Adventure is at the heart of Men: Why men need to get back to taking risks, and living wild

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Have you ever seen a Lion in a cage at the zoo?

What have you noticed about it, what did you observe?

I’ll tell you what I noticed…

I observed a wild animal that looked defeated. He was no longer able to be what he was made to be. He had lost his masculinity, the very essence of what makes him a lion. He was still a lion, and still capable of destroying anything that came in the cage, but, his aura and confidence had wain.

Instead of being able to hunt and stalk (yes, male lions hunt too), his food was given to him. He was no longer able to compete to be the king of the pride, so he never really knows if he has what it takes. He doesn’t get to play a game of chess with his prey.

All the things that make him a lion are suppressed, or gone for good.

This, I believe is what happens to men. Shortly after going into the real world, they become lions in a cage. In fact, through their lives they are being groomed for service in the zoo.

  • Don’t get in fights, it’s bad

  • Don’t show anger, it’s bad

  • Don’t hurt peoples feelings, it’s bad

  • Don’t step out of line

  • Obey the rules (even if they don’t make sense)

  • Conform, Conform, Conform

  • Don’t say what you think

  • Don’t take risks

That doesn’t seem right does it?

One thing that really bothers me, is that lately men have become scrutinized by the public eye, especially because of the most recent Gillete Razor Commercial. Although I agree with some of the things in the video, I don’t believe that most men act that way.

I believe men want to be the men they were made to be, but they just aren’t really sure how, and it comes from being raised in a culture that fears masculinity of any sort, but then tells men they need to be better, not masculine.

If that’s not hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.

Here is my take…agree with it or not, but I believe it needs to be said, and is based on my own life experiences.

 

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It’s OK to be rebellious and get in trouble

I’ll never forget leaving the school grounds during recess to walk in a dried out canal bed to a tree-house behind the school.

During recess my friend and I decided to wait until the teacher on duty wasn’t looking and then plunged into the dried up canal bed. We then spent the next 30 minutes walking out to the tree-house. We heard the recess bell, but kept going.

I knew I was going to get in trouble, but I didn’t care. I figured my Dad would understand my need for adventure, and I realized that school was not somewhere that I fit in very well. It wasn’t challenging, and I was made to do the same things everyone else was doing. (Sounds familiar doesn’t it.)

My friend Clint and I spent another 30 minutes playing and then realized school was going to be out in about 30 minute, so we headed back to catch the bus.

Our teacher was waiting for us, and immediately took us to the principals office where I had a permanent chair with my name on it. This wasn’t the first time I had got in trouble.

You know what I found out about getting in trouble?

  • Most people don’t know what to do with you

  • Most people are afraid of getting in trouble

  • It’s never as bad as it seems

  • You learn a little bit about the world and gain an upper-hand

  • You become less concerned about what others think about you

  • You gain confidence to know when to rebel

Let’s clarify some things before someone overreacts…

When I say get in trouble and rebel, I don’t mean…

  • Rebel or get in trouble just to do it

  • Go out of your way to be a nuisance

  • Do anything illegal or against the law

What I actually mean is…

  • Don’t believe everything people tell you

  • Sometimes people make up rules because they are afraid

  • Other people are afraid to question things or stand up to authority, so you might have to

  • If someone (A Bully) is bothering you and everyone else, it’s OK to put him in his place

One of the things that bothers me a lot about churches or religions, or any other institution is that they get stuck on doing all of these good and right things, and basically tell people to be doormats, and avoid conflict.

On the contrary, Jesus, whom these same people preach about, never avoided conflict. Just like a lion who stands in front of his prey so they can smell him, Jesus stood in front of the people accusing him and called them a brood of vipers.

You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

These same people tried to throw him off a cliff.

But Jesus didn't trust them, because he knew human nature. - John 2:23

Those aren’t things that are typically taught. You see, if we are to model ourselves after a person like Jesus, who was a revolutionary, and seen as rebellious because he called people out, then we need to examine all of this.

