After the Camino Frances, I looked at distance, work, and work ethic differently.
I spent 6 to 8 hours a day walking 20-30km– And that was it. The bulk of my life meant just walking, and Behind the walking,
Was the preparation to walk.
It was so simple in monotony, but there were no distractions. It was just myself, and the people around me, while the rest of my day was spent settling a bed, washing my clothes, bathing myself, eating, and sleeping.
That was my day– everyday.
The realization here is that there is a key word to describe this, and it epitomizes life– That magic word is WORK.
“That’s Not Work, That’s Just Life”
You’re right exactly— Because it’s both, they’re the same thing — life IS work.
After the Camino Frances, I was able to justify putting in 70 hour weeks on top of the time I’d spend at the gym, or at Starbucks working on my shit.
I could make sacrifices dedicated to my vision– to avoid everyday temptations to relax, to stay in bed, or to spend my time partying. I could justify it, because in life we have our work cut out for us. With that in mind, why should I seek rest, when I could
work live as intended.
My Lifestyle had become My Work–– THIS IS A SUPER IMPORTANT THEME!
It’s important, because it is what I have become dedicated to, and it has become the WHY to my everyday choices. When I realized the meaningfulness behind work as “life is meaningful work”– my feelings of FOMO, and wasted time washed away. Over the past year, I never felt like I was “at work” — not for a second!
When you start to seek shelter from work, you start counting down the hours on the clock. As soon as I started embracing my life as my work, it eliminated time for me– I stopped fighting with it. I stopped waiting to “clock in” to my lifestyle because my work had become my lifestyle.
That is what meaningful work is: Work that helps you facilitate your lifestyle.
If I find myself counting down the clock too often, I re-evaluate my place, I re-adjust, and I make changes.
Again, if something doesn’t line up with the vision of my life, I question it.
Back To “Work”
While working as a Liftie, I was up on a mountain every day. I got to soak in the impeccable views that the Sea-to-Sky has to offer, everyday.
I can’t portray it enough in words, but the scenery is mind blowing– and my first day on the mountain was just as marvellous as the last. There were some days I’d be feeling particularly emotional– in a mood, or whatever else– and as soon as I would look out into the peaks and valleys I would feel uplifted and empowered.
Another motto that came about:
If you want to get high, you have to go to high places.
Honestly, it’s hard to feel down, or depressed when you are surrounded by such impactful, and dramatic natural environments. When you look out and notice the scale of nature and the vastness of everything, it gives you a different appreciation for life– it’s electric.
When you are on top of the mountain looking out, and down over everything, you are, literally STANDING ON TOP OF THE WORLD — and the feelings are mutual.
In a big city it is easy to feel stifled with the endless noise, the endless man-made skyscrapers looking down on you casting corporate shadows while you roam the streets. The buzz of angst, impatience, and stress from one traffic light to the next while horns blare intermittently through the rush hour — But, this is just my experience.
Working for Blackcomb was low stress. The pay was crap at minimum wage, and in all honesty, I wasn’t concerned if I lost my job, or if I got canned. Even in times of financial turmoil, I’ll overlook security in a job because I have faith and security in myself.
Regardless, that didn’t excuse me from working hard, it just gave me a mental edge to enjoy myself at work– to let loose, to be myself.
I wasn’t moulding myself into a role, I was myself– and if you want me to be poetic about it, then here:
The blue uniform didn’t color me blue. I colored the uniform with hues of myself.
Again, It’s empowering to know that you have this kind of control in your life. YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE, and NO ONE has any power over you to make you feel small, weak and powerless. In this aspect, the fear of job security is no longer a burden to carry.
I throw that shit out the window, because I am motivated enough to keep grinding until the day I die, or the day that it kills me. No matter how overwhelming “making it” is– I will keep trying, and trying, and trying. If you fall– you stand up. If you fall again– you stand up again. But, if you lose a leg– Crawl.
When you quit on yourself, —on your strength, and the power to make choices– you’re basically handing your life over to someone else, whether it be your employer, your spouse, or whoever the hell else– Who can you REALLY trust with something so valuable.
If You Have a Job… Do Your Damn Job!
Personally, I have an attitude when it comes to job security and work — if you cant tell. But don’t get the wrong impressions, I did not cause or stir up problems as a Liftie. I wouldn’t bullshit you in writing, because I was a solid worker, and I did what was asked of me. I didn’t mess around, I listened, I was great with management, etc, etc…
In short, I did my damn job!
