They say that Luck Favors the Prepared. I say: "You are what you're Ready for."
There are many similar mantras that get slung by the Boy Scouts: "Be Prepared" or the tactical type, "Always Be Ready." Both of these terms imply a state of readiness in preparation for an emergency, attack, or survival situation, but neither address the disaster that most of us are already right in the middle of. The disaster of an unadventurous life. To understand my point, as well as this philosophy, you'll first need to ask yourself the question "Who do you want to be ready to be?"
Don't worry... now's not the time for us to go sit under a tree and get deep, but let's, for the moment, define ourselves simply by what we are ready for.
If a "magician" is standing on a stage without any of his props, is he a magician or is he just a guy standing on a stage? Is a person who is trained in neurosurgery a neurosurgeon if she has no access to operating rooms or surgical instruments?
If an outdoorsmen is driving home from work with nothing more than a briefcase, coffee breath and a stiff neck, is he really an outdoorsman or is he a corporate stiff? Think about it... "You are what you're ready for."
Who are you Ready to be?
For me this question hit me like a ton of bricks when I found myself in a job that required a 2.5 hour daily commute. The drive plus my work left me little space to "be" anything but my job and a commuter.
I was happy to have the space to be my job, which was that of a SEAL, but how would I continue to be all of the other things I also wanted to be? I didn't want to just be my job, I wanted to be an outdoorsman, waterman, athlete, father, a pilot. All of the things I love versus all of the realities of life. I would have to come up with something to make it all happen.
Life as a Truck
One day, after a particularly long commute home, I was just smoked. During the entire two-hour drive I was either looking to my left at the ocean or to my right at the mountains. Sitting in traffic I began to fantasize about pulling over and going surfing or mountain biking to let the traffic die down, and that's when it hit me.
If I was "prepared" I could easily go from being a "commuter" to anything I wanted to be. If I was prepared.
From that day forward I would always have my Toyota 4Runner loaded and ready to be what I wanted to be when I wanted to be it.
You see, when I was driving home without any of my equipment, I was just a commuter; but, when I had my truck prepared properly I could be a surfer, runner or a mountain biker. All much better options than being just a "commuter." No offense to you "commuters" out there, but I think you know what I mean.
It was that moment when I started to think about who I would be and what I would have to do to be ready to be that person. The solution was obvious, simple and it worked.
This is what I did.
I chose the top 5 things I wanted to "be" and then I outfitted my truck to support them. I no longer have to commute but I still keep my truck ready because I've found that when I have my stuff with me I tend to be much more active. I mean like five times more active.
Here's how I'm currently organized:
To Be A Waterman:
I've always loved the ocean and being in it. It has always kept me centered, and it always will.
If you were to pull down the back right seat of my Tundra you will find a pair of fins, dive mask, snorkel, dive booties, dive light and a knife.
On the passenger side of the truck you will find a full-sized speargun always ready to go. And yes, my wife Belisa gets pissed when she trips over it.
On the driver's side, laying from front to back there are two stand up paddles stashed along the floor. On top you'll find a Standup Paddle board locked to my racks.
Since I have this equipment ready I find myself in the water, diving or paddle boarding several times a month.
To Be An Outdoorsman:
Also behind the back seats—yes Tundras have a ton of space—you will find two full climbing rigs, compound bows, backpacking food, stoves and backpacks.
On the floor behind the seats there's a full length "Blue Water" climbing rope.
About the cabin you will find shovels, multitools, gloves and warmies. All of this is always ready so that I can quickly and easily transition between worlds.
To Be A Father:
As much as I love just being in the outdoors I've noticed that my kids don't always remain as content with Mother Nature as I do. They seem to always want to be doing something.
For this reason I keep the truck stocked with a variety of items that make any place a playground.
In the back there's a beach chair so that I can take them to the park or beach and just let them play.
Sandwiched in the chair when folded is one of those "Bean bag" games where you have to toss the bag in the hole. Hours and hours of fun have occurred with this alone.
Hanging behind the passenger's front seat I keep a stunt kite ready to go. I'm not a huge fan of the wind, but when it gets gusty the kite keeps us all busy for a while.
And of course there are always surfboards!
To Be An Adventurous Executive:
Yes, an "Adventurous Executive!" With the technology available to us today there is no reason to keep yourself cooped up in an office.
I've held online meetings and many conference calls from the comforts of the beach, mountains and deserts. There are few coffee breaks better than the ones taken on the trail or on the beach.
I keep mophie battery packs with me to keep me juiced up. I can and do work like this for days at a time.
What Are You Going to Be?
So these are the things I wanted to be, but we're all a little bit different. What you choose to be "Ready to be" is up to you and it is a choice. No longer do you have to "be" a corporate stiff, commuter or a grumpy bastard who doesn't get out enough.
What activities keep you focused and healthy?
What gear do you need to / keep with you to make these happen?