Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Vehicle for New Adventures

I’ve always loved trucks. I didn’t watch much TV when I was a little kid (and still don’t) but I had an extensive collection of Legos and Tonka trucks. I pretty much split my time between making trucks with Legos and pushing Tonka trucks around in a dirt pile behind my house. The couple square feet I needed for a play area seemed like a universe. Lately I miss the feeling that the world is really big and contains unlimited mystery and possibility.

Back in college in Vermont, my roommate and I and our close friends would take our trucks through Nor’easters and up into the Green Mountains to teach ourselves how to ice climb or do things like rappel into 100 foot deep caves with only a few lengths of 4mm cord to Prusik our way out. It seemed like a big deal back then. Sometimes I miss fear. Sometimes I miss putting myself in situations I seriously doubt if I’ll be able to escape. That fear made us sharp. It gave us a reason to learn new skills, to exercise and strengthen our bodies, to carefully observe our surroundings and to problem solve. Starting and running NEMO has had its share of adrenaline moments, and the general sense among the NEMO folks that we are a first ascent team, deep in the unknown, pioneering and risking everything, has kept us sharp and engaged. But on the personal level, I’ve been coming up a little shy of my quota for adrenaline lately.



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