I can think how I think, I can feel how I feel — low pay, or not — The reality is that I CHOSE TO PUT MYSELF THERE and THE COMPANY CHOSE TO EMPLOY ME.
And outside of compensating me for my time, it doesn’t owe me jack shit!
The company is doing me a favor just as much as I’m doing the company a favor, and that is how “work” works. There is transparency there behind the mutual tradeoff — a tradeoff that I enjoyed because I knew WHY I put myself into that situation.
Look, money is important but it is not the be-all-end-all to life. Lifestyle balance is the real key. Again, BALANCE — Where balance changes for everyone.
I run off on tangents with my words, but we all have seen misery within the typical workplace. Maybe you’re that person, maybe you’re not– but I’ve noticed how some people don’t know why they are working.
“Paying the bills” isn’t a valid excuse, because you can still do something meaningful AND pay your damn bills at the same time. Maybe my vision is a little extreme, but you can ALWAYS do something that lines up with some sort of passion of yours.
You can spot people when they are there for the wrong reasons. They become resentful with their workplace, they cut corners, they intentionally shit on things, or stir things up… and Why?
Why sabotage a workplace because you aren’t happy with yourself and your choice to be where you are. That just makes you a big asshole, and unless you enjoy the shit storm you are creating in your day, why not just leave it behind for something better in your life.
Check(ed) –this– Out
Another typical characteristic that I’ve noticed within the workplace is people who have no enthusiasm in their work. They are essentially dead–their brains are off or somewhere else running on autopilot. These are the same people that love “breaks” and downtime to just sit in the lunchroom, in the truck, or wherever the hell else they can hide to check the fuck out on their phone.
More often than not, these people have checked out so hard that they half ass their work, if they do it at all.
If you find yourself consistently checking out at work, well you better clock out your last day and stop wasting your hours day-dreaming about being somewhere other than where you are…
WE SHOULD ALL TAKE PRIDE IN OUR WORK, AND WE SHOULD ALL ENJOY THE EFFORT WE PUT INTO OUR CHOSEN LABOR THAT WE HAVE SO CAREFULLY THOUGHT OF TO INVEST OUR TIME INTO.
You’re totally in control of that choice, there is POWER there in choosing to leave,–to find something more suitable, for reasons that are more genuine.
Often times, people in such situations like that may feel trapped, or obligated to stay because of one thing… Security–– in money, or benefits or whatever the hell else.
“Well Yeah… Priorities Bro!”
No… fuck that! Because here’s the damn reason why:
YOU CAN get that everywhere. If money, or benefits is your main motivation,–why not put yourself somewhere that makes you happier?
Here Is Another Way To Look At It…
I’m not telling you to work for peanuts, but there is ALWAYS something better for you than what you have now… That is the human conundrum that challenges our means for GROWTH.
So, if you made a genuine choice — that wasn’t necessarily governed by the highest paying job, or the best benefits– where you felt happier at work for the next 35 years — if the traditional route is what you’re going for anyhow— Then you might not really need those damn benefits.
Cut it out with the pill popping culture that has managed to replace exercise and meditation for health maintenance and prevention.
In my very unprofessional opinion, — since there is so much weight on who is “qualified” these days— benefits are overrated. Argue with me on it if you like, but I don’t care. Budget your damn money on your own, take the preventative measures for your health in the first place, and at the end of the day, you might not need your benefits package that largely goes unused.
“But what if it gets really bad?”…
Well Guess What?! — It’s just death, and it’s another part of life.
I don’t want to die either, but the irony in all of this is that we are seeking all of this “security” in order to preserve our lives as much as possible. We are so desperately trying to cling onto our lives out of fear, that we are slowly killing ourselves through our own compulsions.
All the more reason to stop wasting your damn time doing things that are meaningless or pointless to you. Figure out why you are doing the things you are doing, and let the rest of the shit go.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. -- Dory. Finding Nemo --
If You Choose It… WORK HARD FOR IT!
Okay, Okay look… The last thing I am trying to tell you is to quit your life where you stand to go out and be a damn cowboy or cowgirl– unless that’s what you want.
