Average

If you think you’re not aver­age, you’re either an idiot or you’re right. You’re prob­a­bly (and I say this with all sci­en­tif­ic sin­cer­i­ty) an idiot.

I spent most of my life think­ing I was above aver­age. Hell, I was. I was a Navy SEAL by the time I was 20. I sailed 5,000 miles of open ocean in a 22 ft boat by the time I was 24. I had trav­eled to 30 odd coun­tries by 25, includ­ing one that was a no-trav­el zone for Amer­i­cans. By 27 I had lived and worked in a war zone, at 28 I owned 3 prop­er­ties in 3 states includ­ing a drop dead beau­ti­ful piece of land in North­ern New Mex­i­co, at 29 I owned a t‑shirt com­pa­ny with shirts in 12 Nord­strom stores and was on a rapid rise to the top and by 31 I was bank­rupt. It was a hell of a ride.

Then came this fuck­ing slump when I real­ized that despite my good (not my best, because I was­n’t mak­ing them) efforts, unless I stopped liv­ing in the past and got back down into the thick of it where the blood and sweat and bile and hel­la­cious effort was, I was going to be aver­age for the rest of my life. An aver­age ath­lete. An aver­age hus­band. An aver­age thinker. An aver­age man.

Does this sound famil­iar? It must, I see you every­where, includ­ing in the mir­ror. I mean, there you are in the cof­fee shop, or the ice cream store, or the Whole Foods, or hell, the Vons. I can see you’re aver­age in the way you walk, the way you shop, the way you spend, the way you and your girl­friend dress. I’m not try­ing to be mean, it’s just…well, it’s just the law of damn averages.

You prob­a­bly have some kick ass back­sto­ry too, but now here we sit, loung­ing back on slow­ly sag­ging lau­rels, see­ing just how easy it is to achieve a com­fort­able lifestyle and seem­ing­ly inex­orably get­ting sucked into the mun­dane fuck­ing exis­tence we spent the first 30 years of life mak­ing fun of. Iron­ic, eh?

The hell of it is, the path to beyond aver­age isn’t com­pli­cat­ed, it’s just hard, and more often than not these days I’m just not up for hard. I’ll get all fired up about row­ing the Chan­nel Islands or trail run­ning high peaks or climb­ing hard or surf­ing hard­er, but then morn­ing comes and I go for an easy run, or work through a sweaty but not stren­u­ous ket­tle bell workout.

I’ll meet guys in the street I used to know and they remem­ber me as some­one I no longer am, and while my ego is tem­porar­i­ly soothed by their remem­brances, I know that deep down I’m not that same fire breath­ing motherfucker.

Sure, occa­sion­al­ly I’ll hang out with bet­ter men than me, and it’s not like I’ve turned into a fat pussy. I can still charge hard, jump off cliffs, leap chasms, lift heavy, and shoot straight. It’s just that those things no longer turn me on like they used to and I’m not sure what will. And that’s the hell of it, because here I am, know­ing just how much poten­tial I have and for lack of action and clear direc­tion it’s being pissed away in Face­book and walks around the block with my dog.

I know what turns my brain on, and that’s dis­cov­er­ing or cre­at­ing new ideas and then imple­ment­ing them, but even then it’s only a half-way high, noth­ing like the old work­outs where I’d come bust­ing up from the deeps with lungs burn­ing, the world clos­ing in on me and the clock tick­ing away, launch­ing out of the water in front of the pack.

Maybe I need to find a tribe again. I’ve been lost and solo too long, a man with­out a group, with­out a source to check my actions by. Real­ly, with­out a clear pur­pose or goal.

Is that then what is miss­ing from our lives, we lost souls? A sim­ple pur­pose, a clean goal? Know­ing the effort that goes into that and the joy in the effort I know it must be right. There is almost too much wis­dom in the idea that the jour­ney is the des­ti­na­tion. The only ques­tion left is, do I still have what it takes to load up for that jour­ney, and to move above average?

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