February 27, 2009

International Women's Day: March 8, 2009

International Women's Day is March 8, 2009

Did you know that we have a day? Even thought it has been official since 1911, it was news to me until very recently. According to the IWD site, International Women's Day, "is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future." When you visit the site, you'll see that it is devoted to addressing this topic in the areas of innovation, business/finance, media/arts, work & government.

The official theme for this year is "Women and men united to end violence against women and girls." Historically, however, many locales have adapted the theme to make it more relevant to the circumstances in their areas of the world. In 2008, there were 684 events in 56 countries. So far this year, 514 events are scheduled in 40 countries.

To find out what's happening anywhere in the world, click here. If you want to plan an event of your own, you can upload it here to encourage others to attend. If all else fails, consider gathering with friends and being thankful for the good company that you keep.

February 26, 2009

Meditation Marathon

I was just reading an interesting post at the Everything Yoga Blog. There is another site holding "Compassion Meditation Marathons" every Saturday through 2009. Their goal: to bring more compassion into the world through 1 million hours of meditation.

For me, meditation is a quiet time when I focus on freeing my mind from any thoughts and concentrate simply on my breath, so I wondered how a site could organize an online meditation marathon. To be honest, it's pretty neat.

The emphasis here is on guided meditation, where someone verbally walks you through visualization and positive thoughts. There are 40 separate guided meditations on this site and you can sit for a marathon and go through all 40 or you can do several at a time for several weeks in a row. Check the step-by-step instructions on the left side of the home page or click here for instructions on how to get started.

If you are new to meditation this is an easy way to begin your own practice. If you are experienced then you already know the wonderful benefits meditation can bring into your life. Either way, I encourage you to visit Compassion Meditation Marathons for a peaceful inner adventure.

Addendum (4/17/10):
I recently learned about a nice site that will help you take mini meditation breaks throughout your day.  Visit the Mindfulness Bell and set the pleasant bells to ring at regular intervals or randomly. As long as you are near your computer, you'll hear the tones gently reminding you to take a moment to concentrate on your breath and quiet your mind. 

Outside Magazine Has Your Guide to Races for 2009

The March issue of Outside magazine offers their list of the best races for 2009. Spanning the country and the calendar, Outside's picks run the gamut from biking to canoeing to multi-sport events and even to running in costume. These aren't just for the Serena Williams of the world, this list has something for serious athletes and amateurs alike.

Don't see what you're looking for? Outside has tips for creating your own race.

February 25, 2009

And Speaking of Triathlons, Why Not Try-A-Tri?

If you've been been reading Anne's Training Journal entries and have been saying to yourself, "I should do a triathlon!" I have good news. I spent last Saturday at the Adventures in Travel Expo in DC and met Jan Scanlon of FalconTravel who introduced me to the Carino Health Spa Triathlon on Nevis (an island southeast of Puerto Rico in the West Indies). Other than the fact that this triathlon will happen in the sunny Caribbean on March 15, the best reason to sign up is the Try-A-Tri.

The Nevis triathlon offers challenges for the most athletic among us -- Olympic Distance (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run) and Sprint Distance ( 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) -- but it also offers the nubies a shot. The Try-A-Tri has you swimming 250m, biking 10k and running 3km. If you'd rather swim than bike, you're in luck again. If you find two friends, you can register as a relay team and have to complete only one of the three elements (this may only apply to the longer races, however).

The entry fees vary depending on race level but include a pre-race pasta party, post-race party, finish line food, T-shirt and finisher's medal.

What happens if enter and do miserably? YOU'RE STILL ON A CARIBBEAN ISLAND! In short, you can't lose!

Click here for more information.

February 23, 2009

Anne's Training Journal: Week 4

Anne lives in Missoula, Montana, and is training for the Grizzly Triathlon in April. Believing that she is not the typical triathlete, (age 49 and not a regular competitor) Anne feels that if she can pull this off, anybody can. This is her training journal:

Seven more weeks to go until the race, and I’m feeling pretty good. There are good exercise days and not so good ones. My run on Friday felt much harder than the one I did on Sunday, but I can run more than three miles without stopping now, I don’t have to alternate breaststroke with freestyle to swim for half a mile, and I can climb several flights of stairs without too much puffing.

