Talking Point Why Adventure?

Ordinary People Extraordinary Things

Holding up a Rainbow
Written by Stuart Wickes

Talking Point 12: Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Things

Everyday, ordinary people do the most extraordinary and inspiring things.  This week I stumbled across the story of Juliana Buhring, a 32 year old woman who has just become the fastest woman to cycle around the world. There are many interesting things about her story, her background and motivation but the thing which struck me most was her apparent ordinaryness for this extraordinary mission. A great example of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Juliana had only been riding a road bike properly for 8 months when she set off to ride around the world in record time. She didn’t have commercial backers, a lot of money or technical support and was repeatedly told she wasn’t ready for such an undertaking. Yet she got in the saddle and rode solo, through 18 countries on four continents, arriving back home in Naples (in snow and temperatures of minus nine centigrade), having cycled more than 18,000 miles in 152 days.

“Nobody believed I would make it, certainly not all the way around the world,” she said. “I was not an athlete and not a cyclist. In fact, there was nothing to qualify me for such a huge undertaking. Nothing but willpower and the determination to finish, no matter what. I was out to prove everything is possible.”

The power of doing something extra-ordinary

Her story reminds me of the power of challenging ourselves to do out of the ordinary things.

  • Of the latent potential that lies in all of  us ‘ordinary’ people.
  • Of the magic that can flow when you allow your spirit of adventure free rein.
  • Of the power of believing in a cause, in a mission, and in yourself.
  • Of the joy of just setting off to see what happens, without being sure of the outcome.
  • Of the learning that comes from doing something out of the ordinary.

And as we roll towards another new year, I’m grateful to Juliana for reminding me of all this so I can plan to get some of it for myself in 2013.

Out of your ordinary is extraordinary

Now maybe you’re thinking ‘I’m no Juliana Buhring‘ or ‘I couldn’t do something like that” but it’s not about being her or doing that. Doing something extraordinary isn’t the province of extraordinary people; it’s an option for us all, each in our own way. You don’t have to do something that hasn’t been done before, do something faster, further or better than anyone else, or even do something anyone else will notice or care about.

Personally speaking, extraordinary = extra + ordinary; doing something which is out of the ordinary for you.  Of course it could be cycling around the world but it might just be walking to the library instead of taking the car. You see there’s scope for adventure in the small everyday things too. And they’re much easier to organise! So will 2013  be an another ordinary for you? Or will you make it extra + ordinary?

Talking Point

Do you like doing out of the ordinary things? What ideas, plans or dreams do you have to make 2013 or beyond extra + ordinary for you and your family?

Join the Conversation

Talking Point is our series of short Photo Friday posts. Each week we pick a photo and post a talking point and invite you to join the conversation. Do leave a comment with your thoughts.

About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!


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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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