But, If you’ve made your choice and you settled on MONEY and BENEFITS as your main motivation, then WHY NOT TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR SACRIFICE TO CHOOSE THAT PATH, TO WORK HARD, WITH PRIDE IN YOUR JOB!
Again, if you’re investing your time into it… Don’t be an asshole, put in YOUR BEST EFFORT for work, because remember… It’s your choice to put yourself there.
Back To Me
The lifestyle perks behind the Liftie job was the mountain– Snowboarding everyday, ride breaks, meals with a view– ALL outweighed whatever “work” was needed to be done.
Side Note: To gather more perspective on work… Now, being a liftie is definitely a job. I was compensated to offer a service to effectively operate a chair lift, or gondola. I would shovel, I would face and greet guests… When I lived in New Brunswick, I would walk outside on a snowed out morning to find my neighnours operating a snow blower to clear their driveway, they would shovel, they would face their neighbours and greet them with a smile… They both require effort, while the only thing that is missing here is the compensation. But, what’s work, and what isn’t…
I had some more perks available to me while working as a shuttle driver, which also didn’t feel like work. I love driving — and a big reason why I never sold the Jeep — it gives me mobility and a sense of freedom to move around. If one place feels like crap, I can just get up and drive away,– it’s a great feeling, all the more reason to have less shit as well. If you can fit your belongings into one vehicle, you’re even more mobile.
Another perk with the shuttles is that it got me outside of the Whistler bubble. Sure, I left the city because I love nature, but in all honesty, it was a good break up to get back into a big city,– to feel the beautiful buzz about it,– only to leave it all behind me again as I made the trip back to a quieter place, to unwind in my hobbies, or to relax without the headache, the bullshit, and the gas bills.
Traffic was justified because I was getting paid — Unlike the heavy commute in Toronto when I used sit in congestion for 3 hours a day years back. The views were also amazing! I got to drive up and down the Sea-To-Sky highway right along the coast, and up through the mountains.
More on the views: One of the older drivers on my shadow day gave me some words of wisdom that stuck. I asked Ed, “Do you ever get sick of the drive, if the route doesn’t change?” Where Ed replied, “Not really, because the views are always changing.” And it’s 100% true. Everytime is completely different — the lighting is unique, the clouds are in different places, or moving, or not. The hue of the sky might be blue, or red, or purple, or black, or grey. Any combination of the sort is possible. The point, angle, and/or direction in which beauty catches your eye can be anywhere for various reasons. This was a really humbling, but exciting concept. And they are words that I still think about often, wherever my travels take me.
Back At It
Within the 70+hour work week, the remaining 100ish hours were spent between eating, sleeping, working out, stretching, and Starbucks coffee.
When I had downtime and I was unmotivated to do any sort of work, I would just get up —regardless— to walk my ass down to Starbucks. If I didn’t get any work done and found myself just sitting there for a few hours, Well, that was fine too, and I’ll tell you why…
I wouldn’t get overly down on myself because I at least provided myself an opportunity to work on my own stuff, rather than stay home to let myself sleep, or sit glued to the couch watching south park, or reruns with my roommates — though that did happen once or twice.
Usually, the days where I wasn’t productive at Starbucks, or in general were far and few in between. Just bringing myself there allowed me to write something down, draw something up, or edit small details within my listings, photos, social media, etc…
You got it, or you don’t — If I wasn’t feeling creative, I could simply work on myself and my life. I could plan my goals, plan my budget, look over my finances, or whatever else. It could be anywhere, but for myself, Starbuck’s was an opportunity to breathe life into the path of my intentions.
Hey, hey, hey Good to see you Come on, dude, let's go Yeah! Let's go! Ha-ha-ha-ha alright Alright, okay Alright, okay Alright, okay Return of the Mack Get 'em, what it is, what it does, what it is, what it isn't Looking for a better way to get up outta bed Instead of getting on the Internet And checking on who hit me, get up -- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Can't Hold Us.
Turn Of Events
The end of the season started to dwindle down my hours but the word got back to me — I got the job with AmeriCan Adventures. By this point in time, my finances were in a better position — I was working like a dog, but I was happy about it– so I booked a ticket home for the tail end of April with a return for May 4th to take on the training for the new role as a tour leader.
Every opportunity is an opportunity to work, and that’s how you must look at things in your life. Whether it is socially considered “work” or not doesn’t matter. The point is that it has the potential in some way to push your life towards some sort of positive progression, no matter how big, or small that progression might be.
