might consider for 2022

  • Weekly 5K or other weekly challenge (52 Hikes)
    1000 hours outside
  • 365 Miles
    Create your Travel Goals: All 30 MLB, all 63 NP, Best Ice Cream in all 50 states, Rachel Richards 053? all the 14ers
  • 100 hours unplugged
  • 30 in 30 Daily adventure (2 hours outside per day)
  • 21 adventures in 2021
  • 12 ___ in 12 months
  • Complete your age the month of your birthday (distance, consecutive days) 
  • It could also be an adventure new experiences: Guest on 100 podcasts in 2021

As a fun parting gift from Ordinary Sherpa, I have been curious about turning our traditional Christmas Cards into a virtual escape room to make the experience a bit more interactive.  I’m sharing our Virtual Escape Room with you.   You can help the Dusek Family escape 2021 by helping them reach one final destination for the year and if you unlock all the clues you will get a Free Family Adventure Guide with 75 simple adventure ideas.  Link: