Episode 20: Beyond limits while trailblazing the Wild with Adam Hill, Shaun Pope, Ryan James and Mark Looney


I didn’t know these fellas before our chat, but by the end it was clear we all come from the same tribe.  In the latest episode of the On Adventure Podcast, we dove into a wild group conversation that ventured beyond the beaten path. Joined by Adam Hill, Shaun Pope, Ryan James, and Mark Looney, the dialogue unfolded amidst the rustic charm of Black Mountain, North Carolina, a sanctuary for those who chase the thrill of outdoor adventures. 

This episode isn’t just about pushing limits; it’s a celebration of the spirit that drives us to explore the unknown, to embrace the rugged beauty of nature, and to confront the challenges that lie in the wild. It’s a narrative of friendship, endurance, and the unyielding quest for adventure that binds a community together.

Episode Highlights:

  • [00:01:15] Adam Hill: From Memphis to the mountains, Adam’s journey from an urban landscape to the vastness of nature where he discovered his passion for outdoor adventures.
  • [00:08:14] Shaun Pope: The transformation from a sports enthusiast to an ultramarathon runner, Shaun shares his evolution and the familial influence that propelled him into the world of trail running.
  • [00:14:29] Mark Looney: Reflecting on his youth in New York, Mark recounts how blizzards and Boy Scouts sparked his adventurous spirit, leading to cross-country cycling and a lifetime of exploration.
  • [00:22:10] Ryan James: A story of growth from the flat terrains of Savannah to the challenges of ultra running, Ryan speaks on the allure of the mountains and the transformative power of pushing beyond one’s limits.

Links & Resources:

Closing Thoughts:

As we wind down this episode, I’m sure you will carry the stories of Adam, Shaun, Ryan, and Mark with you as I have since this was recorded. Whether you’re an experienced adventurer or someone looking to step outside your comfort zone, remember, it’s not just about the distance covered or the mountains conquered; it’s about the journey, the camaraderie, and the endless pursuit of what lies beyond the horizon.

If this episode has ignited a spark within you, or if you’ve found solace in the shared experiences of our guests, consider supporting us. Rate, follow, share, and review On Adventure Podcast. Let’s keep the spirit of adventure alive together.

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Episode 19: Sketching Summits with Heidi Nisbett


In today’s episode of the On Adventure Podcast, we took a deep dive into the great outdoors with the remarkable Heidi Nisbet. Heidi is a friend of a friend, but by the end of the conversation, I felt like we had known each other forever.  We gravitate toward a similar tribe.  As someone who shares my passion for the Appalachian Trail, Heidi brought a fresh perspective on merging art, adventure, and personal growth through her experiences on and off the trail. From her transformative journey of self-discovery to integrating her love for nature with her artistic talent, this episode is packed with insights that outdoor enthusiasts and creatives alike won’t want to miss.  And by the way, you HAVE to check out her work…link is below!

Episode Highlights:

[00:01:00] – A Creative Soul Finds Her Trail: Discover how Heidi, originally not considering herself an outdoors person, embraced her creative spirit and love for the Appalachian Trail, transforming her life in unexpected ways.

[00:02:27] – The Art of Nature: Learn about Heidi’s unique approach to combining her artistic talent with her passion for hiking, leading to a fulfilling career that blurs the lines between work and play.

[00:10:00] – Art, Identity, and the Great Outdoors: Heidi shares her journey from childhood creativity through academic challenges to finding her identity on the trail and in her art, highlighting the intrinsic connection between nature and creativity.

[00:15:00] – Making Adventure Sustainable: Insights into how Heidi has crafted a life that allows her to pursue her passions while making a living, including guiding hikes and teaching art in the wilderness.

[00:20:00] – Favorite Trails and Future Plans: Heidi reveals her favorite sections of the Appalachian Trail and discusses future hiking and artistic projects, offering a glimpse into her adventurous and creative future.

