Monday, August 08, 2011
A few weeks ago, during a long run on a very hot day, some young guy with all the wisdom of his few years on earth deigned to stick his head out a car's window and call me crazy. First I just laughed. But then I got thinking about it a little because, frankly, running on a shady sidewalk seemed less crazy than undoing your seatbelt and poking your head out of a moving car to yell at a pedestrian.
Then I thought some more about it. Was it crazy to be out running in the heat and humidity? I had Gatorade and shade. I felt fine. My legs were enjoying the pace. I was taking care of my body. I was investing in my future health by keeping this ever aging body fit and lean. Nope, nothing crazy about that.
This past weekend, Steven and I spent a lot of time preparing for our upcoming backpacking trip west. We've been canoeing more these past few summers and have become used to extra luxury in our provisions. Backpacking is much harder work - ensuring that we are pared to the bare bones but packing sufficient calories to fuel ourselves without tipping the pack weight much beyond 45lbs requires a lot of thinking. At one point during the 9th or 10th discussion about which stove we should bring, Steven piped up and asked, "How many times do you think we’ve been told we're crazy to be doing this?"
I had to stop and think. While many wonderful people I know admire our adventurous spirits, I’ve been told many times that my choices are crazy! Crazy to be heading out into bear country (GRIZZLY bear country!), so far from civilisation, refrigeration, television; to choose active vacations over the opportunity to sit on a beach for a week. Crazy to do all this work and planning when an all-inclusive trip is a quick visit to the travel agent. Crazy to love it so much. Crazy.
Here’s what I think is crazy. It is crazy to believe that you and I have to enjoy the same things. It is crazy to look around at all the magnificent things that people do to fill their joy-spot in the center of their hearts and NOT find courage to seek your own. I don’t understand the need to grow a foot long grey rattail and ride a Harley across Arizona. I don’t have any desire to spend a week eating in Michelin starred restaurants in France. I don’t want to travel to Times Square for New Year’s Eve. I’m the last person you’ll find at ANY event ending in -con. There are all kinds of ways people spend their time that is different than how I spend mine. That’s not crazy – that’s amazing!!
The problem with the judgement of “crazy” is that some of us take it to heart. We become so afraid that people will find our heart’s desire weird that we tell ourselves it is crazy to want what we want. It takes courage to own your crazy and to fill your life with the activities that fill you up, recharge your batteries and make you your unique self. Without a little crazy, we become stagnant, bored, restless and unhappy – and that’s a recipe for disaster.
What’s your crazy? What’s keeping you from fulfilling your dream?