“You’re an outdoorsy guy,” he said with a smirk in his voice as I reiterated the vacations I ‘d taken with my daughter; kayaking in Santa Cruz, hiking The Narrows and hiking the Bright Angel Trail for instance. I indicated that his assertion was true though I’m not the type of guy who goes out hunting or fishing and I’ve fired a gun only once. That being the case I tend to see ‘outdoorsy’ types as different from the rest of the world.
Pushing oneself past personal expectation provides powerful assurance and perspective. My brightest days were those were I’d hiked in freezing rain and kept going, ten, eleven, twelve miles until a good campsite was found. I remember pushing past bonking and bad moods to cycle the extra ten miles to get to lodging. Setting up a tent at the end of the day when I could barely stand.
Life gives us ample opportunity to persevere, commit and grow through chosen and forced challenges. Still there is a powerful sense of fullness one encounters in the outdoors; a polarity between quiet being stillness and exuberant wind-howling flesh knowing livelihood.
This may apply more to men; ladies feel free to stay back at the house and create a home. For men however nothing is as simply stimulating as pushing oneself in the outdoors. It is that coming alive and coming to God. For those who smirk at the challenge or simply don’t understand it they miss out. We are meant to push hard and come alive in the process. For those who reach the mountaintops obtain a unique experience reserved only for those who strive to reach the top.
"There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest...." Robert Service