Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Backpack Review - Gama 8.0 Internal Frame Pack

So I finally decided to retire my 25 year old Army issue ALICE pack and get myself a new bag for 1-to-3 day hikes. I was skeptical about buying a budget-pack from Wal-Mart, but so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with its performance. The Outdoor Products Gama 8.0 Internal Frame Pack is designed to provide a great pack for hiking or shorter backpacking trips. It has all of the modern conveniences that a good pack should have. For anyone who wants to use this pack as a street bag, you may not be happy with it. It has an over-sized waist belt and comes in 2 ugly colors… olive green (shown) and orange. I chose the olive green because I’m not thrilled about standing out on the trail… however I do live in Texas and the orange one might be better for protecting me from drunk, gun-toting rednecks (That was a joke so lighten up people). I took this 39.1L pack for a 2-day tryout and I must say that it met the test. I've not tried it on a longer trip or in overly rugged terrain, but for a low-budget pack I still feel pretty good about it.

For my overall assessment of this pack, READ MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mountain Biking Skills... Pt. 2 - Downhill Skills

Photo courtesy of
So you have yourself a decent bike, you've been out on the trail, and you've read our post on Mountain Biking Skills... Pt. 1.

You've been up late at night scouring Youtube for videos of the worlds best downhill riders, watching DVDs, and now you want to get ON it...

Slow down, Cowboy... if you've never blasted downhill at break-neck speeds over rough terrain before, you must realize that its not as easy as it looks. Downhill body position is extremely important to ensure balance, stability, and control of your bike as you test your mettle.

Zeptechniques Mountain Bike Camps has put together the perfect tutorial video for you. This video has very detailed explanations and a good rider to show you how it's done...

Watch the video below, learn your bike and your skill limitations, and then Get ON it!

Merry Christmas!

It has been an especially good holiday season for us here at Human Spirit of Adventure. We are very blessed to have our family, health, and sanity.

We are very happy to have been able to bring you our blog that started late this year and look forward to bringing you much more adventure oriented content in the years to come.

From all of our families to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

For daily pics and stuff from adventurers around the world, "Like" our Facebook page...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nutrition For Adventurers... Pt. 2 - Fruit for the Trail

Photo courtesy of
As we mentioned in the last article, Nutrition for Adventurers... Pt. 1, fruits and vegetables are a very important source of energy-giving carbohydrates that are much needed when on the trail. Problem is, fruits don't keep well in the heat, they take up space, they weigh a lot when in abundance, are messy, and attract ants, bugs, and even bears.
The best way to take fruits and some vegetables with you is to dehydrate them before you go. Dehydrating your fruits has many benefits when you get down to it. They weigh less and take up less space because they are no longer water-filled. They will keep longer for the same reasons. They retain their nutritional value. And finally, they will give you the much needed energy boost that you will need when the day gets long and you are tired. The only real drawback is that they no longer serve as a method of hydration.

So get yourself a dehydrator before your next adventure and get ON it... your body will thank you.

Next: Protein on the trail

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mountain Biking Skills... Pt. 1 - Basic Skills

Photo source:
For most of us, a bicycle was our first real mode of transportation.

We learned to ride as a child when our dads would push us off, running behind us to catch us if we fell. Later, when we were pre-teens, our mothers would clean our skinned knees and elbows.
As teenagers, we began to push our limits, ramping our bikes off of home-made ramps of cinder block and plywood... some of us eventually graduated on to half-pipes and grinding hand rails.

Eventually our bikes faded away as we learned to drive cars... after all, it's hard to take a date to the movies pumping them on the handlebars.

Now that we are older, grown adults with jobs, families, and responsibilities, it seems as if those biking days are gone forever... we remember them though as we push our sons across the lawn and run behind them.

For many, the thought of getting back on a mountain bike is exciting... blasting down a trail, dodging obstacles, and peering over sheer drops gives us an adrenaline rush at the pure thought of it. Slow down... trail riding isn't as easy as it looks... if it's been a while since you rode a bike, take the time to reacquaint yourself with the basics.

CycleActive has produced a mountain biking video that takes you through the basic mountain biking skills you will need to venture back into your childhood... This well thought out video familiarizes you with such skills as basic climbing, basic descending, drop offs, and much more.

