Friday, January 24, 2014

Keeping the Dream Alive

I hope I don't ever eat my own words. I hope I never become complacent with my life, although I do believe that a certain level of contentedness is necessary or else you'll never be satisfied and live an empty life. Humans need to feel pride and confidence just as much as they need a fiery hate and longing for improvement. I hope I don't ever eat my own words.

I had a buddy of mine, an incredible athlete himself, competing in NCAA swimming at Ohio State, tell me that I'm actually doing cool things. He said most people just talk about doing things, going places, getting out of Cincinnati, but I actually did it. My instant response was that he can "get out" too, and anybody can if they actually want it. Not to say Cincinnati is bad--it's a great place to grow up--I just think exploration should also be a part of life and geography plays into that for me.

So how do you "get out?" How do you do "cool" things? Alastair Humphreys, adventure writer, just posted a blog titled What's Preventing You From Having an Adventure? He concludes that excuses are what hold people back. He's a huge proponent for microadventures locally. Example: the weather feels like -9 outside right now. That's really cold. I could stay in bed all day long. A pretty valid excuse, -9 degrees can be legitimately dangerous. But fellow go-getter Wyatt Lowdermilk and I are going to run up Butt Mountain this afternoon. It's going to be cold, but hey, just put on more clothes. That's an adventure in itself.

Wyatt crushing downhill in Boulder, CO

The hardest part of many things in life is getting started. Procrastinating job applications, working out, talking to someone you like, whatever. But once you start, the proverbial snowball keeps rolling. I think it's exactly the same with adventuring. Fake passion until it becomes real. Get outside in -9 degree weather. It'll be miserable I promise, but two days later you'll think about it again and want to go back out. Take the job offer in the unknown. Talk to someone new. Get out of your comfort zone. Fake passion until it becomes real.

Inspiration isn't hard to find. Youtube can take care of that. My friends take care of that for me. Wyatt, Glove, the Changs, Henry Wakley they are DOers. They're structured but whimsical. They're smart but are relaxed. Another buddy of mine, Tom Saxton, isn't made for the classroom. He spends his summers working temporary jobs in national parks and then travels. He went on his own roadtrip with his girlfriend this winter break along southern Texas, NM, and AZ, with a little CO in there. Tom's a short, strong, quiet man with a bushy beard. He's not too happy in a classroom. Speak to him of a mountain and his eyes light up, "Dude. Yes." He took a week off of school, literally in the middle of last semester, to go hang out in Florida on the beach for a week. Now how he pulled that one off I dunno, but he works hard cutting down trees for forestry research during the week, then he takes adventures. He's everywhere but incredibly present when you talk to him. He doesn't have a smart phone. Tom's a DOer, a go-getter, never complacent, always forward and positive looking.

Tom, somewhere, probably in New Zealand

Inspirational people are all over the place. You can be one yourself. Heck, you are one already. Go do.

Inspiring people.

PS. Kristen Chang has an awesome blog about sports AND nutrition (with some dope recipies). She and I did a fun interview that she just posted here!

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