Monday, August 20, 2018

Microstory 911: Outdoor Activities

I hate sportsball. I hate football, I hate North American football, I hate baseball, I hate basketball. It would be easier for me to tell you which sports I like than which ones I don’t, because I don’t like any of them, so none. I do not, however, hate outdoor activities. I would certainly never want to watch someone else participate in one, but I enjoy them myself. When I was a boy scout, we would go on a camping trip pretty much every month. During the eight years I was involved, I can probably count on two hands the number of these trips that I missed; perhaps even one hand. Sometimes it was just all about tenting and cobbler, but we also went for specific things. We would always go on a bike ride in the fall. We would go to the slopes for skiing and snowboarding sometime in the deep winter. I didn’t think I would like skiing, since I’m afraid of heights and high speeds, and cold weather, but I got pretty comfortable with it. One time, I spontaneously belted out the Star-Spangled Banner when the other scouts were being particularly rambunctious in the cabins the night before. They must have thought I was meant to do that, because no one made a peep the rest of the night. It probably wouldn’t have been as fun if we had been too tired the next day. I especially enjoyed the canoe trips. I could paddle down a river for an entire day, across multiple days, if given the opportunity. Of course, there were also hiking and backpacking trips. My dad and I went down to backpack in the Arkansas hills with a small group, and one in the mountains of New Mexico that lasted longer than a week, and also involved horseback riding. My favorite trip was Seabase. We spent a week on a tiny Florida Key that was designated just for us. I experienced zero problems the whole time, developed a profound fondness for the mysterious deep, and uncovered inspiration for what I thought for years would be my first novel. I miss most of those things today, and wish there was an adult form of scouting that coordinates similar trips. Maybe there is, and I just haven’t really been looking. I suppose the closest thing to that would be Meet Up, but I feel like I’ve tried that. I guess I can try harder.

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