Considering how warm it was in Vancouver, I was itching for travel as soon as I got home. I’d watch motorcycles buzz about the highway for the past month that made me feel eager to hop on my motorcycle back in Toronto to ride out into the horizon — Sunsets, or not.
The rest of Canada had different plans for me because it was slow to catch up on the warm weather. The biggest hinderance to a mini-motorcycle tour was the considerate flooding in parts of Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces— which is where I had intended to ride out towards.
As a result, my plans got scratched up pretty quickly. But, the good news is that I ended up getting my bike out for an afternoon that blossomed into a creative opportunity for artistic expression.
I got out with a buddy of mine who I can’t even classify under one creative label. He delves into photography, video, music, or whatever else out of the simple satisfaction to create.
He’s a perfect example of understanding your Why in the scheme of things,– and the authenticity of his work shows as a result.
This is what came of it:
View this post on Instagram
Got out for a minute for some creative exploits and the following quote came to mind: 🤔 "We don't make movies to make money. We make money to make more movies" –Walt Disney The point is to chase your passions in life. Choose a path that helps facilitate the lifestyle that you are not only seeking, but the one that you are craving. It is easy to settle when you argue in favor of your excuses. I know, "Easier said than done" — said Everyone. I know it is, because chasing passions is hard work filled with many of the hardest roadblocks and obstacles that you will ever face– Patience is key to bring on your ideal reality. I like to find immediate hope in the thought that you attract better as soon as you stop settling for worse– Everyone willing has the capacity to do that NOW. _____ 🏍️DvCruise: Putting together this short clip in artistic style with my Toronto buddy Eric Simpson 💪 (he did the hard work, while I mostly sat there looking pretty)😎. He has a really good eye for creativity in art/music and photography/film. Check out his camera skills around the urban streets of Toronto. Wicked work 👉 @lost.lens #dostuff
The message that I’d like to get across is this:
Never stop working on yourself. Never, never, never never!
Every second of every day is an opportunity to make progress in whatever vision, and intention drives you towards a self-fulfilling life. NO ONE’S LIFESTYLE IS RIGHT, OR WRONG. Because meaning and life, is unique to everyone.
It’s right if it feels right, and it’s wrong if you feel like a dumbass all day-everyday for doing the things that make you feel that way! — haha, classic.
I flew back to the West coast to settle into training as a tour leader right away, where the recruited group would learn the tricks of the trade from more experienced leaders.
When it comes to on-thejob training and work, my take is this:
There is no be-all-end-all way to do things, even within a seemingly “rigid” system. It is important to find your own working style to produce in the name of production and productivity — with whatever occupation or “job” is held.
Aside for absolutely critical information, I’ll keep whatever information is in pertinent need of the moment, and I’ll ditch the rest. When a situation demands something of me that I don’t know shit about, well, thats where the real learning happens — that’s what experience is, and that experience is usually expanded through a healthy dose of trial, error, and improvization.
Theory works when it comes to the subtle intricacies of a system, but theory doesn’t mean shit when we’re dealing with the system as a whole, because there is usually room for error… Besides, I would imagine that most theory is enveloped through practice.
If I can push the glasses that I don’t wear tighter to my face for a second: We’re friends right, and you come over one day to knock on my door. I answer it to find you standing there in front of me… Well, sub-atomic physics would tell me that there are particles in your body that could be “eloping” to another part of this universe, or out of this existence entirely. And technically speaking, “parts” of you are disappearing right in front of my face. So if you’re neither here, nor there — Where well the hell are you?! In my grand observational experience, I would say that you haven’t moved an inch and I’m looking at you, looking at me wondering why the hell I’m not inviting you in with a stupefied look on my face.
What a ridiculous example to use, but I like its ridiculousness, so let’s go ahead and use it anyway.
Back To The Bigger Picture
So we went out on a trip with an experienced tour leader now friend, Heather — Long for Heath… You can check out Heather’s instagram profile for your own travel inspiration, here: Heather Warren’s Instagram. –She takes some awesome photos along the Canadian Rockies.