[00:30:00] – The Transformational Power of Hiking: A reflection on how hiking the Appalachian Trail served as a catalyst for personal growth, challenging Heidi to rethink her capabilities and aspirations.

[00:45:00] – Blazing New Trails with Art: An exploration of Heidi’s upcoming projects, including a special hiking and painting collaboration that promises to bring her passions to new heights.

Links & Resources:

As we close today’s episode, I’m reminded of the limitless potential that lies in combining our passions with our professions. Heidi’s story is a testament to the power of following one’s heart and the beauty of the paths it can lead us down.

If you enjoyed this episode, please remember to rate, follow, share, and review the podcast. Your support helps us bring more inspiring stories like Heidi’s to you. See you on the next adventure!

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Episode 18: Into the Wild with Tim Matthews


In today’s episode, we embark on a deeply personal journey with Tim Matthews, a seasoned adventurer and outdoor enthusiast who just happens to be a retired Navy one-star Admiral. In this conversation, Tim shares his profound insights and experience, both personal and professional, offering a glimpse into the transformative power of outdoor pursuits in shaping his life. From heart-pounding rock climbing expeditions to soul-soothing solo backpacking trips, Tim reveals how each adventure has left an indelible mark on his spirit.  I find this incredibly inspiring.

As we navigate the conversation, you will hear how Tim has learned more about himself amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. From the exhilaration of summiting towering peaks to the quiet contemplation of remote wilderness trails, Tim shares his lessons learned and the deep connections forged with the natural world.

Ultimately, through detailing his outdoor experiences, Tim uncovers the threads that weave together resilience, growth, and the unyielding spirit of adventure. I am certain that you will be encouraged to embrace your own call to the wild, which is an awesome call. 

Enjoy my conversation with Tim Matthews.

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From Istanbul to Ireland with Rick Steeves


I can’t say that I have spent enough time in a bike saddle to consider the merits of cycle touring.  In fact, until I met my next guest, I really didn’t understand cycle touring at all.  Rick Steeves has it down to a science, though.  What started as a time-filler during a gap year in college eventually turned in to a life long pursuit of adventure on two wheels.

Rick is a veteran of cycle touring, cycling through 35 countries on almost 18 different trips since 1989.  In fact, he retired from his IT job in 2015 to put wheels down on a 6000km journey from Istanbul to Ireland (and yes, there is a ferry involved).  We discuss many details of this epic trip, but also spend a lot of time talking about the dozens of other trips he has done around the world, mostly in Europe but also the US and New Zealand.  But he keeps being pulled back to Europe to fill in the gaps on his trekking map. 

Rick is a wealth of knowledge and experience, and gives freely of what he knows.  You can find him, his blog and his book at his website irelandbybicycle.com.  His website has a ton of information about how you can see the world from a different vantage point. Check it out!

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Chasing squirrels with Mike Perkins


Love these podcast conversations, but this one came home a little closer.  This conversation is with my friend and business partner, Mike Perkins.  Mike knows everyone.  He has lived his life wide open, and has lots of stories about lots of different people because of it.  He also has a huge heart.  So the combo of being outgoing and a bleeding heart, it is obvious why people love to be around him. 

Adventure looks different for everyone.  For Mike, it has been leaning in to whatever the next challenge was whether it be music, soccer, drafted in to the military or starting his own CPA firm.  He marches to the beat of his own drum, but that is what makes his stories and his adventures so unique. 

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Mike Perkins.

 

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Paying twice with Thom Asta


It is a treat to be surprised to learn something amazing and interesting about someone you have known for a long time.  My hour or so conversation with Thom Asta fits this description perfectly.  I have known Thom for going on 20 years but the things we discussed blew me away and gave me a new level of respect for a man that I had a ton for already. 

