The YMCA is one of the places I find passionate folks of all stripes. It’s where I get my kicks chatting with people excited about their causes, their hobbies or their jobs. Today it was Pat.
Crossing paths with him at the gym over the years, I’ve known that he and a few buddies, all now in their late 50’s, have trained for major annual trips climbing significant mountains. I’ve seen him light up whenever he mentions his trips, his training, even his necessary recoveries from injury to be ready for the next one.
What I learned today is that his mountain climbing is more than a hobby, it’s part of a formidable life goal. Over the past 10 years, his little group of like-minded friends have conquered the highest peaks in 21 states and are hoping to achieve the remainder. And checking out the internet, you’ll find he’s definitely not alone with his goals. There is a segment of enthusiasts, called high pointers, who are serious enough about this to have their own club. They attempt to visit the highest point in each of the 48 contiguous states or in all fifty states. Roughly 200–300 people attend the Highpointers Club convention each year. (Amazing what you can learn by talking to folks about what they love.)
It is my deeply held belief that we all need to do what we love at least in some part of our lives, or we wither on the vine. However we manage that balance is an evolving personal choice.
My friend, Pat, is employed as manager of a small local manufacturing company. My sense is that his “regular job” is not only sufficiently professionally satisfying, but serves to support the off work, outdoor activities that really make his life worth living.
What is it that keeps you going in life?
And, how happy are you with your choices?