Extremes Can Be Wildly Entertaining, But Not Really Practical
In 2010 I went on a backpack trip to the Caribbean with my buddies Clarke and Galen. It was such an amazing experience and a trip that I will never, ever forget. On this trip we befriended a guy named Vinny who owned a bar on Jost van Dyke. Vinny also owned a boat and we signed up for a day-long excursion to Virgin Gorda, which by small boat is a few hours away.
Our trip there was fun and Virgin Gorda was amazing. Insert camera noise now…
As fun as the trip TO Virgin Gorda was, the return trip was the opposite. To get to this island from Jost you have to traverse a channel between Tortola and St. John and then Tortola and Peter Island. For some reason on our return trip the seas got bad. We were in a 20 foot boat which is small for the open ocean and the waters became extremely rough, probably 6-7 foot seas. This might not sound so bad unless you are on a small boat that is struggling to keep its head above water.
We spent a couple of hours battling the waves to get that little boat safely back to the dock on Jost. The waves beat the bow of the boat and tossed us around like a rag doll. Vinny was on the throttle working to keep the vessel steady. Every second felt like an eternity. When we got tied up Vinny looked at us and said “Boys we escaped death today.” We all laughed and joked about it, but later that night while sitting at the bar in Corsairs (Vinny’s bar) the reality of what we lived through hit us all. We actually lived through an exhilarating and scary situation. It isn’t something I ever want to experience again. My adrenaline was pumping. My fear was elevated. My senses were on high alert.
I am not built for extremes and I don’t believe living in the extremes is a healthy way to live. Yes the extremes might be fun for a bit, but I have found extreme highs come with extreme lows. I work to keep my mind out of the extremes and more in the middle. I try not to get too excited when times are good and I don’t like to get too down when times are tough.
I developed this mindset through learning to play the game of golf. I am currently a 2 handicap and what allows me to keep my scores down is keeping my mind calm when under pressure. It is essential to avoid the emotional roller coaster of highs and lows in order to remain calm.
This mindset of living in the middle does not mean that life is dull and boring, but it does mean that I take things in stride. My view is that you can’t spend every day on the mountain top celebrating and you shouldn’t spend too much time in the valley wallowing in misery.
Just a thought for a rainy Saturday…