What's the ratio?
At temperatures approaching 90 degrees the transfer of hydration to perspiration becomes streamlined. In such desert environments the only escape from our blaring life source in the sky is in the spaces between giant granite boulders that create caves providing shade and a ten degree Fahrenheit drop. A sensation I have experienced before when walking into a full size refrigerator during my tenure as a professional pie flipper.
Along the Dharwar Craton, plate tectonics are not the creator. Onion peel weathering is the pottery wheel that has been spinning for 2500 million years creating such unique shapes and seemingly alien granitic mounds stacked as if a giant is building cairns towards his path home. I have seen these marvelous creations before in an eerily similar national park in the United States. Except in the U.S. there were a couple things missing: water, and wandering hippies searching for the zen. But the location does not change the motive for me, I am not looking for the zen, I am looking to crank.
For me, it’s about performance, about the beautiful settings, about dealing with fear in a high exposure setting, about forcing mental strength and about my relationship with pain. Forcing your digits and toes as deep as you can and twisting to apply torque can be so painful yet has provided me years of pure bliss and mental focus, with at least 40 years ahead of me. It has given me almost limitless destination spots near and far, taken me to places in the world that the beauty can not be explained or captured in a photo. It has given me such strong relationships, the kind where you can pick up after any time apart without skipping a beat. It has made me build mental toughness and able to strategically make decisions when facing a potential epic to avoid being benighted. I have come a long way from crying when I had to descend Liberty Bell and my father decided that eight years old was too old to be helped rappelling. I have still had moments where I have wanted to cry from physical fatigue where rest is not an option during 24+ hour pushes but dehydration has not allowed tears in this situation. These are the moments that I live for and can’t hold myself back from indulging.
But recently I have becoming more aware how this thing that I love so much is only good for one thing… me. I have been struggling to justify all the time I've spent and want to spend on something that is inherently only beneficial to myself. From the short time I have spent in India it has been made so clear to me how privileged I am to have the space to partake in something so contrived. I don't have to support my parents, I don't have to worry about feeding myself, clothing myself. I have food security, water security, a support system at home to return to if I needed to. I have the ability to receive a good paying job without a college degree in the US. There are so many things that I have that I take for granted that so many do not. Is it the responsibility of the privileged to use it as a platform to help others? Am I a selfish, undeserving person if I don’t use my energy and resources to benefit the world and others? I have been struggling with what is the appropriate ratio of working towards the improvement of the world to self fulfillment, and I don’t know if there is an answer.