Being Men: Confessions of an Adventure Junkie

Last fall I ran the Savannah Marathon for my third marathon; upon crossing the finish line I felt the exhilarating feeling of disappointment.

The fall before that I completed my first Half-Ironman, and as I hit the finish line I saw that my wife eye’s were filled with pride and amazement at my accomplishment, but I just wobbled away amotional.

The summer before that I climbed two 14ers in Colorado in one day, but looked wistfully at a beautiful lake across the valley, wondering how could I get there instead.

In my garage I have posted an article about hiking to Everest base-camp, a bike ride across Scotland, hiking the El Camino de Santiago in Spain, and a drawer full of trail maps…is this my version of the garage meth lab?

Recently, I have been pondering, “what if I am an adventure junkie?”  Always chasing after an allusive “high,” and never satisfied in the moment.  As I have registered for the BRR and the Fall Leatherneck, I’ve wondered are there other guys in the nation that have this same condition: you hit the finish line of one event and rather than relish and savor the moment you are preparing for the next and bigger adventure.

From the Office finale, last night, was a line by Andy Bernard:  “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

Growing up in Buckhead in Atlanta, my parents would have me relocate to the mountains of North Carolina for the summer.  This was ideal for a city boy.  It was those summers, when I would wait tables at night and mountain bike or hike during the day, that helped to shape me and make me feel fully alive.  It may have helped keep me out of trouble in ATL, but also probably produced this unsettling desire for more adventure when things get too comfortable.

Tim Keller, in his book Counterfeit Gods, says one way to identify what your idols are (those things that give you false purpose and meaning) is to consider, “what do you day dream about?”  Perhaps those posters in my garage, those bumper stickers on my car and the trail shoes on my feet reveal the answer.

Now, I’m not saying these challenges are bad, but wonder how do you relish the moment?

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