Two and a half years ago, I moved from the rolling hills of the Midwestern US, to the dry, rugged mountains and valleys of the Northern Rockies. My love for the outdoors and the need for a change of scenery pushed me to make this decision. Having wanted to live in the mountains since learning to snow ski in Colorado at a young age, I had grandiose visions of what my life out west would be like. I imagined skiing every weekend, summiting alpine peaks, pulling in monster rainbow trout from crystalline rivers and spending cool evenings around a blazing fire.
Looking back on the time I have spent here, I can honestly say that I can count my skiing expeditions on one hand. I have climbed exactly zero “alpine peaks”, have realized my extreme lack of fly fishing knowledge and have sat around only a few “blazing fires” amongst friends.
This recent reflection on my time here was inspired by an article over at Semi-Rad, one of my favorite outdoor blogs. In the article, Brendan describes “Chris”, who has an impressive list of outdoor accomplishments, despite having a regular day job and the obligations that most all of us have:
“I think what makes Chris Chris is that he never has an excuse,” his friend Andy says.
“People ask how he makes time to do all the rad stuff he does, but in reality, everyone
has that time. They just don’t have the drive to get out there. They don’t have that first
kick to get out the door.” – (Found here)
Reading this passage hit me like a bag of bricks. An inspiration-bomb of sorts. It made me realize that I’ve been making excuses, often to avoid the things that I really would love to be doing. This is a realization that I had come across several months ago, but had not given it the time or mental energy to really inspect. I’ve caught myself making these excuses before – “Work has me too busy”, “I just don’t have the time”, “I’ll get to it someday”, “Must be nice to be able to go and do _____”.
I realized that I’m the one holding myself back. It’s not a lack of time, or a lack of resources. It’s about priorities. So I have decided to begin now. To begin living the life that I had imagined for myself so long ago. I may not ski every weekend, or climb the highest peaks, but that will not stop me from quenching my thirst for adventure. It begins now.
So don’t let your excuses get in the way of your dreams, go out and grab them. Start small if you have to, weekend and overnight trips are no less valuable than month long expeditions. Heck, if that’s all you can ever do, it’s better than sitting back and watching your life slip through your fingers. It’s all in your perspective, and how you value your time.
Until next time, with love