The training trip was an involved shadow/mock trip. It was organized to set us up for a successful season ahead by visiting a large percentage of the campgrounds, vendors, and other hot spots that we would most likely come into across on a real tour– Meaning real customers, paying real money for a Real Canadian experience. Overall, the training was as much of an experience as it was a blast– Again, the dream job was real.
Coming out of training, I was the first one of the new leaders to head out on tour, and in doing so the next four months flowed seamlessly by. Guiding was my life, I traveled with groups of up to 13 passengers in a Van between Vancouver and Banff checking out the best spots in between.
“Sooo Good!” — #WillFlowers
It’s scary to look at time move so effortlessly through you — And it’s scarier to think that alongside the concept of time, is the likely truth behind people becoming what they spend their time on, and who they spend their time with. All the more reason to enjoy your work, because that’s what you turn into. In that I was no exception, I BECAME a tour guide.
So How Do I Feel About That?
It was sweet as F**K!
Look, I allowed myself to become my work because it meant becoming what I wanted to become. To boil it down further, I wanted to explore these places on my own time anyway– I like driving, remember, and to get paid to travel to these places was unbelievable.
Some of the other perks that naturally came with this style of guiding was Van Life.
Mobile living has been of interest to me for a long time, and in part, selling my jeep almost always meant replacing it with a van to modify or convert into something liveable. This might sound amazing to you, or it might sound lame to you– It doesn’t matter, because we all have different standards of living, and differences with what we value in our lives.
But that’s how it goes, I had just landed the opportunity to live out another expressed interest within the vision of my life. The message to convey is that we can line ourselves up alongside our aspirations without sacrificing them for things that aren’t conducive to our overall happiness.
Visualization Exercise: There were many nights of sleep in the van. Yes, the early nights were pretty damn rough, however, once I was able to ritualistically adopt the Tetris System, I was able to sleep comfortably from there on in.
Look At Me Now
There was a point on tour where I tweaked my lower back. I kinked it trying to pull our equipment trailer through a sandy beach after bogging the van down.
Between football, heavy weight training, and athletics in general, I’ve thrown out a lot of discs. Sometimes I threw my lumbar out bad enough to the point of not being able stand without my legs giving way. Sometimes I would be crooked for weeks, other times it was my neck that was giving me issues– where I would experience numbness and tingling radiating into my arms, although this was definitely more seldom, and much more manageable. This is just a brief list of only the spinal injuries that came about all at the ripe age of 21– I can now say that I have 10 years of experience.
I’ve come along way into learning how to manage back pain, and one thing that I have noticed about injuries, is that the work load only increases. So pain, or no pain, the work is still there, and it needs to be done.
I was only halfway through a tour when I threw my back out. And since I was the leader of the group, I was still lifting camping and cooking equipment around endlessly. I didn’t take drugs to mute the pain, or anything else for the matter, I just kept moving, because the work was there to be done regardless, and most importantly, that movement is going to re-strengthen my back again anyway.
These aren’t lessons for me — Well they are, but right here, right now they are more-so points that might help somebody else see things from a different perspective. What I want to portray is this — Life doesn’t stop because you’re injured, and you definitely don’t need as much rest as you think you do.
Yes, the injury is minor and I will most likely continue to experience some sort of future back pain until my damn death bed — probably. If I baby myself more than necessary with every injury that I have, again, I wouldn’t do shit. This post is getting so long that I can’t remember if I’ve said it already but I’ll say it again:
REST IS OVERRATED
It is because your body is more resilient, and more capable than you think it is half the time. We also have the habit of attaching an arbitrary emotion to the source of our pain. The injury is what it is, and instead of moving into it,–to understand the pain, and how we have compromised our movement through it in our developed patterns of compensation — we interject our emotion into it, and resolve a belief that we need rest because it hurts. We stay trapped in the wonder of why our injury becomes chronic– if it gets better at all– When we don’t take the initiative to actively explore our own physical movement with mindfullness, and intention.
Do yourself a favor, make yourself you’re own doctor by making yourself move anyway– Whether you feel like it, or not..
I am now also privy to the possibility that what is “minor” for me, might be completely debilitating for others. I remember when I was 19 the triage nurse didn’t believe my symptoms for appendicitis because I was so nonchalant about it.
But that’s besides the point because > Oh, you’re injured? Well start moving again anyway. It is only going to make you stronger.
Stronger in the sense that you just accomplished something you thought or were told was counterproductive within your state of general debilitaion.