Jesus never fit into the little box that society wanted him to fit in, and he questioned authority, but never did anything wrong. This is how we should be getting in trouble.

Learn to Fight and Train your body

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Remember earlier when we talked about lions being in a cage? Well, these lions never really learn how to fight for their place in the pride, and they don’t get to practice their cunning or hunting skills.

Men do the same thing, they don’t learn to fight or train their bodies or minds. Instead they flat-line, their muscles and brains atrophy.

One time my friends and I were hanging out in this open field, and some other kids that we knew from around the town came over and started messing with us. They were a grade older than my friends and around the same age as me.

One kid was the main aggressor and grabbed my hat and threw it off my head and into the ground, and kept pushing us from behind. Finally, his dad came over and said…”Look, are you guys going to fight or not, because if not then we are going to leave.” I stood up and said, “I’ll fight him…I’m sick of his crap.”

Me and this other kid squared off and started fighting, I hit him in the face a couple times, he got my once and then we tied up and started wrestling, I got on top of him and was about to go to town, and that’s when his dad stepped in and told us it was enough.

To this day, I’m glad I fought him.

I got in many other fights, but that one was one I was proud of because I hadn’t let someone bully me around, or my friends. Even if I would have been seriously beaten, at least I would have stood my ground.

Also, I had been training my body (practicing Soo Bahk Do), I knew that I was ready to fight him, and that I would be able to hold my own.

I’m not advocating fighting for fighting sake, but I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t fight if necessary.

In fact, you may need to fight in other ways, and knowing that you can fight is a huge confidence booster.

  • You might have to fight for your kids

  • You may have to fight for your career

  • You have to fight to get out of debt

  • You have to fight for your health

  • You might have to fight for your family

  • You may even have to physically fight someone to protect yourself or others

Wouldn’t it be better if you knew how to actually fight?

How can I learn to fight and train my body?

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One of the best ways to train your body is to do CrossFit. In my opinion there is no other form of physical fitness that prepares your body for life.

In CrossFit you will do everything:

  • Bike, Swim, Row

  • Olympic Weightlifting

  • Body-weight Movements

  • Gymnastics

If you want to do CrossFit, but don’t have the money or gym in your area, no problem. There is an 8 Week Strength program designed to help you get in the best shape of your life. It incorporates the Big four lifts, and CrossFit Workouts to help you achieve maximum fitness.

There really isn’t anything that you will encounter that you won’t train for in CrossFit except how to fight.

This is where you will have to find a program, coach or mentor to learn how to fight.

My suggestions are:

  • Jui-Jitsu

  • Krav Maga

  • Boxing

  • Aikido

  • Other Martial Art

There are a lot of resources on the internet that you can use to learn how to box, or do karate movements, and even Krav Maga. However, for Jui-Jitsu, you are going to have to go to class and the same goes for Aikido. They are too complex to try and learn at home.

Resources for the Home Warrior:

Adventure is waiting for you

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You were made for adventure, you were not made to sit behind a desk, or a TV screen, or a small piece of technology in your hand.

You were made to subdue the earth, and everything in it. That’s a big task, but ultimately one worth fulfilling.

The enemy wants to keep you from doing that, he wants to keep you passive, scared, and unwilling to be dangerous.

Your heart craves freedom, and adventure. It won’t ever change, don’t try to make it.

Start doing things that bring you alive.

  • Go hiking or exploring

  • Go Mountain biking

  • Go kayaking

  • Ditch work for a day and head out in the wilderness

  • Learn to be comfortable being alone

Live like a lion in the wild and stop being afraid of who you were made to be. Don’t be afraid of success, or failure, or for standing in front of your enemies.

Taking calculated risks are going to change your life.

  • Don’t like your job…Look for a new one, and then take the leap

  • Thinking of starting to invest your money…pull the trigger

  • Want to start a website or blog…do it, the best way to begin is to start

  • Want to write a book…start writing

The only thing that is going to hold you back…is you.


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photo credit: black.zack00 Boxing a gentleman's sport via photopin (license)