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?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great blog!! I DO like motorcycles, though--but only after years on horseback and finally agreeing with my husband that, mile by mile, motorcycle is much safer.

    I DID see the NYC July 4 fireworks with my son this year b/c he works there now---and walking with the crowd was definitely crazy. I'm glad I did it with him.

    I LOVE the activities that you do. I love to hike. I'm not into back-packing (my weight and knees couldn't stand it). But I love to camp and hike places that are charming but little known. I like finding those hideaway gems.

    Have a great trip.
    3216 days ago
    Definitely enjoyed your blog! Hope you have a great trip!
    3221 days ago
    Great point! I call my husband crazy for doing Tough Mudders, but I know that's what he loves and what he gets out of bed for every morning. To each his or her own! :-)
    3222 days ago
    Very thought-provoking blog! Of course I don't think you're crazy. You're inspiring!! Yeah!!!
    3223 days ago
    Well I for one don' think you are crazy. I commend that spirit and wish I had a touch more of it. Now must say I wouldn't be going to grizzly territory but would love to go hiking and backpacking ect. I know you have been working hard at getting ready and I know you will have a great time!!!
    When my knees are given the okay, I want to re join the volksmarch group here in Dartmouth I joined when we moved here then stopped cos hubby wouldn't go and felt bad leaving him alone. Well now I just want to go, he used to like it no reason now why but oh well I am going to go. Hoping by next spring I will be fine.
    Have a super trip and ENJOY be a pretty boring world if we all enjoyed the same things, and I for one find nature ect. more enjoyable than sitting in a casino, or restaurant. Will do that stuff too but give me nature along withit.
    YAYAY YOU !!! emoticon
    3223 days ago
    Well, you know you and I have the same torn out pages in this crazy book of life! I'm right there with you doing the kayak, canoe and hiking adventures.

    My DD celebrated her 21st yesterday by having a tea party and invited her girlriends to all come wearing Prom dresses. We had pretty much the same conversation. Some people want to celebrate growing up by going out and getting drunk in a dark smelly bar. Others are happy going out to dinner or having a party. She just wanted to hold on to a bit of the past. Would I want it? No, but that was not the point. She had a gloriously wonderful day with her girlfriends having "fun". I got to create a glutten free feast for them and do the serving but pretty much was out of the picture.

    For me it is all about being out on the trail, not knowing what is ahead, appreciating the excitement of a moose or heron or eagle or splash of something big ahead.... or the relief of nothing but stillness. Being with the one I love and trust the most... mmm. The challenge physicaly, mentally. Planning is so much of it. You can't go back for anything. Improvising and adapting. Feeling... having "tricks and gadgets and recipes" that make big differences even when you are minimizing.....the risks of timing against what can go ....I won't say wrong... just in a different direction and still getting to the right place at the right time. No, not crazy.

    I found myself and my husband walking a part of the Rideau last weekend when it was hot and humid and we were on a boring, dusty cottage road for all of it. When we got home my parents gave me the same look... "crazy". But it is part of a goal, dream, challenge. I can't help wonder when I'm out there, "why isn't eveyone out here?????" but on the other hand I treasure having it all to myself. Unspoiled. Hmmm. Have a wonderful time L. Justyna
    3223 days ago
    Love it! I relish being seen as crazy or out there because then I know that I am really living - enjoying life and doing the things that make it worth while! ROCK your crazy~!
    3223 days ago
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