I had a doctor’s appointment this week. My cholesterol was a little higher than she wanted when I was in six months ago. She also wants to keep an eye on my kidney function. The good news: My cholesterol was down 14 points and my HDL level (the good cholesterol) was up 9 points. My doctor said that it’s difficult to increase your HDL that much. She thinks it’s because of all the exercise.

This afternoon we’re doing time trials as part of triathlon training. We’re swimming 500 yards, biking 12 miles, and running 3.2 miles. I suspect that I’ll be pretty tired afterwards so I have to get a few things done before the training. Like go to the grocery store. My biggest challenge with training is not getting all the exercise in, it’s finding time to do all the everyday chores that keep piling up.

This week I have to go to training in Denver on Friday, and I teach a night class on Thursday night in addition to my full-time job. And I have to train. Normally, I would let the exercise go and not worry about it, but this week, I’m determined to keep working out. I have to make exercise a priority like everything else. It will pay dividends that I’m already seeing in my health and mental attitude. This is my battle. I’ll let you know how it goes next week.

February 20, 2009

Sleep in a Silver Mine

Looking for something unusual to do this weekend? Here's a thought, why not spend a night underground -- Sala Silvermine in Sala Västmanland, Sweden is now a hotel.

Thought to be one of the world's best preserved mine settings, your stay in this adventurous locale begins with a guided tour. You'll learn the history of the silver mine while visiting it's winding passages, lakes and caverns. Before departing, your guide supplies you with a basket of goodies and then you are left to experience the peace and quiet of your new world. You'll see the guide again in the morning when breakfast arrives. There is a toilet near your "room" however the showers are topside.

It's said to be a bit chilly and damp 155m below ground so dress accordingly and bring your credit card, a night at the Sala Silvermine will set you back 3750 sek or about $433.

Click here for more information and some great pictures of Sala's accommodations.

Click here to connect to Unusual Hotels of the World and discover many, many more interesting getaway ideas.

February 16, 2009

Anne's Training Journal: week 3

Anne lives in Missoula, Montana, and is training for the Grizzly Triathlon in April. Believing that she is not the typical triathlete, (age 49 and not a regular competitor) Anne feels that if she can pull this off, anybody can. This is her training journal:

This was my third week of training for the triathlon—only eight more to go.

Sunday morning is when my class from The Women’s Club meets. Since there is still snow and ice on the ground in Montana, we have to do our training indoors. The two trainers running the class really made us work. We ran, did lunges, push ups, crunches on the ball, curls standing on the bosu (an interesting torture device that makes you engage your core as you try to balance), we jumped rope, ran some more, and the did more exercises. I came home afterward and crashed on the sofa. It took me until late afternoon to get anything done around the house. On Monday, walking was difficult. Nonetheless, I persevered and took a spinning class on Monday.

It was a good week. Last week I was tired all the time and had to drag myself to the club. This week, I was much more energetic. I’m still eating a lot, and I haven’t lost any weight. Maybe next week.

This week I also signed up for another triathlon in August. It’s one of the Danskin all-women sprint-distance races. The swim is in Lake Washington (Seattle) which will be interesting. It means that I will have to keep training all summer. It is a big time commitment, but I want to get to the point where strenuous exercise is a daily necessity. This last year, I was frightened several times by my health, and I want to reverse that trend. I also want to be able to enjoy life and able to take part in any fun opportunity that comes up. Signing up for a triathlon and training with a group is a great way to meet new people, get in shape, and achieve a challenging goal. Along the way I hope to become a better swimming and bicyclist. I don’t have great hopes for my running, but I’ll keep at it.


February 12, 2009

Backyard Adventure for Bird Lovers

Daily Green is reporting that this weekend is the 2009 Great Backyard Bird Count. A joint venture between Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the GBBC is a four-day event that calls on the public to help capture a snapshot of birds across the continent. Entertaining, educational and FREE, this project takes as much or as little time as you want to invest; anywhere from 15 minutes to the whole weekend. This could be a fun event for your Adventure Club -- maybe add a little side trip to Starbucks to help you rise with your feathered friends.

You can read Daily Green's article here or you can fly right on over to the GBBC's site here.

Image: RESTING PIGEONS© Radu Razvan Dreamstime.com

Singularity University: An Adventure for the Mind

TechCrunch reported last week that some of the top names in science and technology have come together to create Singularity University. In the words of the university itself, "Singularity University, based on the NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley, is an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies (bio, nano, info, AI, etc.), and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges."

