02 Jan Why Get Outside?
Why do some of us choose to get out and ski fresh powder early in the morning following a terrific snowstorm? Why do we feel attracted into the wilderness for healing, meditation, quiet, and peace? According to our own adventures, each of us likely has different answers to those queries. For many of us, getting outside carves out space for emotional clarity helps us feel alive, and activates a reset button, so to speak, which brings us back to real life prepared to face it head on back again.
Some of us proceed weekend skiing for easy, fun diversion, while other people make it a career pursuit by devoting a lot of the life to enhancing their form and gaining pace. But, if you are Ben Saunders, you’ve spent much time in state that most don’t even watch, and at great personal risk. But, why? What’s it about setting challenging goals and working toward them that affects the landscape of the interior selves?
For Saunders, the purpose of getting outside is encapsulated in This thought: “If I have learned anything in almost 12 decades today of dragging heavy things around cold places, it’s that true, real inspiration and growth only comes from hardship and from challenge, from stepping away from what is comfortable and familiar, and stepping outside into the unknown. In life, we all have tempests to ride and poles to walk into, and I think, metaphorically speaking at least, we could all benefit from becoming outside the home a little more often–if only we could sum up the guts. I certainly would recommend you to open the door just a tiny bit and have a look at what is out.”
This is coming from a guy who has trekked to the North Pole solo, A trip of 800 miles in some of the harshest weather conditions on earth. He did so while pulling a sled weighed down with equipment, eating 6000 calories per day, and sometimes skiing hard all day only to realize that he hadn’t made any forward progress in any respect. (When you’re skiing on top of ice that’s in perpetual drift, you may begin your day off by discovering you are further back than you were the day before. #nobigdeal) Sounds like so much fun, right?
Saunders has stated that while the times of calculating unknown Wilderness the manner that John Wesley Powell failed through the Grand Canyon may be over (we’ve pretty well mapped the globe), the chances to explore your chances and what you can do are certainly not. This is a persuasive observation and one worth considering–this concept that striving against the struggle has value in itself by mirroring the job that must be done in life.
Recall George Mallory, the man who may have been the first to Summit Everest? He is the man who had been climbing with Andrew Irvine in June of 1924, and if they actually summited the mountain or not remains an unanswered question. His body was discovered in 1999 in surprisingly good shape. Why did he –and why do other people–risk so much to do what they love? Here was George’s response:
“People ask me, ‘what’s the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is of no use. There is not the slightest prospect of any gain at all. Oh, we may learn a bit about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We will not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron… If you can’t understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, and then you won’t find out why we proceed.” (emphasis added)
George’s comment suggests that always fighting your way up and ahead, working against setbacks, and locating pieces of yourself in the process are all things that are really worthwhile. And it seems that Ben Saunders would concur. After finishing his trek into the North Pole, he decided to do an 1800 mile trek from the edge (coast) of Antarctica to the South Pole, then turn around and go all of the way back. He did it with a buddy, and though 9 people had attempted to make that journey before, no one had actually done it. They didn’t see darkness for four weeks, and Saunders only changed his underwear three occasions in 105 days. TMI?
But what he had to say concerning this epic journey in which they endured hunger, hypothermia, and intense weather is interesting food for thought. He explained that: “If I’m honest, Antarctica challenged me and humbled me so profoundly that I’m not sure I will ever be able to place it into words. …That I am standing here telling you this story is proof that we all can accomplish fantastic things through ambition, through fire, through sheer stubbornness, by refusing to stop– should we dream something hard enough…it will indeed come to pass. But I am also standing here saying, you know what? That cliché about the journey being more important than the destination? There is something in that. The closer I got to my finish line…the longer I began to realize that the biggest lesson that this really long, very hard walk may be instructing me is that joy is not a end line– for us people the perfection that a lot people appear to dream of may never be genuinely attainable, and that if we cannot feel content here, now, now, on our journeys, amidst the jumble and the striving that all of us inhabit–the open loops, the half completed to-do lists, the could-do-better-next-times– than we might never believe it.”
Sure, most of us clearly aren’t a Ben Saunders, ski intense Journeys in tough terms and leaving the comforts of home the way he does. But if you love to ski, there is that “call of the wild” that you’ll understand–that will need to get outside, hit the slopes, visit jungle which looks uncharted, and consume clean blankets of white in isolation for a little while.
If that contrasts with you, we’d really like to help you make it happen! We are devoted to group transport, and ski trips are something we like easing. Whether you’re going with a bunch of buddies or taking the entire family for a week in the hotel, let us be the people who get you there!
The information for this article came from the following sources: