Will you laugh when you fall off a log?
"It was my brother Todd who suggested we wait to see how the Lama would handle this formidable impediment. Surely this test would break him.
Hiding off the trail we peeked through the underbrush just in time to see him trudge up to the log. Ever smiling he took a couple of steps back and tried his jump with a running start. With not enough momentum - coupled with a portly belly - he slid back down on the same side of the log and landed on his back in a large puddle."
I'm obsessed with living a better life.
I search for tips and tricks under every rock. I study every person I meet. I put myself in weird and uncomfortable situations.
Last week, Laura and I spent a few days with four badass, life-savoring friends. Naturally, I threw a 20-pound medicine ball (and a few kettlebells) in the trunk before we headed south to the Sand Dunes National Park.
To my delight, the crew embraced my hair-brained idea to collaboratively carry the medicine ball up thousands of feet of sand as we hiked up the massive dunes. Our thighs burned, well past our aerobic limits, as we ran up short stints of sinking sand.
As I neared the top of one climb, I found myself smiling, despite the physical torture I'd invited into my life. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else, doing anything else.
[Short clip of the final climb]
I credit Lama Kawa Tulku.
From the book "The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet's Lost Paradise" by Ian Baker...
Quick backstory: Baker and varying crews of friends and colleagues had been attempting to find a mythical waterfall in a remote Tibetan region for many years. One reason, of many, the waterfall remained unfound by any Westerner was the insufferable conditions of the environment: leech-filled jungles, snowy mountain passes, steep cliffs, impassable rhododendron forests, and unreceptive local deities.
One character, Kawa Tulku, a local Lama joined the crew for one pilgrimage.
His example of how to love the journey settled deep in my heart.
"Today was particularly bad for me as the rain would not let up and the leeches were relentless. At one point I counted twenty-two of them sucking on me at the same time. Sloshing along the muddy trail in the pounding rain I came upon a large, slimy log that had fallen chest high across our brush-choked path. In my agitated state I viewed the log as a menacing obstacle that was clearly separate, in my way and against me. With no way under or around I jumped, stomach first, and slid over the top. Regaining my balance on the other side, I was infuriated at the mud and decaying mush that seemed to have covered the entire front of my body. Rubbing off the crud I cursed the log and the god-damned rain.
It was my brother Todd who suggested we wait to see how the Lama would handle this formidable impediment. Surely this test would break him.
Hiding off the trail we peeked through the underbrush just in time to see him trudge up to the log. Ever smiling he took a couple of steps back and tried his jump with a running start. With not enough momentum - coupled with a portly belly - he slid back down on the same side of the log and landed on his back in a large puddle.
Shaking his rain-drenched head he burst into spasms of uproarious laughter. Staggering to his feet he repeated the same maneuver - with the same results - no less than three times. With each collapse back into the puddle his laughter grew stronger and louder.
On his fourth attempt he made it over the top and slid headlong into the muddy puddle on the other side. Again, the laughter was knee-slapping. Continuing to chuckle, he wiped himself off as best he could - lovingly patted the log as though it were a dear friend - and proceeded up the trail - smiling. Todd and I just stared at each other."
Here's to every log-covered path,