Did I challenge myself in the last two months? I think I did allright but should push myself more. Here´s what I did:
- Climbed Chimborazo, a 6310 metres high volcano with limited preparation. First time in my life I used crampons and an ice axe, went to pretty extreme altitude without having previous experience and risking altitude sickness, but made it all the way to the summit, despite many thoughts about giving up and hating myself for doing it on the way up… They say that a lot of man´s strength is in his head & willpower. I agree with that. I´m not a trained climber or extremely fit, but kicked my ass to the summit regardless of how exhausting it was. I almost cried when I got up there, it was pretty emotional 🙂
- Walked 100km in 3 days, through the mountains, valleys, canyons and roads between Riobamba and Baños. Did it without a map, only using a compass. More about this? Check out this post.
- Slept in a tent and wet clothes during a 4 degrees night at El Altar, at around 4000 metres.
- Used only spanish wherever I went, not allowing myself to speak English, that´s too easy!
- Smiled at strangers on the street, especially the females :). Hey I never said all this has to be related to adrenaline challenges! Read Niall Doherty´s post about What do you practice, you´ll get why I do this.
Last two months were full of challenges, but not of the adrenaline type, the only real adrenaline or risky one was climbing Chimborazo, a 6310m high volcano, with crampons and ice axes at around -15 degrees from midnight until 6 in the morning at a 45 degrees incline most of the time. That was challenging enough I suppose! (only 2 people out of 6 made it to the top…). The main challenges were related to having a new lifestyle in a new country, whilst learning the language and learning how to travel long term.
This is the reason why I made Challenge a part fo my blog, because if it´s just down to me (without the public commitment and need to write about something each month, that will kick my lazy ass into doing more stuff), I would keep on the safe side. My brain works like a risk assessors one – if there´s risk involved, like bungee rope snapping, I rather not do it, because my brain tells me it´s not worth risking death for a few seconds of pleasure.
This might make me live a long life, but it will also make me miss out on experiences. (disclaime – I´m still not going to be an adrenaline junkie…just do a little bit more than normal!)
I think I will still do some of the “risk assessment”, but will strike a balance between risk & adrenaline & fun etc. For example, I fear deep water, I can´t swim that well and float like an anvil. So why not do an open water dive course, right? Watch this space.
Flirting will get a separate section as it´s a differenty type of challenge.
I was pretty active in this direction, flirted with more women in a week than I did in months before. Most were innocent flirts, chats or the odd kiss, but the key thing I learned is that worrying about the consequences is pointless. Nike said it well, just do it, now, because now is the best and only time you have. You can´t control the future or past, you can only do it now. Whatever the result was, it wasn´t that important, what I did care was the fact that I did it (whether it was saying something, a kiss etc). We spend too much time worrying about the future or letting the past ruin the Now, or missing an important moment in our lives, beautifully expressed in this video or, as Mr. Tolle put it:
“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.” –Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now (free .pdf download, go and get it. Now!)
I also enjoyed the honest approach. I said what I thought, in some cases it was really against what my brain was telling me, but I pushed myself and said what I felt, not what was comfortable to say. The reactions were various, but none were negative. People appreciate honesty, sometimes are surprised and can´t react straight away, so the reaction you get might not be what they would do if they had more time to think, but being honest never created a bad situation. And I think that even if it did, it would just mean that the person you´re talking to is on a very different wavelength to you, so at least you know it now and can move on, stop wasting your time.
What I can do better to avoid the surprise situation (she wasn´t expecting me saying that I really like her or wasn´t expecting a kiss etc), is to throw in more hints than I do. I´m bad at doing the typical hints like hand stroking and compliments, so will either get used to use those or be more creative and come up with my own, better ones 🙂 Without those, honesty might be very sudden for some people, but with a few hints, they might anticipate something and respond better to it.
This just sounds like the basics of flirting right. Well, I never thought about it this way, so now it´s been written, it´s much more obvious to me.
By saying what I felt and being honest, I avoided the regrets later (“what would have happened if I said what I felt”), I got some nice dates and interesting situations, uncovered a more playful / chceeky side of some women, that wouldn´t have come up normally.
Am I too proactive, too fast in expressing my feelings or taking action? Maybe. Maybe it scares people off, as I`m no longer playing a long flirting game that takes weeks or months. I don´t have that time as I rarely meet people for more than a week, usually it´s even less. So it´s either A – be honest, act faster, but risk scaring her off, or B – play the usual game, but run out of time. I´ll go with A, it works like a good filter mechanism – people who respond well to this are the ones I want to meet.
“Honesty is a gift that we can give to others. It is also a source of power and an engine of simplicity. Knowing that we will attempt to tell the truth, whatever the circumstances, leaves us wit little to prepare for. We can simply be ourselves.” —Sam Harris in Lying
Have an opinion on any of the topics here? I´d love to hear it.