One of the many things I love about exercise and the great outdoors is the ability to shut off your conscious brain, quiet the constant stream of thinking and let things drift in and out of your head. One of the most ideal scenarios for this is a long trail run. And one of my favorite locations is Brown County State Park in Southern Indiana. The well-maintained trails go for miles and miles, winding, over creeks, down valleys, through sprawling hills and long rolling stretches; never so difficult you have to work too hard but enough of a challenge to keep you focused on your next step while still enjoying the views and solitude. Derick and I were out on our last run of 2015 when it hit me that the next day was a new year, the official start for 2016. I’ve never been one for resolutions; however, I’m a big fan of setting goals and always working towards something; ‘self-betterment’ you could call it. The idea popped into my head that perhaps as we enter into a new year, we should consider focusing less on ‘resolutions’ and more on ‘resolve’.
You would think that after 14 years of doing something, you’d have it pretty dialed. Yet somehow I still find myself reflecting on days, sessions and events, coming to realizations I’ve not yet stumbled upon. We never have it all figured out. None of us, ever. That is a part of life. It may be a frustrating part, but it’s a very important part and I believe an essential part to constant self-improvement.
Derick and I took a Wilderness Survival Course a week after Hawaii. It was a great change of pace to our Saturday; almost ‘like a normal couple’, doing something cool, unique and together. We drove 1 hour north of the Austin sprawl into the quiet countryside of Bertram, Texas. We spent 7 hours in a rustic little cabin with 10 others learning the basics of wilderness survival; how to be prepared for an emergency scenario, immediate human needs in case one is stranded and alone, how to make fire, how to find water. It made us both want to go camping again. It made me want to go camping and impress my friends with 6 different ways to start a fire. We finished our course with a quick lesson on compass reading, and we were taught about how ‘magnetic north’ varies from ‘true north’. Our instructor left us with the simple yet resonating message. “Go and find your own true north.”