There is really no such thing as “gear." These things, this stuff, these gadgets and guns, these cords, boards and gizmos figuratively and literally represent the circumstances of which life is made up of. Nothing more and nothing less.
If we get a new, full suspension, light as hell mountain bike, will we not be on the trail within a day? If we take good care of our gear does it not take good care of us? If we neglect our gear does it not become another piece of clutter and cost? What I'm saying is that gear is life and life is gear!
Broken Down Gear
How much “money” in old broken down gear have you lost? I mean lost like if you would have just changed the oil, tightened the screw or patched the hole it would still be working kind of lost.
How much broken down gear is still taking up space in your world? When you think about going away for the weekend do you begin to stress about getting packed up or do you smile knowing that your kit is ready to go?
In our house we have these glass doors. They are double paned, soundproof, white framed doors. Not only do they open and close, but if you turn the handle 180 degrees the top of them will, alone, open to provide ventilation without actually opening the door. They’re pretty fancy. The kind of fancy you end up with only when the owner before you spends the money. They’re also a pain to have fixed when they break.
The normal locking mechanism failed and it took two months and $450 to find a locksmith who would fix it. This door taught me two valuable life lessons. First I learned that fancy doors generate fancy bills. Second I learned that the door broke because of a loose screw.
After I found that out I went around my house in search of other loose screws. Have you ever done this? If not, grab a screwdriver and walk around your house and see how many loose screws are lurking. For me I found 17 loose screws in my house – excluding myself.
This experience brought forth a deep philosophical question for me. “How many other ‘loose screws’ are in my life?”. Life is gear – gear is life.
The new bike
Why do I buy gear? If you were to ask my wife she would say it’s because I’m a “Gear Nut”, but that’s not the case. I’m not a “Gear Nut” I’m a “Life Nut.” I love living life and new gear is a new circumstance which brings me new capacity which brings me outside.
I’m not one of those guys who cares about my heart-rate, speed or distance when I run, but I do buy gear that tells me all of that stuff. Why do I do this? Because it keeps things interesting, fresh and exciting. Do I need a new paddle board? No. So why did I pick a new one up yesterday? Because I wanted to paddle board more. Life is gear – gear is life.
Here's The Point?
So what am I saying? I’m saying this. Go throw out the gear that is cluttering your life. Fix the stuff that you can fix, tighten the screws that need tightening and head off to the store and buy something new, anything, big or small that will compel you to go outside. Do this for your gear and for your life. Think about it!
- How much “junk” did you or will you find?
- How many “loose screws” in life or in your house did you tighten? What were they?
- What is the smallest, cheapest piece of gear that has ever inspired you to get outside?
This article originally appeared in theloadoutroom.com.