Watch, enjoy, then Get ON It!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nutrition For Adventurers… Pt. 1 – Pre-Adventure Nutrition…

Copyright 2012 - Human Spirit of Adventure

Proper nutrition is essential for any adventurer. Spending hours, days, or even weeks on the trail can take a major toll on the body. Hiking, backpacking, skiing, climbing, and many other adventure sports require the body to spend its reserves to keep pushing through the tough times.

In this series, we will be discussing various ways to keep the body nourished both prior to your adventure and during.

Proper nutrition and body preparation starts at home long before your adventure begins. We all know that exercise and keeping the body conditioned is essential, but most of us lack on the proper diet. Eating right, if not your everyday thing, should become a priority during the months leading up to your adventure.

To gear your body, you should take in the proper amounts of protein, carbs, and fats… yes, fats. Fat is what you want your body to feed from when it goes into the reserves. If your fat content is too low, the body will begin to burn its lean muscle (after all, muscle is nutritious).

One area where people have a common failing is getting the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diets. The old adage of “5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day” is no longer adequate says the medical guru’s. According to the CDC, Adults need anywhere from 7-13 cups of produce daily to get all the health benefits of fruits and vegetables -- including possible protection against obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

I know what you’re saying… “How am I going to fit 7 to 13 cups of fruit or vegetables into my diet?”

The best way that I have found to do this is to drink my fruits and eat my vegetables. That’s right… I eat my vegetables like cucumbers, squash, carrots, etc. as their regular chunky and crunchy selves, but I drink my fruits. No, I’m not talking about buying expensive fruit juices, loaded with extra sugars either… I make non-dairy smoothies.

Smoothies are an easy way to get the servings down because it is far easier to drink than to eat. Now I’m not talking about buying those wallet-draining, calorie-loaded, sugar-filled, smoothies from Whole Foods or somewhere like that. I make mine right at home using whole fruits bought from the local market, tossing them into the blender, adding a little water, and viola… a perfect non-dairy smoothie.

Copyright 2012 - Human Spirit of Adventure
Here is one of my favorite recipes:
½ cup of blueberries
½ cup of raspberries
½ cup of blackberries
1 cup of grapes
1 large banana
1 large orange
3 cups water

Blend or puree to desired consistency. Leave in the pulp for needed fiber

It's important to eat a rainbow of colored fruits and vegetables every day. The pigments act as antioxidants -- helping to rid your body of "free radicals," that can damage cells.

This blended smoothie yields about eight servings of fruit… if you drink half today, along with the hard veggies at your regular meals, then you have it made and didn’t have to overstuff your gut to do it.
So in your preparations for your next adventure, remember to eat right, get all of your fruits and veggies, and get strong. So go make yourself a smoothie and enjoy!

Next: Fruit on the trail

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Black Bear Sightings On The Rise In Texas...

Photo courtesy of Animal Planet
Black Bear sightings are on the rise in Texas according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.
Usually black bears are only seen around the Big Bend area but this year they seem to have migrated in from Mexico.
Hikers, backpackers, and many outdoor enthusiasts have learned to coexist with these magnificent creatures while having a heavy respect for the dangers involved.
Hill Country residents are now having to increase their awareness.

Read the press release from TPWD below...

