What is the meaning of life? This is among the oldest of questions. And, I’ll tell you, I don’t know the answer.
Some people say that a rush of adrenaline cues them into life’s deeper meaning. They are adrenaline junkies. I am not. In fact, I believe that I was born with insufficient adrenaline receptors…meaning I require a bigger adrenaline rush than most people to feel normal. This has led to my participation in all kinds of skill-based action sports and adventures. From backcountry skiing to rock climbing, mountaineering to whitewater kayaking, these activities have often been a gateway to intense experiences, both physically and interpersonally. While the physical challenges are exciting, it is the interpersonal experiences I remember most.
For example, one day while rock climbing, I took a rather nasty fall. I fell about 60 feet through the air and swung into a wall of granite. I was hanging there from my harness, dangling in mid-air, face-to-face with my buddy and belayer, the man who had just saved my life, and he said, “Holy shit man! You ok?” I rotated slowly at the end of my rope. As I turned again to face him I said, “Dude! It was just starting to get good!”