Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Answering "Why"


Having just returned from hiking the West Coast Trail in 2 and a half days and kayaking the Broken Group Islands immediately following, I get asked "why" when people see I am limping. Yes, I tweaked my knee and yes, athletes get injured - it's part of the risk associated with the lifestyle. I am currently sporting a limp that will require physio, new scars, a few irritating cuts in places you rub up against countless times daily, and I've been away from my family and close friends for 5 days. I got to bed after a much needed shower at midnight and up for work at 4:45, the 5th poor sleep in as many days. And I paid good money to do this.

So many people pose the above question to which there is no answer I can give. Because it is not to them I must answer. People will always doubt. I can answer "WHY" to my own satisfaction and that is the point.

I look at the lack of sleep as a sign of how much life you can really cram into 5 days...
I look at the bumps, bruises, cuts, and even injuries as barriers to entry that keep people who ask "why" and don't get it from ever entering such understanding...
I look at time away from email, to-do lists, and everything else as an opportunity to check back in and ensure my priorities are in order...
I look at missing my family as a good thing because even in the pursuit of lifetime goals the celebration of such achievements is fuller with them - hence the balance between personal identity and identity within a collective family unit...
I look at the adversity in the moment as already fading but the lessons and character that came out of adversity as a more permanent outcome...
I look at suffering to do things that aren't easy but have in them some profound reward; even if only in the eye of the beholder; as a part of being truly alive and being on a journey to see, do, and become more than would happen in a default mindset.

I have many powerful "Why"'s that drive me and help make me who I am - and even if I am not 100% certain of the outcome, but I trust those I'm with - "Why Not?" is just as good a question as "Why?" in the first place. The great thing about perspective and attitude is even a glass that's only half full can still lead to a very full soul; where a half empty glass leads to a very empty existence instead.

Hard work, and the perspective to see the worth in that work is truly the difference and brings a lot more meaning to life.

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