Nov. 27, 2012
Black bear activity on the upswing in the Hill Country and South Texas
AUSTIN -- Black bear activity in the Hill Country and South Texas along the Rio Grande from Del Rio to below Laredo is increasing, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologists.
Though historically it has been very rare for bears to be sighted south or east of Val Verde County, so far in 2012 there have been a dozen such sightings.
"This is likely a result of a growing number of bears in Mexico dispersing and searching for food after severe droughts and wildfires," says TPWD biologist Jonah Evans of Alpine, the department's bear coordinator. "Whether these sightings signify a permanent recolonization of Central and South Texas remains to be seen."
While black bears are native to all of Texas, in the early 1900's, heavy hunting and trapping completely eliminated them from the state. Currently, the only established breeding populations are in the Big Bend area of West Texas.
"Black bears are generally not a risk to humans," Evans says. "But they can become a nuisance if they gain a taste for human food, pet food, or trash. We've recently received several reports of bears tipping over and damaging deer feeders and a few raiding trash cans along the border."
Evans says the department's goal is for people and bears to coexist peacefully.
"By eliminating food rewards, we eliminate most of the problems," he says. "Many communities in bear country have effectively adapted to live with bears, but it takes everyone working together and doing their part."
The most effective strategy is for residents along the border to secure their trash, bird feeders, and pet food, so bears don't become habituated to easy meals, Evans notes.
"This cannot be overstated," he continues. "The saying 'A fed bear is a dead bear' is absolutely true. If a bear becomes habituated and food-conditioned, there is little we can do to save it. It will likely have to be destroyed."
TPWD is asking for people to report all bear sightings. If a bear is causing a nuisance, TPWD will work with residents to secure attractants and may attempt to haze the bear. In extreme situations, the bear may be relocated. Biologists are also available to give talks and educational programs on living with bears. Since black bears are a threatened species in Texas, they cannot be legally hunted or harmed.
If you see a bear, please report it to Jonah Evans at (432) 837-2051 x228.
Bear activity reported so far this year includes:
--Maverick County -- Jan. 26 -- Sighting
--Starr County -- July 30 -- Relocated
--Kimble County -- Aug. 6 -- Sighting
--Menard County -- Aug. 8 -- Sighting
--Schleicher County -- Aug. 8 -- Sighting
--Sutton County Aug. 12 -- Sighting
--Webb County -- Aug. 27 -- Killed on road by vehicle
--Uvalde County Aug. 31 -- Sighting
--Kinney County Sept. 25 -- Sighting
--Maverick County -- Oct. 14 -- Relocated
--Val Verde County -- Nov. 3 -- Sighting

--Edwards County -- Nov. 5 -- Sighting

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Be Adventurous... Get Out and Do Something!

Every day there are people pushing themselves to the edge, seeing how far they can go, testing the boundaries, and exceeding their ouwn expectations.

Too often we sit at our desks, or on the couch, saying that we want adventure. There are few of us who actually seek out the adventure. We don't have the time, we're too busy, or we're too lazy... plain and simple, we are not motivated.

No matter what it is you like to do... hiking, biking, surfing, climbing, or riding motorcycles... there should always be an element of adventure. Adventure is what makes humans go farther.

One of our Facebook followers posted this video. It is very inspirational and adrenalizing. It is quite simply motivating. So watch it... then go outside and get your adventure on!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Good Knives Save Lives...

Copyright 2012 - Human Spirit of Adventure
I love a good knife. In a survival situation, a good knife will save your life.

They are such handy tools to have around in everyday life, not to mention during the course of an adventure. In survival situations, they will help you with building shelter, finding food, first aid, defense, and a myriad of other things that pop up.

When I was in the Army, I once had a Platoon Sergeant who made the comment "Good knives save lives" and I have found that to be true on more than one occasion. In fact, the very first time I used my Gerber Mark I was to cut a suspension line away from my parachute that had wrapped over the canopy and was causing a "Mae West". Once the line was cut, the canopy inflated fully and I safely landed without injury.

I have a vast collection of blades... literally hundreds of them. But in survival situations, there are really four of them I depend on most.

The first is my Gerber Mark I (Pictured left above). This knife has been with me for over 22 years. I first acquired it when I was in the Army. A gift from a girlfriend. As mentioned earlier, this knife saved my life several times and I will never leave home without it. Gerber makes one of, if not the finest blades available.

The second is my Victorinox Swiss Army knife (Pictured above at bottom). Not enough can be said about the Swiss Army knife. It is likely the most versatile knife ever made. This blade has been used by campers, hikers, outdoors-men  and military units all over the world. It is the forerunner to most popular multi-tools on the market today.

The third is a no-name brand, Chinese-made blade that I bought for $5 at a flea market (pictured center above). I never expected the knife to hold up under any condition, nor hold an edge for very long. Amazingly, it has surpassed every expectation. I have cut rope, vines, paracord, meat, and a list of other things with it and the blade has never dulled, corroded, or rusted. I have used it as a screwdriver and a pry bar with no damage. Who knew that it would hold up so well? I don't think I would want it as my only option in a survival situation, but given that it has proven itself  it is a better option than many other brand-name knives that I own.