If you're a science or technology go-to girl with a desire to expand your mind, this may be something for your future. We need more women addressing "humanity's grand challenges."

February 11, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness Week

February 9-15 is Random Acts of Kindness Week. I'm obviously a little late for this party but that just means that I need to do two kind acts a day for the rest of the week. You may be wondering how Random Acts of Kindness works with adventure. I say, "let your imagination be your guide." My personal favorite is to do secret good deeds. You can operate under cover of darkness or from a remote location and bring a little joy into someone's life.

This is also an opportunity to get involved in the web -- if you aren't already. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation will help you create a Kindness Site. Click here to make your own web pages that will tell the world how you are bringing kindness into the lives of others.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation also has opportunities for sending kindness cards, joining community projects, and lots of other stuff once you create an account (of course). Click here to visit their site.

February 10, 2009

Adventures in Travel Expo

If you live in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, New York, or Seattle, the Adventures in Travel Expo is coming to you. Sponsored in part by National Geographic Adventure and Women's Adventure magazine, the show promises, "...hundreds of exhibitors showcasing trips from exotic safaris to scuba diving to archeology excursions...Experience hands-on adventure activities." For more information, click here.

Here's the Expo Schedule:

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Convention Center
February 14-15

Washington, DC: Washington Convention Center
February 21-22

New York, NY: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
October 10-11

Seattle: Washington State Convention Center
December 5-6

February 9, 2009

Anne's Training Journal

Anne is a good friend of mine who lives in Missoula, Montana and loves the great outdoors. She's told me a lot of stories about her trips and wilderness adventures over the years but last week she told me she was entering a triathlon (running, biking and swimming). I thought her training and competition would be an interesting addition to AWB so I've asked Anne to share her "Training Journal" with all of us. Here is her first entry:

I’m training for the Grizzly Triathlon. It’s a sprint triathlon in Missoula, Montana on April 11th. I’m not your typical tri-athlete—I’m short, 49, and overweight, and not particularly a good runner or swimmer. But, I’ve always dreamed of completing a triathlon. This Grizzly won’t be my first. I finished last year, but it was exactly two months after surgery to remove a diseased kidney. Last year, I figured I was just lucky to complete the race and not come in last. I think there were at least 5 people slower than me. This year I have no excuses.

I’m training with a group at The Women’s Club, the gym I belong to in Missoula. It’s a great way to meet new people and have a supportive environment for training. Our group meets every Sunday morning for a workout with two trainers from the club.

This week we were supposed to take two spinning classes, run on a treadmill 3x, swim twice, do a weight routine twice, and take a yoga class. I think I’m doing pretty well—I’ve done everything except one of the weight routines and the yoga class. I’ve had trouble fitting the yoga class into my schedule although I realize how important stretching is at my age.

I’m trying to eat well, and I have been hungry a lot. I’m sleeping more and better. If I miss a day exercising, I’m restless. Today is Saturday, and my big goal is to get my dogs out for a good walk—my house will have to stay dirty. I also find myself trying to decide which race I’m going to sign up for next. Triathlons are addictive.


February 6, 2009

The List: 100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life

Gail Belsky and I are kindred spirits. In her new book, The List: 100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life, Gail encourages women to look outside their comfort zones and try new things (sound familiar?). Each adventurous idea in her book includes tips, links and, often, interviews with real women who have done that list item. The 100 ideas are an eclectic collection ranging from organizing a rally to cliff diving to getting hypnotized to, well, a bunch of things for the over-21 crowd. Since my kids read this blog, I'll leave those to your imagination.

I wondered just how Gail came to write her book and how many of The List items she had tackled so I asked her...

AWB: Hi Gail, thanks for taking part in an Adventurous Women Blog Q & A! I loved your book, and as one who is always trying to find new ways to write about expanding horizons, I'd like to know where you got your inspiration.

I think I was looking to be inspired myself. I'd reached the age where my kids didn't need me as much, and I could think about myself, and what might be out there for me. I started making a list of all the different things you could [do] that would be different and exciting. Big things and small things. It doesn't take a lot to shake things up.

AWB: How did you find the women that you interviewed for each activity?

