A wise man once said, “Live a gentle life.”

It took some time for me to realize what this actually means.

Walk softly? Move slowly? Act kindly?

Perhaps those things. But mostly, live calm. Be in the moment. Choose now. Your body requires energy to do well, survive, be happy. It’s finite, and living gently allows your energy to replenish so it can then grow.

That wise man was James Altucher, a hedge fund manager, entrepreneur and author. While our careers differ vastly, he’s a constant source of inspiration in my life. He inspires me in the way we should all be inspired – with genuine heartfelt words that strike the right chords and spur thoughts into action.

Our cover story may at first sound like the polar opposite of living “gently.”

We feature a petite but badass local rock climber scaling a former glacier in the Hocking Hills. While the activity is intense – both mentally and physically – her movements are strategic, careful, gentle.

We urge you to take advantage of the many other adventures Ohio has to offer, be it fishing, hiking, rock climbing or even wakeboarding (page 34). Heck, even trying to make a dessert that’s healthy can be an adventure (page 66).

Throw away the connotations and make the word “adventure” your own. We’ve all suffered one of the harshest winters in the history of Ohio, and we deserve to get out there and enjoy Mother Nature for the betterment of our bodies.

My own “adventure” as of late has also been a privilege; making this magazine. Every issue surprises me with the amazing people I meet and get to know.

I played Fit photographer for a day when I followed the highly Instagrammable couple Lacy Litteral and Jared Stace (page 20). Their contagious energy and love – both for each other and what they do – radiated as I spent time with them.

My photo editor Chris Casella and I followed Jack Hanna around the backend of the zoo; I hung out inside the koala exhibit with baby wallabies rustling at my feet and heard tales of Jack’s many hiking journeys. I now understand how to pack sufficiently if I’m on a trip in the glaciers, and I know to not pee on rocks there. “They always say you should pee on a rock out there,” Jack said. “But I don’t know why! That’s silly, just pee somewhere and cover it up.” Thank you, Jack.

And I’ll tell you what, capturing the cover image was the purest form of adventure: The drive – “Were we supposed to turn there?” The hike in the rain – “Am I really this out of shape?” Photographing in the rain – “Don’t move, have to clean the lens,” and topping the very long day off right, “Oh! Strawberry milkshake!”

Our Fit contributors had their own adventures, too. Writer Chris Gaitten explored foreign territory in reporting about community-supported agriculture (page 56), and while Thailyr Scrivner was writing about trail running (page 46), she’s also been trail running as part of her training for a 100-mile race.

It’s my hope that their words, and all the rest in this issue, strike a chord within you to explore your own meaning of adventure and living gently.