This is the same attitude that left the nurse baffled when she asked me how I felt 2 weeks post-op in getting my appendix removed… She told me no lifting for 4-6 weeks… But when I dropped 20lbs in 3 days, I was in the gym by then end of the week. My life didn’t have time to wait for her reccomendation for recovery, because football camp was coming up and I had to make weight to play at my position. When I told her about my activity she inquired about my idea of “light lifting”– I told her that I was deadlifting 315lbs by the end of week 2, she then stared at me with a puzzled look on her face.
The moral is that it doesn’t matter — do stuff anyway, hurting or not — because as messed up as you are in the moment, you can only get better by literally moving yourself on, with, or away from your setbacks. TEST THE WATERS FOR YOURSELF, to see what works, and what doesn’t.
To close up on my experience on guiding, I want to extend my Instagram as it is littered with photos from my trips around the Rockies,–that will most likely become more plentiful. If you were inclined to check it out!
Camino De Finally?
Not yet, but this is where we want to be in terms of a proper lead up into the Camino Norte. What this long regurtitation of story has been is a portrayal of my life over the last year between three intensely people facing roles. The takeaway that I uncovered in all of this natural exploration was this: I am all about personal development.
I am naturally introverted, but I can be outgoing and sociable as f*ck — when I want to. And that’s the trick, because I never really want to and usually if I’m not feeling it, good luck getting me to be sociable because my poker face is terrible.
But, don’t get me wrong, I had an AWESOME year with ASTONIISHING experiences, and AMAZING PEOPLE. It was great, and I am planning to continue working within the same streams of work — for now — But working intensely people facing roles as a natural introvert changes you as a person, and sometimes it can change you in ways that you don’t like.
The contraditing element of my experience is that as much vulnerability that I felt coming into the season, I also felt a serious motivation and determination to grind out my work. By the time the ski season winded down, I felt like most of my stress had melted away— I felt powerful, grounded, and strong.
But by the end of the guiding season, I felt that all the people serving had caught up with me. I loved guiding, but I was on beck and call day in, and day out. It took it out of me, and I wasn’t a pushover, but I felt more emotional resistance in having to maintain a position of authority. I felt more internal tension, in having to tell people no– and I didn’t like that.
To reiterate, early in the season I felt coordinated with my decisions, and confident delegating amongst passengers. That didn’t change much by my last tour, it simply felt harder to be stern, harder to maintain a “leader” personality.
And maybe it got to me, or maybe I let my guard down to a point where the role itself changed my essence.
I was still very much myself, but as much as I dislike feelings of tension, I understood and continue to understand what life events are— cyclical.
I was low coming out of the Camino, and I rode myself right up to the top where I was beaming within myself. I then noticed my transition from the top, starting the route onto the come down, and I finally noticed my place at the bottom again.
It’s All Clockwork Baby, But Who’s To Blame?
I didn’t feel pressured as a guide, and maybe that was just it. It was a learning curve for sure, but I didn’t have my back against the wall anymore, so I relaxed — maybe a bit too much.
By the time I was fully swinging my tours, the clock was moving so fast that it started melting away. In that, my workouts completely changed — I wasn’t too fussed about it because having fun, letting loose, and my passengers became my priority.
And this is my mistake…
I felt that I deserved to let myself slip, considering that I haven’t properly allowed myself to indulge in the traditional sense of social enjoyment since coming away from New Brunswick with failures in business and love. With this in mind, I did the bare minimum in regards to training where I managed about 2-3x a week with some basic workouts. My saving grace was the accessibility for hiking, I also managed a lot of longboarding, some rock climbing, and a crap ton of dancing.
As for my notebooks, well they got placed on the back burner simmering. I wasn’t too concerned that I wasn’t actively designing notebooks, or working on my listings because I was talking about them with my groups– I was gaining inspiration and ideas, I was learning more about social media, and moreso I was further etching out the vision of the Littermature brand.
I can appreciate the down time becuase if you’re open to paying attention, life will reward you with lessons–every day.
One thing that did snowball out of hand for my liking, was the over-indulgence in coffee, sugar, and alcohol, as well as sleep deprivation.
I was over-consuming feel good stimulants and downers that can be very destructive in excess, as opposed to reinforcing my own vitality through proper rest, nutrition, and exercise.
I Drank A LOT of Booze.
