"You can't always get what you want...but if you try sometimes, well you just might find, you get what you need." Rolling Stones
Sailing headlong into the Third Act of our "play," Bobbie and I share a common belief and it is this: What one did yesterday they can likely do today, and thus, via logical extension, what one does today they will in all likelihood be able to do tomorrow.
Maybe, if we just keep pushing our outdoor limits and routines...the things we hold dear, the things that make life worth fighting for, the things that bring sense of accomplishment, joy, and inner calm, well, maybe, just maybe—barring illness or injury—we might be able to keep doing tomorrow what we do today, which is to climb and hike and explore the west's wild, remote places.
But oh the gods. They seem to delight in human misfortune and misery. My inner cynic says, Life is a crapshoot, Mark. Greed prospers over benevolence, hatred "trumps'' love, and Charles Manson dies of old age while children die of cancer.
Perhaps the cartoon Calvin and Hobbes expressed it best:
“The world isn't fair, Calvin."
"I know Dad, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?”
Human beings seem to be wired to hold out hope in the midst of despair by counting on some unlikely event to come to their rescue. Why else would we spend 75 billion dollars per year on lotto tickets here in the good ole USA? To add insult to the "injured," according to a Duke University study, it is the poorest third of households that buy half of all lotto tickets.
I don't buy lotto tickets. Don't play Powerball either, where the odds of me winning are 1 in 292 million. Let's break it down to the harsh reality; if you bought 10 tickets every single week, it would still take 562,000 years to win the jackpot. My single greatest hope is not a lotto win, unlikely as it may be, but rather to be out there on the trail tomorrow. If I can just keep doing what I'm doing, the odds of that happening are more in my favor. Health over wealth.
There's no prize for those who live beyond Actuarial Predictions. Just more yesterdays piled onto tomorrows. I will take "quality" over "quantity" any day, as I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be a "happy camper" at the "home" if I can't do the things that keep me interested in staying alive.
To that end, these days, I'm working at shifting my goal oriented mindset...just a little bit, mind you, because I'm wired to still enjoy a good push to a new PR. This is now on my Desktop, where I'm forced to read it several times a day: "There's little glory in climbing a mountain if all you want to do is to get to the top. It's experiencing the climb itself - in all its moments of revelation, heartbreak, and fatigue - that has to be the goal" (Karyn Kusama). "Heartbreak and fatigue." Wow, I"m almost there...
|In middle ground, Lovely Ouray. In the distance, as if floating on haze, Grand Mesa.|
|Mount Abram, with a touch of Red Mountain.|
I will leave you with another quote from Call of the Wild by Jack London. I keep it on my Desktop as a reminder of my inner "wolf," and to keep on keeping on, out there on the "trail," be it pushing for a silly PR or sauntering along smelling roses: "He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars."
"Everything that was not death." Hmmm, maybe our belief is not so farfetched after all. If one "climbs" today, is not likely that they can "climb" tomorrow?
Now go take a hike...preferably one that wanders through wilderness devoid of human beings. Then do it again tomorrow and the day after, and keep doing it till you need to do it in order to feel "right." What's good for the body is even better for the mind...
Here's to postponing infirmity.
I hope you enjoy the rest of our hike on Bear Creek Trail.
Cheers, mark and bobbie