Am I Peaking Early?


It is stereotypical for men when they reach what many may call a ‘mid-life crisis’ for them to act out in certain ways and display sometimes peculiar or even bizarre behavior.

The man may act out by leaving his wife for a younger woman. Trade in the family four-door for the sports car he always wanted. Maybe he quits his job and chases deer through the forest, I don’t know. Typically this crisis has been associated with a radical change in behavior, values, and priorities. I think I might be experiencing one myself.

I have realized that over the last year or so desires I long thought dormant or never knew existed have taken a flying leap to the forefront and are compelling me to consider things I once thought impossible, or improbably for me.

“I think it would be outstanding to climb El Cap and The Matterhorn, I would love to be able to climb both of those” I said to my wife.

Fifteen minutes later when she came to after her fainting spell she gave me a look of shock and awe.

My wife's reaction....if she were a cartoon, and had blue hair.

By the way she looked at me it was as if I said to her,

“I stole the neighbors dog, come see!”

or

“I sold everything we own for a few magic beans that will take us to a wonderland filled with brussels sprouts and artichokes!”

or

“hey honey, I know I’m crippled, and that we have a child, and that when I stand it’s difficult for me to stay in one place because of my disability but I think it would be great for me to risk life and limb climbing a mountain for no real purpose but to experience the rush of doing so, a few pictures, and feeling of accomplishment!”

I mean really….. I think she over dramatized things a bit.

So where did this desire to take month-long backpacking trips come from? A few years ago I was content with furthering my career in investment finance and now I’m adding arduous outdoor recreation activities to the mix. I get antsy if I haven’t been to the gym in over three days, and I find myself annoyed if I haven’t gotten outside for  a length of time away from the house and surrounded by trees, bluffs, rivers, creeks, hills, or other such features. My favorite pair of shoes are my Merrell hikers followed by my Evolv climbing shoes.

For Christmas this year I bought myself renewed subscriptions to my favorite outdoor mags and I spend nights in front of the fireplace with my wife watching climbing videos and National Geographic as a way to scout new places we should visit. I’m addicted to the LiveWell Network’s Motion TV show (find it here) and Fitz Cahall’s The Season (find it here). Change is everywhere it seems.

I just turned 34, so I don’t think I’m experiencing a mid-life crisis just an awakening of something that was once dormant. Funny how this was all awakened by a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park. Like the caldera beneath my outdoor fervor lie undisturbed, boiling and building to a head.

From this awakening I’ve gotten my creativity back and hopefully by the June/July of 2012 I’ll have launched a brand new project I’ve been brainstorming. I might leak a few details here and there but for me it’s an exciting venture that I’m hoping will succeed and surpass my wildest imaginations!

Until next time……adventure on!

Categories: Backpacking, Climbing, Hiking, Insight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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