Adventure Club Manifesto

Our bodies are grossly capable. The human form, physical and spiritual, is incredible. We are equipped to deal with any possible hardship the world can throw at us: climbing a mountain, swimming in a flood, fighting off predators, running a hundred miles at a time. We can adapt to new stressors unheard of in nature: manipulating space on a trampoline, interpreting gravitational forces to drive a car or pilot a fighter jet, defying death bungee-jumping, or playing weightlessly in a zero-G environment. We can love, hate, worship, build, hunt, establish empires and religions, sway the minds of the masses, and experience ecstasy or despair. The human being is the most adaptive and pliant creature in all existence; and yet, on a given day, we tap into none of this potential.

Society has offered us a compromise. It promises comfort in exchange for following a certain process and adhering to different sets of rules, and in our self-interest and shortsightedness we have bought into it lock, stock and barrel. All the cold nights, broken bones, splinters, bruises, and loss of loved ones inherent in the wilderness—these hardships disappear, forever. Here is a nice tram-ride of a life, laid out neatly on rails, and it will carry you softly to a painless death at eighty-five years old. Is this not to be desired?

What we have forgotten in our infatuation with our comforts and our gadgets is that those very things which would kill us in high doses are in fact nourishing in moderation, are the catalysts of growth. Tearing makes the muscle stronger; impact makes the bones harder and the joints more elastic. Frigid water makes us better thermoregulators, and emotional turbulence stabilizes the inner gyroscope. Yet day after day we fall asleep in our beds, a comfortable 72 degrees, utterly disconnected from our bodies and from any sense of inner adventure. We bemoan our backaches, burdened by a chronic depression that comes from neglecting our most basic human needs: the need for challenge and stimulation, the need to assert one’s self, to love with a fearless heart and play like a child in springtime. We have been taught timidity, to look before we leap, to doubt ourselves, to think twice and anticipate negative outcomes and reasons why it it won’t work. We are experts at following to a T the unspoken guidelines that have been wordlessly laid out before us. We are living other people’s lives, and it is killing us.

I won’t accept this. Starting with the physical body, I seek to defy the status quo and reject it in every possible way it would do me injustice. The body is our innate territory, our immediate kingdom. Gaining autonomy over the body is the first step in liberation; a primed and conditioned body betokens control over the impulses, the ability to adapt to stress, the true expression of the individual. The body is our most powerful tool in the pursuit of freedom.

This is what we seek, after all. Life’s variety is immense; every day we spend ignoring that variety life slaps us in the face and tells us to wake up. Shame, regret, lethargy, and restlessness are the symptoms of our modern disease.

I am ready to jump, to run, lift things, climb, flip, swim, get dirty, explore, play, dance, and make sure each precious second of this life doesn’t slip by unacknowledged and unexplored, this perfect body of mine underutilized and undeveloped. I am ready to do these things on the daily, and I want to build a tribe of people to connect with who share these same beliefs. I want a band of fearless explorers to plumb these depths with me, because I know that eventually I will die, and to die knowing there was more that you could’ve done out there is unacceptable. Let’s burn, while we still can, and burn brightly.

 

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