A Man’s Core Desire for Adventure
So here I am… an Australian man posting on MENZ.org.nz… brave or what? Especially after the Wallabies received an absolute grubbing at the hands of the All Blacks yesterday. John Potter had explained that MENZ.org.nz was specifically designed and created for New Zealand men, but after I played the “ANZAC” card, he was most gracious, and has allowed me to author and post a few articles here. So here it goes…
Whatever your nationality, there is something at the core of ALL men… and that’s our desire for adventure. Oh sure, most of our lives on the surface, look anything but adventurous, but it is there… however deep we may have buried it over time. Just watch boys play. My youngest son, Theo, has just turned 5. About a month ago, he came to me and asked if I could remove his training wheels from his bike. I didn’t think he was ready, because he hadn’t been riding long, but I resisted those doubts, and off they came… and more importantly, off he went… and he never looked back. Within an hour, he was challenging his brothers to race from one end of our court to the other… to simply ride was just not enough anymore… and I’m happy to report that he wasn’t far off the mark either. Within another hour, he was setting up ramps… determined to defy gravity. And he did, for a short time at least. Risk-a-plenty, and no fear… just an unhindered adventurous heart. It made me think back to my own childhood… growing up at the foot of Mount Louisa… which by definition is not a mountain at all, but to an 8 year old boy… I was Sir Edmund Hillary, and it was my Everest. And what about exploration… the extensive system of bike tracks, and abandoned World War II bunkers… my boyhood was one Indiana Jones adventure after another.
So what went wrong? We as a society have lost what it means to be a man. We get older… we “grow up”, we get married… have children… become responsible… and somewhere during that process, our good and true longing for adventure heads underground. It is then that a man begins to create his own, very small adventures… finding himself addicted to video games or pornography, and perhaps even falling into an affair. By their own admissions… men don’t find themselves falling into affairs for love, or for sex… but for adventure.
Last weekend, I took a bunch of men away, from all spheres of life, for what we called our MAN ALIVE adventure weekend. The theme was, as you could probably imagine… Adventure. Armed with major motion picture theatrical trailers, and specific clips to illustrate that theme, I spoke a little on both the Friday and Saturday evenings, followed by hanging out together around a fire. All day Saturday was devoted to white-water rafting down the Tully River. A great and truly adventurous weekend was had by all, with many stories coming out over the course of the weekend. One such story was this… one of the men who I will call Shane, joined us on the weekend. It was on day 1 that he informed me that he could not swim very well. How brave is this man I thought to myself. He went on to explain that when he was just 5 years of age, his father drowned… in white-water of all things, and his mother from that point on, never allowed him as a child to enter the water, hence his inability to swim well. Both the rafting guide… who was a New Zealand man in fact… and I, kept a very close eye on him whilst on the river… but what a great victory he won that weekend. What great strength, courage, and resolve. I wonder what I would have done in that same position? I think I would have hid… been too busy to take part in the weekend… I’m sure I could have come up with some really good, honourable, believable excuse. Shane now plans to have a swimming pool installed in their backyard, and he plans to teach his son and daughter how to swim. A new beginning!
Yes, adventure is crucial for a man… it calls something out of us… it shapes us. I like the way Andre Gide (1869 — 1951) said it… “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves — in finding themselves.”
Guys, one of my current “life adventures” is what I call “Fathering Adventures”. Take a little time to explore our website at www.fatheringadventures.com.au, and book yourself and your son, or your Dad, or another significant male in your life… a mentor, or even a protege perhaps, in quickly, for our September “Father-Son” adventure. Hope to meet you then!
Strength and Honour,
Darren has been married to his beautiful wife Melissa for 17 years, and is father to his four courageous sons, ranging in age from 14 years to 5 years. Darren has not given up on his desire to live life to the full.
Ph: (617) 4723 2941
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