Monday, January 30, 2012

"Alone in the Wilderness"

I'm sitting at my kitchen table, next to a DVD that I watched titled, Alone in the Wilderness. It's a 1960's era documentary about a man named Dick Proenneke who builds a cabin by hand, with simple tools at Twin Lakes, Alaska (where he lived for 30 years afterwards). He shot the footage himself using a small camera and narrated, post-production.

I've watched it several times and it has this certain "feel" to it. For a man, a human in modern society to pull ranks and literally build himself a life only among nature is inspiring and heart warming. What if he would've had a heart attack, suffered a broken bone, or... developed Epilepsy. He knew he'd face death everyday, but pushed forward. He was a strong man, but as you can see in his footage, a gentle man. He only hunts for survival and has a moment to reflect on his kill... as if he's thanking the animal for offering him it's life.

Mr. Proenneke is a man who could be considered a cowardly man, who jumped as far away from the lower 48 in the thick of the cold war. A man who left is family to live a life of solitude. It's quit the opposite; Mr. Proenneke had rheumatic fever when he was young and after his fight, he decided to change and live a strong, healthy life. This is the point I'd like to make.

After fighting off the virus that caused my Epilepsy, I told myself that I'd never endanger my health again; that if I was to get sick it wasn't a reflection of my lifestyle. That promise lasted just over a year; 2010. I started eating more and I had a beer during special occasions. Soon, I realized that two or three beers didn't effect my condition. With that came the same old food that I was eating before; not exactly bad, just in portions that exceeded my metabolism. I'm not close to my original weight but I'm on a familiar path.

If I am so inspired by the man alone in the wilderness, able to recover from an illness and successfully sustain his new lifestyle and live the life he knew he could live, then why can't I?

Longevity. Sara always says that she just wants me to be healthy, for me to have as long of a life with her as possible. It'd be selfish of me to leave her too soon by my own doing.

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