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“Adventure Inward,” by Johnathan Wunrow, subtitled “A Risk Taker’s Book of Quotes,” is at first glance a book about mountain climbing and other extreme sports and why people do them. But it can also refer to the adventures we go through in normal everyday life. Being in a love relationship is often called an adventure. Taking care of dying loved ones can be viewed as an adventure. And some people have jobs that make them take risks, not just mountain climbing, but standing up and talking to rooms full of people, or flying on aircraft to parts unknown, or working in the proximity of disease that could make them sick as well.
Quotes in Adventure Inward refer many times to people not understanding why extreme sports participants do what they do. These other people often ask what benefit was gained. Relationships have broken up over adventuring, because even Wunrow admits it is selfishness. Someone is left behind to manage day to day life, children, house, pets, work at a paying job. I found myself thinking of the question frequently seen on life insurance applications: “Do you engage in any risky behavior?” So it’s even possible adventurers don’t even qualify for life insurance, perhaps leaving others destitute in the event of their demise. So why do they do it? They feel a need to prove something to themselves or others, or they feel a need for constantly new and different experiences. In fact, Wunrow includes a chapter about contentment, realizing it doesn’t come naturally for climbers. They probably all do relish being in nature, possibly seeing things no one has viewed before because it is hard to get there. All in all, our time on earth is short and there is something to be said for enjoying as much as you can during that time.