Meeting people and getting into adventures is surprisingly easy. As in real ones, with real people in the real world. “I had a great life in solitude” said nobody on their deathbed. So what are the hang-ups to meeting people? Well, mostly that life gets in the way because the things that take us away from other people are increasingly easy and comfortable, and humans are genetically programmed (think: evolution) to pursue a life of increasing comfort. Those humans who came before us established such dominance over the food chain that we’re able to interact with the animal kingdom (or a farm) almost never. There’s an inverse relationship between wealth and waistline, and privacy, which never made anyone happy for a season, has become a commodity and more privacy has become a luxury afforded to nations of people so much so that if we wanted to, we could almost never talk to anyone else face to face. Call me old-fashioned, but being privately unhappy isn’t and will never be cool.
We’re all inherently social creatures. We’re meant to be in communities, in packs, because it’s safer that way and our spirit hasn’t forgotten that – in this case, spiritual existence is timeless, fighting the evolution of alone comforts. But being an individual has never been easier, or more lonely, mostly because we can still feel we have “friends” every time we scroll down and like and swipe right and we can voyeur adventures all day and all night long. Everything is immediately available, all the time. Just google it and press a button and you’ll have it. All that you ask for and more except learning what the best parts in life are all about. How do we train ourselves to find those again?
The human spirit yearns for true adventure, with friends. To get up and get out there. To find the high ground, and to take it in. So how about we start with that.
I like to throw parties. Hey, I’ll be here at this time, come one come all. Emily shakes her head at me many a Sunday when I email and text the whole company to come on over to the house. We have cornhole and a fridge of beer, and if the fridge isn’t full, the store’s just up the road and that’s what money’s for – my dad taught me that a while back and he was right, as our fathers usually are. Life’s too short not to be shared. I also happen to love a good sweat outside. So LA here I come turned into hey anyone who wants to meet up, go for a ruck, then hit my favorite watering hole in town, I’ll see ya there.
That morning Christian and I visited a couple of the factories where our gear is built. Leadership, to use a buzz word, is not as simple as making decisions and walking away. It turns into partnerships of working beside others, including the partner companies who build our gear. Without them, GORUCK would cease to exist in its current form. And as with all relationships, they have to be fostered. But that doesn’t mean it’s an in and out same day kind of deal. Hence the group ruck above Hollywood. With a pack out that breeds fun.
Runyon Canyon is a popular spot. Translation: lots of people up there, but there’s plenty of space so it’s OK. I just wish not so many wore headphones (and throw a ruck on while you’re at it). Like this guy. He was staring off into the same beautiful distance, he couldn’t even hear us offer him a beer before he ran away. Of note, headphones are not recommended in any sort of unknown area. I learned from Emily a long time ago that she never wears headphones when she runs because it decreases her situational awareness. As a knuckle dragging male growing up who hated to run, I never had to reconcile such fears. Anyway, I’m sure this guy was fine, headphones and all. Just probably didn’t have as much fun as we did.
On the high ground, most of the headset joggers went one way, I asked the crew hey wanna go that way or find an adventure? They didn’t even have to answer. Before you knew it there was some butt bumping and some reverse bear crawls to get down. This was definitely not the oft traveled path.
But as in Where the Wild Things Are, eventually a hot meal (and a few cold beers) found us.
Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood is where it’s at. If you’re in the neighborhood, go there and plan on a late one.
It sure was for us. And I wish GORUCK had existed when I was (even) younger. It’s really not that hard to organize a Team Ruck Up (TRU) and meet people and live your life to the fullest with new friends, and old. People meet people, get some miles in (60-90 minutes or so is about right). It’s a natural thing to talk to the person next to you while rucking. You’d be surprised how much people will share if you ask them how they’re doing and nobody stares at a phone that’s trained them to like other people’s adventures I mean perfect lives so-called from their couch and everywhere else.
When the ruck is over, grab a meal together and some beers and that’s a good day.
As we evolve as a company, GORUCK becomes more about service, leadership, and community. I’ll happily organize these kinds of rucks everywhere I go. We’ll all have fun, we’ll solve the problems of the world, we’ll laugh and maybe even organize a bigger adventure for some other time. Then we’ll do that.
And if this sounds like a good time, then organize one. If I’m around, I’ll show up. It might surprise you, but I bet a bunch of others will, too.