Friday, February 1, 2008

Of Heros, Adventures and Suffering


As the son of a son of a sailor

I went out on the sea for adventure

Expanding the view of the captain and crew

Like a man just released from indenture.

--J. Buffet


A note before reading; the spell check isn't working so cut me some slack here....
I am the Son of a son of a sailor. My grandfather was in the Navy in WWII in the Pacific Theatre. His son, my Dad grew up in Philladelphia reading Captains Courageous and Horatio Hornblower. I think it was as an escape from an otherwise tough childhood. His mind was at sea long before his body was. When he and my Mom moved west I think he was doing what he could to get into a boat and start sailing. As a kid I was fortunate to grow up sailing and racing boats. We vacationed by sailing our Catalina 30 up and down the coast of Southern CA and into Mexico. It was partly out of those expereinces that my sense of adventure grew.

Like any other outdoor pursuit sailing is not all fun and games. You are at the mercy of the elements and the vicitm of technology that does not always work properly. Therein lies the confluence of a fun time and an adventure. If one is only going to go out for a quick ride, a nice sail around the bay or a walk in the park one is not likely to encounter an adventure. To have an adventure requires some level of adversity. Adversity leads to discomfort and discomfort leads to suffering. At some point along that continum lies adventure.


I have grown up reading the stories of adventure my favorite is Endurance the incredible voyage of Ernest Shackleton. The thing that I love about stories like this one is how the human spirit can overcome suffering and adversity. It is my desire to be out in wild places that first brough me to seek advnetures. But the thing that keeps me coming back is the suffering. Through adversity and suffering I have learned a lot about myself; what I can do, and where my biggest personal challenges lie.


My love of adventure brought me to Coloma and that is where I have stayed for the last 18 years. I have many heros that live work and love right in my community. Heros that have won my admiration through their accomplishments in adventure and exploration. Coloma is such an amazing community in large part because of the river runners that live here. There is an incredible concentration of athletes and explorers right here for me to admire and emulate. Right off the bat I think of Beth Rypins, Scott Lindegirn, Kelley Kalafatich, Tori Robinson, Dawn Bean, Rusty Sage, Charlie Center... I could go on and on with a list of friends that through their first descents, ascents, and willingness to push themselves have won my admiration. All of these folks have something in common, they are willing to step outside of their normal comfort zone to go farther, higher, longer faster. They are willing to suffer to get through. To grow.

From that willingness to go out on the razors' edge comes an appreciation of the important things; a sunrise, the touch of a loved one, a roof and a warm fire, the connection to loved ones. Things that we live for. There is nothing that I can imagine that would be more comforting than to be surrounded by these folks right now.

Adevnture and sufffering are two things that keep me coming back to the bike. There is nothing like clawing your way up a giant climb after riding 80 or a hundred miles only to find out that there is another hill to climb before you can turn toward home. Or rolling out through the hinter lands, destroying a tire 10 miles in the wrong direction from a bike shop and having an easy traing ride turn into a 140 mile epic. Or enjoying a meal and a cold beer with your buddies at the end of a big ride. These are the things that are church for me. The things that transcend the weekly grind. The things that affirm my humanity.

What makes a good adventure for you? When have you worked hard to overcome the odds? I'd love to hear.


Inspiration: Belgium Knee Warmers
Find Religion: tcotbr

There is no new news to report, I have an appoitment for a biopsy on Wednesday with results at some point after that.

3 comments:

bikesgonewild said...

...sorelegs...i always like to check out the crossover posts...

...first, w/ out knowing previous details, i'll wish good luck to you on that biopsy...

...if you can spare the time, & it wouldn't surprise me if you've already read this, but joshua slocum's 'sailing alone around the world' is an excellant read...it chronicles his adventures in his sloop (later re-rigged yawl) 'spray' in 1895...to me, even a little scary...

...i love to sail when i get the occasional chance but one friend is kind of a wussy sailor (hate to get in a 'real' situation w/ that one) & the other chap, who's been a sailor all his life is also, as can be typical, a serious alcoholic seaman...the first half of the cruise in the sf bay & even out through the 'gate' is awesome but then conditions devolve so quickly, it's not worth my ultimate aggravation...

...anyway, some other time, i'll chronicle a serious adventure in my life...

...again, good luck !!!...

Tori said...

I need my own webpage....

Sorelegs said...

...BGW...Thanks for dropping by and the kind words. I'll check out Josh Slocum. I've heard the name but never read the story.

Tori-- what are you waiting for? You, of all people will like blogging.