This podcast is about how and why the Everyday Explorer continues to find, and then expand, his or her limits.  But it is not just about the adrenaline story.  I want to know what they learn through the challenge of adventure, and how it changes them moving forward.  Thom points out that sometimes this exploration is intentional, but sometimes it is not.  And these surprise challenges usually are the most difficult, most dangerous and full of ‘gold’ if one should make it through. 

Be sure to stick with this to the end as his story reaches a peak event that he never saw coming, and the gratitude and vibrancy for life that was the gift he received on the other side.  I was on the edge of my seat and left searching for words by the end.  I know you are going to love Thom Asta!

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Growth at all stages with Eli Self



We are getting the second season of the On Adventure podcast off to a bang with my first conversation.  Adventure can come at all ages, and I know my next guest knows this very well.  Because he is my son, Eli.  Eli is in his second year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  During the holiday break, we got to sit down for a couple hours and pretend that I am not dad but a professional interviewer.  And man, was it fun. 

Eli is wise beyond his years, but you’ll find out why…it doesn’t come for free.  Eli lives big, loves big, and adventures big.  You’ll hear exactly what this means to him as a 19 year old, where his love of the outdoors comes from, and what he hopes all of this means for his future self.  To say I’m proud of him is beyond an extreme understatement, and that has nothing to do with the things that he has accomplished in his 19 years (and the list is very long).  I am proud of him for who he is. 

Enjoy my conversation with Eli Self.


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Finding our common humanity with Rachel Coghlan


I love all of these conversations, but I am particularly fond of this one because I have known Rachel for many years. I have watched her grow and mature in to the Everyday Explorer she has become, which has been fun.  Rachel is an old soul.  She has insight in to people, places and experiences that are unusual for someone her age.  Some of this comes natural, some of it is from being with people on their worst days as a trauma nurse in a variety of different emergency rooms around the country.  You don’t experience those kinds of things and come away the same. 

The conversation isn’t all dark and gloomy though.  This is the dark backdrop that highlights the brilliant light that she has experience in people she has met around the globe.  Her stories of teaching English in Spain and traveling Eastern Europe on her own (ON HER OWN!) are beautiful and inspiring to believe in the goodness of others.

I am sure you will enjoy my conversation with Rachel Coghlan, and be inspired in your own great adventure!

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Exploring the world with curiousity through caves with Dr. Ken Walsh


Not many of us have spent near as much time below the Earth’s surface as Dr. Ken Walsh has.  Ken is a Senior Environmental Engineer at Leidos Inc., but that is not who he is.  Ken is an Everyday Explorer at hear.  He started his love of exploration under ground early in his life, and it has taken him deeper and deeper in to exploring the beauty that exists above and below ground.  It also has been a mode for him to explore the reaches of his own limits.

We weave our way through a wide ranging conversation that will expose Ken’s intelligence, creativity and natural curiosity, all of which are used by him to find wonder and awe no matter where he finds himself. 

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Picking it off when you can with Daniel Alexander


The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

by Wendell Berry

 

 

It is appropriate to start this episode description with a poem from Wendell Berry.  I love this poem.  I can hear the quiet sounds of the outside just reading it.  And I was introduced to this poem and to Wendell Berry by Daniel Alexander.  Daniel is my guest this week, and you will find out that he is a bit of a poet himself. 

I really enjoyed this conversation because I got to catch up with an old friend, but also hear about what it is about an outdoor space that opens his soul.  This is a different kind of adventure conversation, I know you’ll be inspired. We explore many different angles of the human experience and what we are all made for.  One great take away I got from Daniel is that Comfort + Comparison = a Crushing of our souls.  And the flip side of that same coin is that if we embrace the suffering in our lives, it can lead us to a place where our souls truly come alive.  It’s an inverse universe.

Be sure to listen to the end for his book recommendations.  Daniel has always been spot on when it comes to a good read, and these are now on my reading list.  And if you want to join Daniel for any part of his Mountain to Sea Trail adventure, you can reach him at or on Twitter at @dalexander_1.

 

 

 

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