The fourth is a knife I carry every day for use at work. It is a Ka-bar folding knife (pictured right above). very sharp, hold a good edge, and is versatile.

When it comes to survival knives, my suggestion is to do your research, find the knife that fits your needs, and experiment with it at home before taking it on the trail. You don't want it to let you down when you need it most.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

One Soldiers Sacrifice - Happy Veterans Day!

In 1987, after graduating high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Army. The Cold War was at a pinnacle  approaching a turning point if you will, and it was either going to end soon, or war would breakout large scale.

I wanted to serve my country more than anything. I wanted to defend my country from those who would try to deprive us of our liberties. With my 18th birthday approaching, I had no idea what that really meant. I had no idea of the sacrifices that defending freedom would bring, I wanted the adventure... but I was ready to sacrifice anyway.
Anyone who grew up during this time had a lingering fear that the USSR would nuke us for all we were worth. Hollywood helped incite that fear with movies such as Red Dawn (the original, not the cheesy remake), Rambo, and countless others. Anyone who grew up during that time also felt a strong sense of patriotism. So I enlisted. I joined the Infantry, went to Airborne School, Ranger School, as well as others, and worked hard to become a true defender of our nation. I lived for the adventure and the excitement.

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. It was a glorious victory for the good guys... democracy had prevailed. The oppression seemed to be coming to an end and it was only a matter of time before the Red Menace would be vanquished.... but there was still a fear that the ugliness of war was imminent.
Six weeks later, I found myself in Panama going in to battle.

The battle field was not at all like I had expected... there were no moments of personal glory. The was no glamour  there was no Hollywood scripted stuff. It was real. People... other human beings not so different than myself were dying. It was loud. It was bloody. It was ugly... and I thank God often that it was quick.

I was a soldier. I did what I was asked to do. I did what I enlisted to do... and I was forever changed. I was no longer innocent. I was no longer a boy. At 20  years old, I had become a man. A man who had killed other men.

Days, weeks, and months roll by without me ever giving much thought to it. But sometimes I can think of nothing else. I have not suffered as many other Veterans have. I am strong, sound, and have my life and family. But I understand others sacrifices deeply.

With politics such as it is, causing everyone to hate the other side, right here in our own country, don't forget about those who are sacrificing their families, their innocence, and indeed their lives in order to protect an ideal that only history will dictate as right or wrong. Whether you do or do not support the war... at least support the soldiers. It's the least you could do.

When you see a soldier, sailor, or Marine... tell them "Thank you!"... not just for their service, but thank them for the sacrifices they have made. Thank them for sacrificing their innocence. Thank them for sacrificing their families. Thank them for doing what most would never do.

To my brothers in arms, Thank you... and HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Extreme Adventure Vehicles Pt. 2

Photo courtesy of
In keeping with our series on Extreme Adventure Vehicles, we come to a group of vehicles that are truly built for adventure.
These vehicles are extreme! If you are trekking across South America or the African Savanna then one of these might be for you.
These vehicles are not for the Weekend Adventurers... they pack a serious punch and are built for the literal long haul.

Built by Global Expedition Vehicles, these will definitely get you wherever you want to go...

Check out their website HERE

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Extreme Adventure Vehicles Pt. 1

Photo Courtesy of
One item that every adventurer dreams of owning is the ultimate adventure vehicle. The very thought of being able to access the inaccessible is one of the driving forces in an adventure.

Have you ever wished that you could have the conveniences of an RV, but knew there was no way your Winnebago was going to make it through that rough outback trail? Have you ever spent hours thinking of how to build the perfect vehicle for your adventure needs? Have you ever wished there was a vehicle on the market that would satisfy your taste for adventure? Well, there is.

This is the first of a series dedicated to Extreme Adventure Vehicles. These are not your average 4X4... no, this is a salute to the truly EXTREME!

One such vehicle (if you have an extra $80,000) is a custom Sportsmobile. These things are great. They are a 4X4 van with many options for customization. They can be as comfortable as they are rugged and will definitely get you where it is that you want to go. It's all up to you!

