I was chatting with an old friend and I realized that the things and activities I hold as normal are very often not something people do.
You see, I spent most of my childhood and teens years playing rugby, learning rock climbing, and spending time outdoors. During college came skydiving (I blame the 1991 Keanu and Swayze movie Point Break for that one), and then, when I joined the military, came more extreme ways of doing things: I spent time in a recon unit learning how to suffer, more or less. And after that, well, the GORUCK Challenge, alpine climbing, and a few other things that pushed the boundaries of what a “normal” activity is.
All these experiences, and the people I met through them and because of them, distorted what normal is, I think. All my friends are either of that world, or know of that world and are comfortable with the craziness and fun that come from it. However, lately I’ve been taking part in other “communities” where even riding a bike offroad can be considered an extremely extreme sport.
Things became both interesting and weird at the same time. Things I hold as “meh”, like having over 1000 jumps off an airplane, or feeling at home carrying a heavy backpack over several miles without losing my smile, seem to be either subjects of much “wow” to some people, or make people think I’m truly crazy. And I don’t know what to do with it, beyond being amused.
On the other hand, it got me thinking about the fact that people don’t do these things, and don’t even try to live fully. I mean, I’m getting old, and my body took a lot of punishment over the years, and it’s hurting, but given the chance to try something new, something that pushes me, whether physically or mentally, I’d go for it in a heartbeat. I just don’t understand how people don’t think that way.
I don’t know. I feel like writing this down. Just to get the thoughts out and free the mental space for other things.
In any case, yes, I did and I still try to do crazy things.