As I referred to in my last post, I've been thinking so much about the reliance on man-made comforts to live. I've always been one to get out to the woods and disconnect form the craziness that we've all decided to take on as how to live. So last night I decided to try a little something new and just head out to some outdoor area with nothing but my clothes and see what happens.
I joined a good group for a few 400 meter sprints and the 6x150 meter sprints in the morning at the track. Then I had a rough platform session, only hitting 90kg (198lbs) on the snatch and 130kg (286lbs) on the clean and jerk. But, I was able to hit 350lbs for 3, and 365 for 2 on the front squats, that was cool. I then spent the rest of the afternoon just chilling out and relaxing after a pretty crazy week. Then, around 6pm I took a drive on down to Half Moon Bay. Stocked up some water for when I returned, found a pretty sweet place to gobble up a few fish tacos, then drove off into a random neighborhood, and a dead end at the top of a hill to park the car, check my gear, and head out.
Let's go over what the plan was:
Wear warm clothes. Bring a towel or blanket just for a little extra warmth. Bring along a small pocket knife for whittling. Walk out into nature and find a place to hang out for the night. That is all.
No lights, no food, no drink, no shelter; just me, my clothes, and nature for 12 hours.
My initial idea was that I'd hike ion for like 30 minutes or so and find a tree or something to hang out under for the night. But, it turns out Half Moon Bay has a fog horn that sounds every 8 seconds or so and does so for, um 24 hours a day, all year. And when you get out into the mountains, the wind carries that sound forever. So my 30 minute hike turned into a 3 hour, uphill trek to get away from the horn. I failed.
At around 10:30 or so, I found a little clearing, peeled of my drenched-in-sweat shirt and hung out there staring up at the incredible amount of stars. I'll be honest, i have no idea what i thought about over the course of those handful of hours. I know that my brain runs wild with all sorts of things, from technical business crud, to fantasies about fitness goals, to creating elaborate, fantastical stories of mystery that I am involved in. And I think after sitting there for long enough my eyes closed for 30-60 minutes. When I popped awake, and soaked in the mostly silent air (that damn fog horn), I decided I would keep going and see what I might find. So, it was off on the trail again, up, and up, and up.
The trail met a road (seemed really strange based on where I was), and the road became dirt. The dirt road (i assumed to be a horse trail) led me to a pretty nice clearing with a couple really big trees, and an abandoned tractor and some other farm junk. I set up shop under one tree and I think I spent about 2 hours or so there, thinking, whittling, dreaming, sleeping, thinking. I then moved to a trailer hitch; a nice flat, wooden contraption that I was able to lie down in and stare up at the stars. I slept a little there as well.
Somewhere around 4am I awoke and decided I'd just start to meander back down a little bit, taking my time and finding some random spots to sit down and think about whatever popped into my head. That damn horn was distracting. And I eventually found myself back down at my first clearing where I fell asleep for about an hour, facedown in the side of the mountain.
6am and I kept moving down, falling over only about 5-6 times as I realized how damn steep this mountain trail was! I got to another pretty nice clearing around 6:30 and decided to settle in to watch the sunrise over the mountains and out over the Pacific. It was incredible. The colors slowly shift from jet black, to dark blue, to the slightest tints of red, orange, and lighter blue, before the gold began to create that peaceful dawn down the side of the mountain and stretch out over the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. I don't think I thought of much there, just watched it all; soaked it all in.
I found my way the car after getting a tad lost for about 20 minutes and just like that, it was back to the bustling of the real world. Cars, lights, breakfast in a nice spot by the beach, coffee, and in the gym to work on putting it together even more. In a strange way, it was like I never was out there. I could barely see anything all night. i have no idea where I went, what I stepped in, sat in, slept in, or what was around me. I spent close to 12 hours alone in a more or less abandoned area, completely blind. And when the word whirled back to me throughout the day, the long night seemed like a bit of a dream to me. So what did i learn? Did I have any sort of profound realizations? Was the whole thing even worth it?
Well, it's funny. I didn't "realize" anything like I used to on my long runs, or like when I was riding my bike alone along highway 15 for 8 hours straight. But what i did find was a whole slew of little things like: every shadow tells you something unique about the terrain (the darkness of each one will tell you how steep a slope is, or if there is a big divot or something like that). Things become a lot less creepy and scary when you're stuck plopped right in the middle of it all (after a couple hours I just decided that being worried about dirt, bugs, animals, killers, and all that other crazy stuff just didn't actually matter. Just because i couldn't see anything made things no more scary or creepy than if it was broad daylight. It was actually really relaxing to just BE in nature). We really are WAY, TOO, FREAKING COMFORTABLE. I talk all the time about getting out into the wild and escaping all our comforts, but I was thinking constantly about the warmth of my bed, a heater, a big bottle of water, a clean bathroom, and a hearty meal. It's honestly a complete joke how weak we all are. It hit me so hard when after about 3 hours I actually turned around to head back to my car. I stopped myself and stood there for about 15 minutes cursing myself that I would be too much of a baby to just hang out in the middle of Mother Nature for one stinking night.
One night. There's nobody shooting at me, nothing chasing me, I'm a few miles from my car and only about a 15 minute drive to my safe, warm house. Want to know what happened to me? Absolutely nothing. Nothing. I spent the night in the woods and then went home. It was a step in the right direction for me to learn what it means to be a human, a man; to be me. I'm happy i did it. I'll be doing more stuff like this, regularly, for the rest of my life.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Get Discounts Below!