Here’s a tip that I forget all the time . . . and then I remember it: Seize the moment. More to the point, recognize opportunity for quick detours, for super micro adventures — adventure moments, maybe.
What do I mean?
It’s best explained through examples. This summer a buddy of mine, Jon, was doing another lazy float on the Coeur d’ Alene River — inner tubes, light rafts, just floating along, right, but this guy is well into his forties, happily married, kids, pretty typical stuff. Until this one day, as his crew floats by a cliff that rises above a deep and clear pool, he decides that it’s time to jump.
Sure, younger and dumber kids and men have made this leap before him, but the point is, Jon is a fit and active man in his forties. He’s not dead. He’s not fat and tired and unwilling to stretch.
It would have been so easy to float on by, crack open another drink, and watch the trees, soaking up the sun.
Instead, he stopped the float and climbed the rock. The height? His reasonable exaggeration pegs the fall at 40 feet. Judging by the guys who happened to be fishing from parts of the rock, I estimate the drop is at least 30 feet — and probably more.
The point is, he faced a fear, spiked his adrenaline, and had himself a new experience. It didn’t take long.
I don’t know his wife, but I know a little something about women, and this I know for sure:
Chicks dig guys who do things.
More Examples of Adventure Moments
You want to keep living a great life? Pay attention to these little opportunities. They etch themselves into your memory.
Years ago, I rafted the Salmon River from Hammer Creek through wilderness down to the Snake River and out near Heller Bar — a long 3-day weekend whitewater adventure. Utter kickass fun. I want to do it again. But what’s one of the things that sticks out in my mind years later? Stopping in the middle of nowhere, climbing the side a small sheer rock bank and taking the time to jump in — just like Jon. Except, my jump was only 15 feet or so, but it was a moment. A jump, a dive, a tiny moment of suspended animation where the only thing I was doing was playing with gravity. Clears the mind.
What about rowing through big rapids for miles on end? That was crazy fun and challenging, but it’s more blur than something etched into my mind like this small moment on that trip.
On another afternoon when I was working in the woods during summers in college, I swam a set of rapids on the Middle Fork of the Clearwater River. I wore a life jacket and took along a mask so I could see underwater. A simple thrill, and there’s something primal and scary about watching shallow rocks whisk by under your nose as you accelerate toward a crashing mess of whitewater then see the bottom drop out underneath you into deep dark water.
I’m not saying you should jump or dive into water you don’t know and break your neck. Not saying you should swim through rapids. Not at all. You should know your own limits, know what you’re getting into, and be responsible for yourself and those around you. But sometimes a guy needs to step it up a bit.
Just like Jon.
Pay attention, and you’ll recognize when.
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