Getting off your rear

Why climb Everest? Because it is there.....

This talk was a reminder that in the midst of our modern, comfortable lives, we might benefit from seeking a little adversity (In the speaker's case, that involves a multi-week trek across the arctic carrying hundreds of pounds of food and fuel while enduring consistent sub-zero temperatures), he argues that only in these instances do we find real growth and suck the real "juice" of life.

The epic and "claim to fame" nature of his journeys (first person  to walk across Antarctica), makes it seem like it is something to hang his hat on in old age. Though maybe it is just for pragmatic reasons to help generate a little extra income from sponsors, speaking engagements or future book/film rights. Seems like one wouldn't need such titles to motivate a true search for life.

Most interesting was that he says his adventures have laid waste to his relationships and bank account. He described his thirst for adventure as something a crack addict would experience. It's strange though how he says it so freely, as if he has accepted that it is worth the trade. I struggle with the balance. How to maintain a reasonable job with secure income and yet still have the freedom to explore. Education is the only path I have found that will enable that.

In any case, I can relate. I too have a burning ember of restlessness, but my approach has to been to piss on it every time it flares up and dares to become a real fire. I have for years wanted to wake up one morning and just walk for months on end until I feel like I never need to walk again. To leave all of this caged thinking and living behind. I am tired of my hampster like cube and dusty stone box I call a home. Though, at the same time I know all too well how good I have it. How comfortable my life is. Every time I go down this line of thinking, I turn to back to Ecclesiastes (and a little bit of science which suggests exercise, new experiences and good friends all lead to well being).

I know as I sit here in the comfort of a padded desk chair I see my own life wasting away. I need a challenge. I need to start pushing myself more. In 2010, I did a good many things and I certainly felt alive then. I keep telling myself the weather sucks, but honestly, I am just being a whiner. I have wanted to bike to Charleston for the longest time. There is nothing holding me back. I should be taking trips like that at least once a month. I complain about gas money or the cost of eating out, but I am just being lazy. Admittedly, this month was a little tight with Christmas and repairs around the house, but I am just sedating myself by not planning more regular smaller scale adventures.

Plan for the weekend: Leverage my social networks to take advantage of this flash of spring. Take Saturday and put in 30-60 miles on the bike exploring some small town and the rural countryside.