These vehicles passed the test in MOAB and Baja... they just might work for you.

Check out their website and all of the custom options HERE

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Surfers Take On Sandy...

Photo by Credit: @kellyslater
For surfers, Hurricane Season is a mouth-watering, frothing time of year. Along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, summer bring flatness and often the only hope for a big swell is a good ole hurricane.

Hurricane season comes as a mixed blessing to surfers. No one wants the destruction and devastation that comes with landfall. No one wants to see lives uprooted and the tragedy that families face in the aftermath. Texan surfers remember all to well the suffering that came with storms like Katrina and Ike.

But this year, a late season storm, Hurricane Sandy, dubbed by some as "Frankenstorm", brought a huge swell to Florida's Atlantic Coast, and with it were walls that rival Hawaii's Pipeline.

Many a pro surfer joined in the fun. Surfings most prolific icon, Kelly Slater, even got in on the action in his native Florida. Check out the video below...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

GoPro HERO 3: The Ultimate Adventure Camera...

Photo courtesy of
When looking for the ultimate adventure camera, you can't beat the new GoPro Hero 3.

I'm not just saying that either... I'm not endorsed or sponsored in any way by GoPro, but I know what those cameras can do, and the new HERO 3 can do even more!
I mean this thing is totally cool... It can shoot 1080 HD video at 60fps or 720 at 120fps. It can shoot 12MP photos with a 30fps boost.

No matter what sport you are in to... surfing, kayaking, snowboarding, skateboarding, rock climbing... this thing is a must-have for documenting your adventure. You can mount it on your board, to your head, chest, wrist, or just about anywhere.

See all of the Specs HERE

Check out this video shot 100% with the HERO 3...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Surfing World Loses A Legend...

The Surfing World has been delt a blow as legendary surfer/shaper Donald Takayama passed away yesterday. Donald was 68 years young.

One of the best longboards I ever owned was a Takayama Model T... it was a nose riding machine, but was fast enough to get through the critical section of a wave... geez I miss that board.

Below is an excerpt from Surfline on the great Donald Takayama:

"It is with heavy hearts that we report that master Hawaiian craftsman Donald Takayama passed away yesterday. He was 68 years old.

Hailing from Waikiki but raised in Honolulu, Takayama placed 2nd to Corky Carroll in the 1966 and 1967 U.S. Surfboard Championships and enjoyed other competitive accolades, however, his main contributions to the sport and culture occurred in the boardbuilding realm. Remarkably, the Hawaiian started shaping surfboards not too long after he first started surfing, at only seven years old -- making him the sport's original child prodigy.

By the time he was 12 years old, Takayama bought his own plane ticket to the mainland with money he earned from a paper route. He promptly landed a job in Venice Beach, CA, at Velzy-Jacobs Surfboards, and once the company owners divided the business, Takayama followed Jacobs Surfboards to Hermosa Beach, where he built blades for the likes of Mickey Dora and Lance Carson before debuting his own hugely influential Donald Takayama model in 1965...."

To read more, Click HERE

RIP Donald. I know you are toes on the nose in heaven!

Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 Winter Outlook for Adventurers

With winter weather approaching in many U.S. States, outdoor adventurers are keeping an eye on whats going to happen with the "Elusive" El Nino.

Weather Prediction experts expected El Nino to begin by now, but that hasn't been the case. That makes this years outlook less certain than in previous years. The western half of the U.S, along with Alaska  is expected to be warmer, while Florida and Hawaii are expected to be cooler. The eastern half looks to be about normal conditions. This could be good news for many adventurers and climbers, but not so great for skiers and winter-sports enthusiasts.

What can you say? If you don't like the weather, just wait an hour and it will change.

To read this years outlook from NOAA, click HERE... or check our Sidebar for more info.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

NatGeo's 2012 Adventure Bucket List

Courtesy Natl. Geographic
2012 Ultimate Adventure Bucket List

"Twenty of the world's top athletes and explorers share their wildest dream trips—a dazzling list of never attempted feats daunting to even these world-class competitors. For the rest of us, consider their must-do adventures—and start planning." Says Kate Siber of National Geographic.

