Married Women, this one is as much for you as your husbands. This is focused on The demasculinization of man. Taking the warrior instinct out of all of your natural daily behavior, leaving you… dull. Now please do not take this as an insult. Dull is not your personality, nor is it your bend in life. It is what modern society has in store for you. Even the warriors of our time will leave their professional soldier career, stop working out, stop taking any risk in life, and become weakened by society.
I guess I should probably retreat for a moment. If you believe in creation, then you likely believe in one of the religions, and if it’s anything other than following Buddha… then you already get where I am coming from. No God? Then you get the struggle of the early hunter I would assume. Warrior life is in our blood.
Ok, back at it. I had a great, albeit short, conversation with a patient a couple of weeks ago. But in this brief discussion, we talked about getting out into the world to do something hard, with our hands. And how fulfilling it is to simply do work. The conversation turned towards adventure, and I struck on how different sport endeavors have been my interests over the last decade, and it made me think about those who leave a high school or college sport, and quite literally never pick it, or another sport back up (I am choosing to exclude golf here, though this can kind of do the trick).
The simple breakdown of what I am trying to tell you, is that MAN becomes less of a MAN when he does not have an outlet that is physically challenging, ripe with effort and pitfalls, likely to create some level of pain and discomfort, and ultimately provide an opportunity to conquer and win. From a Biblical standpoint, it is everywhere.
Even Christ who embodied love, had warrior in him. Remember the story of the Temple and the money changers where Christ turned over the temple tables, but more importantly, John 2:15 lets us know he went and actually made, and then used, a whip in this process. Warrior. Testing the waters of something else besides ordinary. We become better fathers, better husbands, better leaders, more passionate in general, when we launch ourselves into something crazy.
My buddy, Andy, posted this picture on facebook yesterday. It is a map of an adventure race. I honestly think that these races provide more of this need, in one singular event, than anything else. Why? Because they are disorganized goals, that require thoughtful consideration on how to organize. Let me lay it out for you.
So you get this map, and a series of points that you need to plot. Then you head out into the world, and often you get taken to a drop off point. Your mountain bike might be there, or if not, it is likely somewhere else on this map. You get to navigate yourself from point to point, in the woods, with or without trails. The goal? Get as many of the checkpoints as you can, in as little time as possible, but more important than fast, is quantity. The awesome component to this however, is that if you don’t finish under the time cap, you begin losing points. A point that might have taken an hour and a half to navigate to, will be taken away in as little as five minutes depending on the race rules.
I have stories of paddling across the entire width of Lake Allatoona through the middle of the night… or up the Kentucky lake of the “land between the lakes” and seeing NINE shooting stars in the sky that night, while simultaneously getting hypothermia because I had lost my fleece out of my pack when earlier we fought through a huge patch of briars in the dark of night.
30 hours. No sleep. No rest. Get it done.
This and CrossFit as a sport. These are the two things that have given me the outlet that man NEEDS. This was needed by me after I lost my eyesight in my left eye 12 years ago. At the time, hockey was my warrior outlet still, but the lack of depth perception made it hard for me to continue. So racing through the night time woods, with one eye… that became my safe outlet.
So, the reason why I am writing this today, is because I played in my first competitive soccer game last night since high school. Yes!!! Fun times, I am beat (45 years old, really fit like CrossFit fit, not really fit like stopping and starting and all that jazz fit). In addition, tonight is my first hockey game since about six months after losing my sight. Yeah, I tried for a few months, but hated having no depth perception and being a sad version of who I had been as a hockey player, so I gave it up. Well, I have played pick up hockey three times in the last month, signed up for a league, so I am back in!
There is a line in definition of Fitness in 100 Words by Greg Glassman, that I think of every time I read it; “… regularly learn and play new sports.”
Though these aren’t new, it is wise to take yourself out of your environment and get into something. New, or old, but men. You need to get out and be a warrior. Trust me on this. Pick up a barbell, a mountain bike, a compass, a baseball bat, a backpack… something is calling you. Heed the call.
Be well and Be blessed! – Dr. E