The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside
There’s this line in song by David Crowder that has stuck with me for more than a decade:
“While standing on the edge of something large
While standing here, so close to You
We could be consumed
What a glorious day”
If you’re a person of faith like me, you might know David Crowder as a Christian artist and this song as the “You” referring to God. But I think this is a relatable feeling no matter how you walk through life — standing on the edge of something large, standing close to fate. Personally, I call that God and that makes sense to me.
Anyway, what it’s that standing on the edge feeling that I’m talking about — that moment where you know you’re on the precipice of something coming and it feels like you could be consumed by it, or you will move through it with beauty and maybe even some transformation. Which will it be? The only way to know is to move forward and let it sweep you.
Have you ever watched the ocean or gone body surfing or board surfing? There’s this moment for waves as they swell and right before they crash. It feels like the slightest pause — a tiny little breath of nature. The wave as it’s moving forward crests and then BOOM brakes and crashes. Over and over it does this. Sometimes these swells and breaks and crashes are mild. Sometimes they are huge. Maybe there’s a storm and they are colossal and destructive and fast one after the other. But they all share that swell, crest, break, crash. It’s a lovely rhythm.
And I feel that in life. It is the standing on the edge of something large. Will you be consumed by this wave? Will you ride it and be transported in this incredible moment of awe? There’s only one way to find out. It’s to jump right in the water and see what happens.
I’m reminded of that Lousia May Allcott quote: “I am not afraid of the storms, for a I am learning how to sail my ship.”
Girlfriend knew what was up.
I physically experience this moment of standing on the edge of something large in so many ways in nature and in things that happen in my life, and I have to think that my growing ability to chase them in both places, or maybe to both seek them out and be OK when they come, has a lot to do with practicing them both physically outside and emotionally inside.
When I run down mountain ridges with my friends, I feel this. There’s this moment coming down the trail on Lazy Mountain near my house, a mountain you’ve heard me talk about before, where you’re cruising down a ridge slope and you approach this bump in the mountain before it gets a little steeper and keeps descending. As you run towards it you can’t see the clear trail under it just yet, and it looks for all the world like you are about to spread your wings and glide into the world right off of it. It is a moment of sheer wonder every time I find it.
When I get messages that ask me to do things or give me opportunities that are so fabulous that I’ve never dreamed about them, I feel this. It was like that when a reporter emailed and asked me to be in her Real Simple magazine story. Me and Humans Outside in Real Simple? What? Bucket list item that I didn’t know I had.
I’ve been feeling the pull to make a change in how I spend my work hours — that I am standing on the edge of something large, and I have the chance to ride the wave, or to swim away. Going away feels very safe, but risky in its own way. If I never ride the wave, how will I know what is waiting?
So this week I took the leap and gave notice at my full time job, ending a 13-year stint at the same company so that I can focus on some local journalism passion projects that have been calling my name. It’s scary to leave this security. But I’m going to ride the wave down to see what happens. I bet it’s going to be great.
My outdoor time this week looked like spending time in California for the premier of that documentary we’re in — which was great by the way — and then recovering from the trip. My son had a track meet that went from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., yes a very long day, and then my friends and I went and did a long trail run in Anchorage. There’s nothing like run therapy and friend therapy mixed together.
We’ve got another family trip for the film this week that is going to be really, really cool — but instead of telling you what it is, you’re just going to have to watch Humans Outside on social media. If jinxing us is a thing, that’s what I’m afraid of here.
You can see photos of all of my outdoor time on Humans Outside on Facebook and Instagram. And please share your photos, too! Tag them with #Humansoutisde365. Until next time, we’ll see you out there.