I must admit that looking through these athlete's dream trips made my mouth water for adventure. I particularly liked Hiker Andrew Skurka's idea of traversing the Yukon and Northern Alaska, as well as Surfer Layne Beachley's must-do trip of surfing the Mentawai Islands.

Check out the full 2012 Ultimate Adventure Bucket List HERE and let your juices flow! 

EXPEDITION: Big Bend - Pt. 2 - Trail Fitness

Photo Courtesy of National Park Service
Trail Fitness... Before taking on an expedition such as Big Bend National Park, it would seem that trail fitness is a must.
Big Bend has such a wide variety of landscapes, from the mountains, to the rugged deserts, to the river canyons, it is obvious that this land can break you if you aren't ready for it.

About 2 months ago, when I decided that I wanted to take on a hiking expedition, I knew that I needed to ready myself for it. Even though I did not yet know my destination or the timeframe, as an experienced hiker, I knew it was best to start preparing myself early.
I had put on a couple of pounds from sitting behind the desk too long, so I began my fitness routine by putting myself on a diet and cardio training. As I knew that hiking would be by adventure, instead of running or jogging, I decided to train for the actual event. I began a regimen of Power-walking. At first I was doing a 2 mile flatland hike at a power-walk pace, gradually increasing the time as well as distance. I am now completing a 3 mile flatland hike/power-walk in 38 minutes, so now it is time to add a weighted pack into the mix. Since I live in a relatively flat coastal area, I will add dune-climbing and stair climbing to the regimen also.
I also began a series of stretching exercises to increase my flexibility as well as strength training focusing mainly on lower body, core, shoulder, and back strength.

The diet has been... fun? No, seriously it has been interesting. I gave up all fast-food sources and junk food. I have also given up red meat and cut the starches to a minimum. It has been basically chicken, fish, turkey, and whole fresh vegetables. every once in a while there is some white or brown rice and even more rare is pasta.

The fitness routine is working... I've lost almost 20 pounds of fat, added 5 pounds of muscle, and feel better than I have in a long time. Fitness is crucial for a back country expedition... I plan to be ready for whatever Big Bend can throw at me.

Friday, October 19, 2012

EXPEDITION: Big Bend - Pt. 1 - The Destination

Photo courtesy of:
OK, for the last month or so I have been trying to decide the destination for my next expedition. I have known for awhile that I want a multi-themed adventure but not entirely sure what I wanted to do, nor where I've wanted to go.
The foremost thought on my mind has been a hiking expedition. I'm talking about a rugged, nasty hike that will sap the strength right out of you... maybe throw in a rock climb or two and viola... the perfect getaway.

I have finally chosen the destination and set the time frame for such an excursion. I have decided that Big Bend Natl. Park shall be the destination, and the week of March 10, 2013 will be the time.

The main reason that I have chosen Big Bend is because of diversity. Big Bend has a multitude of choices for hiking. From desert hikes, to mountain hikes, to river hikes, Big Bend has it all. According to research from the National Park Service's website, "Elevations range from 1,800 feet along the Rio Grande to 7,832 feet on Emory Peak in the Chisos Mountains. Elevation changes produce an exception variety of plants, animals, and scenic vistas. Generally, hikers can expect a 20°F temperature difference between low and high elevation hiking areas." There are more than 150 miles of trails in a large desert expanse, each filled with adventure, just waiting to challenge me..

Yes... I do believe this will be a most glorious adventure. I will provide regular updates on planning the trip, preparing for the trip, and much more. Stay tuned for EXPEDITION: Big Bend!

Welcome Adventurers!

Welcome Adventurers!

Does it seem like you are chained to your desk? Do you sit back and wish that you could get away from it all and take that vacation that you've been promising to take for years?

This day in age, too many people are busy with their day-to-day lives, the job, the kids, the bills... I too have been there. I too know how it feels to be trapped in the work world (mainly because I still have to work for a living), but I do enjoy my little adventures, excursions, and expeditions. Follow me as I go through the process.

This blog is dedicated to those who try to capture and embrace the adventure spirit... Get off the couch and go for it!