What do you do for the weekend in April when the weather forecast expects below freezing temperatures, rain, snow, and a lot of wind while also being sick and having a busted knee? Well if your me, you take a weekend summer survival course!! That’s what I did this past weekend, and it was awesome. The conditions were perfect; The weather was miserable, I hurt my knee from hiking the bruce trail the day before (actually re-irritated my LCL and IT band after a drunken night of St. Patty day shenanigans), didn’t have proper clothing/gear, and I was still sick after nearly two weeks. It would have been easy to feel miserable about having crappy weather, freezing your ass off and whining about walking on muddy hills with a busted (very painful) knee after dropping about four hundred bucks for the course plus gear. Rather, it was exciting for me. It made the experience of being in a survival situation much more authentic. In other words, how you think matters. You know, that story about two prisoners looking out their cell window and one sees the bars while the other sees the sky.
I learned so much this weekend. Did some survival fishing and got pretty good at it, actually caught something for once as well. Made some cool traps, practiced some more fire making techniques, refreshed my memory on some first aid and shelter making. It was great. Its funny, the older I get I’m constantly reminded about how little I know. I really feel like a kid just trying to soak everything in. Learning and skill acquisition are so important to me. One of my instructors for the weekend spent a year out in the bush by himself (his only visitor being Les Stroud aka Survivorman) and when people ask him why he did it he didn’t really have an answer. He basically said it was a calling that he felt on the inside and it isn’t the first time I’ve heard that from people who have done extraordinary things. I feel the same way about skill acquisition and learning. I don’t know why I do it, I just like to do it.
I re-designed the blog website last week. I tried to make it as ridiculous looking as possible and think I succeeded. It was a fun learning experience and I’m glad I did it (there’s still bugs in the system, let me know if you find any. free hug!). I don’t know why I did it, I just felt like doing it. I also paid to be a part of Scott H Young’s “Learning On Steroids” program which involves rapid and accelerated learning techniques as well as Ramit Sethi‘s “Earn 1k” program. Scott’s program is a monthly subscription and Ramit’s was a one time deal with an option for ongoing support (which I chose not to pursue at this time). It was funny, I emailed Ramit and pretty much told him I have little money with a condo and big fat tuition bill on the way, no time, and soon to be no job and explained my situation to him. He basically wrote me back and said man up or go home. I literally laughed out the coffee through my nose because I knew that was what he was going to say and because I would have said the same thing to someone who emailed me that. Then I busted out my credit card. Sneaky, persuasive bastard.
The journey into awesomehood is never easy but always rewarding. It’s about focusing on your strengths and improving upon your weaknesses. It’s about taking what’s useful and discarding the rest. It’s about ignoring everybody and everything, sometimes including common sense and conventional wisdom. Standing at the edge is better than standing in the middle. You get a better view.