I sent out an email to the women in my writer's group, and another one to friends, listing all 99 activities. And they sent it on to their friends. I started getting responses immediately. One of the first ones, surprisingly, was "Join a Cattle Drive." One of my writer friends in New Jersey had worked with a woman 20 years ago in Detroit, who bought a horse and moved to Idaho. That's how it went. Then my publisher, Seal Press, sent out a mass email, and women started coming out of the woodwork.

AWB: So, Gail, how many of the items in "The List" have you tackled?

I've done a bunch, but not all of them in my 40's, which is cheating a bit. At some point or another, I've:
Gone Topless
Learned a Foreign Language
Gotten a Makeover
Drastically Changed My Hairstyle
Spent the Day in Bed
Planned a Girls Vacation
Skinny Dipped
Conquered a Fear

AWB: What's YOUR next big adventure?

I'm not sure yet. I'd love to try writing a novel, but I think I'll have to wait until National Novel Writing Month in November. I need the extra motivation of doing it with 5 million people.

This interview rounds out a week of Adventure Club basics. My club will meet this evening to plan a year's worth of activities and I hope after reading Adventure Club Part I, Part II, and Adventure Resources that you are ready to start a club of your own. If you'd rather fly solo then I hope that between this site and Gail's book you've found the inspiration to be bold, try something new and shake up your life. Have an adventurous weekend!

February 5, 2009

Adventure Resources

My goal in writing Adventurous Women Blog is to inspire women to take on new challenges and then help them find interesting things to try. If you're ready for something fun and different, there are three adventure resources right here on this home page.

First, check out "You Can Do It!" This "handbook for adventurous women" is loaded with ideas, expert advice and the motivation you need to accomplish great things.

Second, look further down the page at the "Adventure Ideas" section. If you're looking for something to do this winter, click on "Cold Weather Adventures" and see all of the posts dealing with fun things to do this season. Feeling hungry? Try "Food." Thoughtful? Click "Inner Adventures." A little crazy? Try "More Adventurous." You get the idea.

Third, have a look at "Good Places to Visit." This ever-growing list of links will take you to a few adventure blogs as well as resource sites like Women's Flyfishing, the World Heritage List, and Audubon. You'll also find locator sites for National Parks, corn mazes, great fireworks, labyrinths and more. Keep an eye on this section because new links go up all the time.

But wait! There's more! Check in tomorrow when author Gail Belsky talks about her new book, "The List: 100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life."

February 4, 2009

Adventure Club: Part II

Monday I wrote about forming an Adventure Club and today I want to tell you about a nice club benefit. Women's Adventure magazine will give free issues to groups. Click here, register your Adventure Club and Women's Adventure will send you copies of an issue that you can distribute to your members. This offer is free within the United States, if you are outside the States, you can get the free issues if you cover the cost of shipping.

February 2, 2009

Adventure Club Week: Part I

On Friday, February 6, my Adventure Club will hold its annual meeting. I'm telling you this because I want to encourage you to spend the next five days gathering some friends & some ideas and forming an adventure club of your own. My blog plan for the week is to help you get organized and give you a bunch of fresh ideas that will inspire you to try something new.

One thing to keep in mind when forming an adventure club is that what is an adventure to one woman might be bland or overwhelming to another. You may want to focus on outdoor sports while your friend wants to try yoga, cooking or car repair. If you keep an open mind, the possibilities for you and your friends are endless.

Afraid you'll be short on ideas? Check out the list of Adventure Ideas on The League of Adventurous Women Web site."

Regarding my meeting at the end of the week, this is how it usually plays out:

The women of my group gather at my house at the beginning of each year to choose four official adventures and a few miscellaneous activities.

All of the club members will arrive with an appetizer or dessert to share -- there will be beverages as well -- and then we'll get down to business.

I maintain an ever-growing list of potential activities that I will print and distribute. If anyone has something new, we'll add that to the master list as well.

We'll open the floor to suggestions for the next 12 months, write down all the ideas, take a vote and voila! A fun-filled year is planned.

The next step is to get volunteers to lead each activity. Frequently, a woman will offer to lead something that didn't make the final cut or a community service event that is near and dear to her heart and that's where the "miscellaneous" adventures come in.

Our plan isn't set in stone. You have to be flexible in this adventurous world and there are always interesting opportunities popping up throughout the year. However, the annual meeting gets the club off to a great start.

updated: May 20, 2013