We all know today’s 1st world concerns are more about “did my text go through?”, “my cell phone reception sucks”, “this data coverage is too slow” or “why did my food take more than 3 minutes to prepare, ugh!” rather than being worried about a predator chasing us or foraging/hunting for food for our survival.
As a result, there is a wide open market to promote caveman workouts and lifestyles, which we market and promote with certainty rather than speculation. That’s cool, I’m up for a little fun away from the conveniences of modern living, without pretension 🙂
Note: this post is not about roughing it, it’s about having a little fun in a perfectly controlled environment, with a calculated element of risk that can be surpassed with human intellect.
So, after having some fun with basic calisthenics, I went on a run along a path, then broke off said (nicely laid out bicycle) path and went “off road” (into the forest, but still on a laid out path, as I even saw lampposts to illuminate a dark path in the evening).
I encountered other runners, people on their off-road bicycles, a deer and her two fawns, even a coyote, which was probably the riskiest aspect of the run, next to not having bug spray on or no water. I was a little apprehensive because Wile E. didn’t run away, we made briefly eye contact until I remembered you make eye contact with large felines, not canines (per my guide in Tanzania). I kept cool, slowed to a walk but kept on, knowing he’s afraid of me, and he took off leisurely.
Nothing extraordinary, but the interesting lesson for me happened afterwards and it was interesting to recall Laurence Gonzales’ book Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies And Why. In his book, Gonzales mentions that younger children (I think up to about 7 years old) are more apt to survive in the wild than adults. Kids are instinctual: they’re cold, they seek warmth. They’re tired, they rest. They’re scared, they hide. Adults try to map everything or try to make sense of things, and push.
How does this relate to my run? Well, I’m from California, where cities are grids and I know where the ocean is. I was in a natural reserve park in Minnesota, where my bearings mean nothing (even if I can look at the sun for bearings or look at my iPhone’s compass, I still had no clue where I was). So, I tried to retrace my steps and look for familiar marks. And at some point, I zigged when I should have zagged and lo and behold, I wound up on an extra mile loop where I returned to where I saw Wile E. Coyote.
No panic, I had time, I had a phone with full bars and no place to be, and running kept the bugs away from me (they only attacked when I slowed down). I got lost, and it was fun. But only when I stopped trying to make sense of things (in this case, how my “grid mentality” bearings were confusing me) did I find my way. It seems I should do the same with my life.