With every opportunity that I got, I cracked a beer. When I got to camp after driving all day,— I cracked a beer. With dinner,— I cracked a beer. Around the campfire hanging with passengers,– I cracked a beer. Out on the town,— I cracked my credit charging whole pitchers to myself…
In short, I regularly consumed a lot of alcohol.
I’m not exagerating, one beer turned into an easy 6-pack– Everyday. If we were out, that number sky rocketed in a binge. It got to a point where I wanted to put an end to the routine because I was gaining weight. My solution to remedy the situation was to switch to “healthier” drinks.
Healthier drinks meant making a switch to clear alcohol like gin and soda water. I wasn’t getting the beer bloat anymore but the weight gain continued, —naturally, I had more room to fill so the number of drinks that I consumed increased.
I kept gaining weight, because when the beers turned into single shot mixers, they quickly became doubles. I’m not trying to brag, but I’d comfortably drink about 10 drinks in the night. Believe it or not, one night I spent $200 bucks on $4 drinks as I put down about 20 on my own– My stomach was prepared for it because of a heavy meal, and mostly, it felt like college all over again.
It Wasn’t All Fun & Games– Wait, Yes It Was!
I don’t regret it because it was fun, and though my consumption steadily increased, I still feel like I am in complete control of my drinking. Don’t believe me? In telling you this, I’ve been completely dry for 3+ months now– not a drop!
3 months isn’t a long time, but alchohol has never been my crux — Sugar, yes. Overeating, yes. Those are challenges for me, but alcohol, no sweat.
Aside from the odd beer that I’ll actually find refreshing and tasty, alcohol has always been about the party. In the past, I’d drink if I’m going out to let loose, to relax, or to amp up to dance and be the life of the party. I could understand the abuse of it stemming from seeking forms of escape, or neediness, however alcohol has never been an outlet to run to from my demons — It is always purely social.
I’ll take a bit back, because it wasn’t all just one big party. Ultimately, it was all work, and it was all play– It was both, and it was a blast.
A Real Dream Job For Me… But, It’s ALWAYS All About Them!
What I intended to give to others in my trips was a little bit of my wisdom-– if I even have any. We can learn from every interaction that we have, and I feel that there is a deeper purpose to our encounters regardless of how seemingly insignificant they can seem–Again, synchronicity.
But this isn’t JUST my way of thinking! I have heard people with all sorts of beliefs and opinions give credit to some seemingly arbitrary person that just happened to be passing by in some very insignificant way… But, there was something in that moment that sparked some sort of thought to facilitate great change within the individual perceiving it.
I am always for deeper communication and meaningful experiences as a catalyst for change in peoples lives. No matter where people were coming from on my tours, I wanted them to get what they intended — or maybe what they needed — from my leadership style as a tour leader.
But my message is typically this:
Life isn’t really a big deal.
It’s not as serious as we make it out to be. We all have our problems, but we all have our sweet joys– and life is about balance. We have our hangups in life because we are spoonfed somebody else’s vision about HOW to live OUR lives. The problem lives within that, because we all have a unique perspective experience, and our joys in balance can vary drastically from one to the next… The good news, is that we are never truly alone in our wants and desires, because there is always someone out there that lines up pretty close to our own individuality.
But the emphasis should always be placed on Individuality.
And the important thing is to listen to ourselves because, we are always communicating some sort of message of what we need as an individual– it’s happening mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally– So listen, even if it hurts a lot!
I am no expert because I struggle with my own advice, but I’ll give myself credit for having an awareness, and intention to practice it seeking out my own pain, in order to bring about my own betterment, for my life vision!
OKAY, So Talk About The Camino Now?
Whew! I think we made it… We can start talking about the Camino now…
You’re all caught up on my year with pretty good indication on where I lifted myself to, and where I descended by the time I was done guiding.
However, I am going to sideswipe you with yet ANOTHER nice blanket sweep… I am going to stop short on my writing— AGAIN — to say that this article is,
TO BE CONTINUED…
Article To Come:
Intentions of A Camino: 1010+ KM on Foot From the Heels of French Airspace To The Lip of Spanish Waters. The Trials and Tribulation of Experience.
Self Help Journaling (pdf/mp3)
Make It Stick, Write It Down. A Journaled Philosophy. Ebook/Audiobook