I’m not a young man anymore. But I ain’t old, either.
At 46 I should be still at the “top of my game,” but today, for the 5th day in a row, and the 30th in the past month and a half, I am laid up in bed with back problems. I am scheduled for an emergency surgery tomorrow—a fact that should have me excited as it will likely immediately fix my problem. Instead, this surgery has me slightly worried since I had back surgery 13 years ago which resulted in a spinal infection that left me in a hospital bed for four months, with another year of painful recovery. That was not a good time for me.
I know this surgery will be different—I’ll be fine. But I am reminded, via this small hiccup in my health, of the vow I took upon emerging from my injury more than a decade ago: Live the adventure of life!!!
In that regard my age is inconsequential. I regularly encourage our guests of all ages to drop their daily lives and head out on an adventure, whether it’s a walk in the nearby woods or a three-week African safari. Now, once again, I have to look at my own behavior and ask myself: am I living the life I ask others to?
Truth be told, I spend the vast majority of my life doing what I am doing right now—typing on my laptop. It could be emails regarding anything from the quality of the meals at a specific lodge to the performance of one of our staff naturalists to reading reports on the state of the adventure travel industry. All interesting stuff to me, for sure. But while I truly enjoy these things, they should not be my only life.
Have I lived up to my commitment? Have I pursued the adventure of life to the fullest? Well, while haven’t done too badly – I occasionally go on trips by myself and with my family — I could do a lot better. Maybe I should put the computer down a little more often and join a NatHab trip on a whim? Maybe take my sons on an impromptu camping trip, or even just find a new trail somewhere in Boulder and explore the unknown (to me). Sometimes these little injuries and illnesses pop up just as a reminder, a test of peoples’ memory: “Did you forget your goal, Ben?” We’ll, I think I might have and now I’ll get right back on it. While I will not stop reading spreadsheets and monitoring the success of our company, I do promise to get back out there a little more and “live the adventure of life.” I’m looking forward to seeing many of you out in that adventure life as well!
See ya’ in the field!
Founder & Director
Natural Habitat Adventures