We recently finished a story about a fellow who died far too young at 52, but holy smokes had he lived a full and adventurous life! The final book is 132 pages long full of sharing memories and is divided into 9 chapters. Like most life stories, it starts with the Early Years, Teenage Years, and University Years.
Then come the Adventure Stories – the longest chapter in the book at 35 pages! Compare that to the Work Stories chapter at 8 pages long. This guy (I’ll call him Paul) loved adventure and tried everything starting with hiking, fishing, camping and train hopping.The image above is from a page in the book. It’s later in life, Paul’s in his early 40’s and had been telling friends of his train hopping techniques when the opportunity arose to demonstrate. We didn’t have a photo to go with this fun story so a sketch was created to illustrate this hilarious tale.
University exposed Paul to caving and the world literally opened up for him. Dark (really dark) and narrow (incredibly narrow) spaces were a huge appeal. In doing interviews and research for Paul’s story, I learned about the world of caving, its tight community (pun intended) and the spectacular places underground. I can tell you with absolute certainty this is not a sport for someone with a bit of claustrophobia like me! This short article on caving highlights a couple of the places he helped to protect.
Paul was someone who looked at life as an adventure – he was brilliant but knew that for him a life inside an office would not be a life lived. His work life took him to the mountains where trees needed to be planted and exotic mushrooms picked. This lifestyle was labour intensive in environments that fed his soul. They also paid for his other adventures in ice climbing, white water kayaking, snowboarding, mountain biking, etc, etc. If it was outdoors and full of adrenaline, Paul was up for it. After years of an itinerant but happy life, it was time to settle down and there are more chapters to his story but that’s for another day. This precious book was created so that his young son will know his dad’s story. With this visual story his legacy lives on.
So why am I sharing this story? Well two reasons. One is to echo the sentiments that I’m sure Paul lived by. Life is Short – Live it Up. Don’t wait to get sick, retired, save up tons of money, whatever excuse you have, life is for living – fully and with a big heart. It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money to go out and have adventures. Look at the young woman who just hiked the entire length of Vancouver Island! Wow.
The second reason I’m sharing this is to encourage you to record your stories of adventure, whatever they look like. One day you might not be able to go climb that mountain, paddle that boat or whatever travel adventure you’ve had. Maybe your grand adventure was 20 years ago – it’s still possible to create a memory booklet about it.
Do it now so you can relive it again and share it with others. Collecting your memories is really good for your heart and soul. You know I’m here if you need help.
One last thing, I’ve got one spot left in my Map A Memory workshop coming up September 18th. I’d love to have you at the studio table – to help you create a map of your childhood neighborhood. Come join me and take a trip down memory lane.