Why do any of us decide to get out and ski new powder ancient in The morning following a great snowstorm? Why is it that we feel pulled into the wilderness for meditation, healing, silent, and peace? According to our own experiences, each of us probably have different responses to these questions. For a lot of us,getting outdoors carves out space for emotional clarity helps us feel alive, and activates a reset button, so to speak, which brings us back into real life ready to confront it head on again.
A Number People proceed weekend ski for simple, fun diversion, while Others make it a profession pursuit by devoting a lot of the life to improving their form and gaining pace. But if you are Ben Saunders, you have spent much time on skis in country that many do not even see, and at great personal risk. But why? What’s it all about setting difficult goals and working toward them that changes the landscape of our inner selves?
For Saunders, the point of getting outside is encapsulated in this thought: “If I have learned anything in almost 12 years today of pulling heavy things around cold places, it is that accurate, real inspiration and growth only comes from hardship and from challenge, from stepping out from what is comfortable and familiar, and stepping outside into the unknown. In life, most of us have tempests to ride and poles to walk to, and that I believe, metaphorically speaking at least, we can all benefit from getting beyond the home a little more often–if we could sum up the guts. I certainly would implore you to open the door just a little bit and have a look at what’s outside.”
This is coming from a guy who has trekked to the North Pole solo, a journey of 800 miles in some of the harshest weather conditions on earth. He did so while pulling a sled weighed down with supplies, eating 6000 calories a day, and at times skiing hard all day only to realize that he had not made any forward progress in any respect. (If you are skiing in addition to ice that’s in perpetual drift, you may start your day off by discovering you are farther back than you had been the day before. #nobigdeal) Seems like so much fun, right?
Saunders has stated that while the times of calculating unknown wilderness the way that John Wesley Powell failed during the Grand Canyon may be over (we’ve pretty well mapped the world), the chances to explore your chances and what you could do would be certainly not. This is a compelling observation and one worth considering–this idea that trying against the battle has value in itself by mirroring the job that should be completed in life.
Recall George Mallory, the guy who might have been the first to Summit Everest? He’s the man who had been climbing with Andrew Irvine in June of 1924, and whether they actually summited the mountain or not remains an unanswered question. His body was found in 1999 in surprisingly good condition. Why did he and why do other people–risk so much to do exactly what they love? Here was George’s response:
“People ask me, ‘what’s the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and My answer must at once be, ‘It is of no use. There’s not the slightest prospect of any profit at all. Oh, we might learn a bit about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We will not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron… If you cannot understand that there’s something in man which responds to this challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t find out why we go.” (emphasis added)
George’s comment suggests that constantly fighting your way up and ahead, working against setbacks, and finding pieces of your self in the process are all things that are really rewarding. And it would appear that Ben Saunders would agree. After finishing his trek to the North Pole, he chose to do an 1800 mile trek from the border (coast) of Antartica to the South Pole, then turn around and go all the way back. He did it with a friend, and though 9 individuals had tried to make that travel before, nobody had actually done it. They didn’t see darkness for four months, and Saunders merely changed his panties three occasions in 105 days. TMI?
But. What he had to say about that epic trip in which they endured hunger, hypothermia, and extreme weather is interesting food for thought. He said that: “If I am honest, Antartica challenged me and humbled me so profoundly that I’m not sure I will ever be able to place it into words. …That I am standing here telling you this story is proof that all of us can accomplish fantastic things through ambition, through passion, through sheer stubbornness, by refusing to stop– if we dream something hard enough…it will really come to pass. But I’m also standing here saying, you know what? That cliché about the journey being more important than the destination? There’s something in that. The nearer I got to my complete line…the longer I began to understand that the biggest lesson which this really long, very difficult walk might be teaching me is that happiness is not a finish line– for us humans the perfection which a lot of us appear to dream of may not ever be genuinely attainable, and that when we can’t feel content here, now, now, on our journeys, amidst the jumble and the trying that all of us inhabit–the open loops, the half completed to-do lists, the more could-do-better-next-times– than we might not believe it.”
Sure, most people clearly aren’t a Ben Saunders, ski intense Journeys in difficult conditions and leaving the comforts of home the manner that he does. But if you like to ski, there is that “call of the wild” that you will know–that need to get outside, hit the slopes, and visit jungle which appears uncharted, and consume clean blankets of white in solitude for a little while.
If this contrasts with you, we’d really like to help you make it happen! We specialize in group transportation, and ski trips are something we like facilitating. Whether you’re going with a bunch of friends or taking the whole family for a week at the resort, let’s be the folks who get you there!
The information for this article came from the following resources: