Saturday, September 5, 2009

Why we do what we do - Part I

There are those among us that have aquired a certain addiction to "adventure sports" or adventure travel". For many of us, this addiction comes after many years of not being so nice to our bodies. Ray Zahab has always said he was a drinker and a smoker - a club guy for lack of a better term. Than one day he decided to start running and before you know it he was running across the Sahara desert. Quite the change. Not only for Ray, but I'm sure for his family and friends as well.

How does one explain to their family why they get up at 3:00 A.M. to go running. Or why they have to rent a bike on vacation because they can't go a week without riding. How does one explpain to their friends, that they used to "party" with that they don't want to go out on a Friday or Saturday night anymore, because they need to train in the morning. And most difficult, how does one leave their spouse and children for periods of time, hours, days, or in Ray's case, months, to complete these "tasks".

I recently began reading "The Masked Rider" by Neil Peart (my favorite author by the way). It chronicles his bike tour through Cameroon in western Africa. I'm only one chapter into it, but something already has resonated with me and I'd like to share it here.

Neil writes:
"The best part of adventure, it seems to me, is thinking about it. A journey to a remote place is exciting to look forward to, certainly rewarding to look back upon, but not always pleasurable to live minute by minute. Reality has a tendency to be so uncomfortably real.

But that's the price of admission - you have to do it. One reason for making such a journey is to experience the mystery of unknown places, but another, perhaps more important, reason is to take yourself out of your "context" - home, job, friends."

Of course there is more to it than just that, but I felt this was a good starting point. Use it as you see fit.




coastkid said...

i think its just best to explain to folk you do what you do because its your passion,everyone has different ideas of what YOU should do but its your path through life and you do what makes you happy,and as life changes then your passion for things will proberly change too

Craigers said...

Amen brother coastkid!

NorthWoodsGuy said...

Great post! I sure can relate to the 'thinking about it' aspect of an adventure.

Going on my "country roads, take me home" ride tonight to revitalize my spirit after the drudgery of my work day!

Craigers said...

Have a great ride NWG! Hope the solitude and simplicity of a man and his "steed" re-charges your batteries.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this Dog, I feel that in my personal experience my affliction has and is turning into my addiction, at least when it comes to biking and health, I love the post and also think that as we age we travel two roads 1. A person who is willing to take risk and change 2. A person who is content with the way things are! I cannot remember who said it but will try my best, "A man not willing to take the hard road will most likely regret his decision" It makes me feel better knowing that my friends are willing to sacrifice to take the risk of the hard road, until next time "Happy Trails, safe biking and Get Bent”