Sitting in Red Robin just south of Pittsburgh in Washington, PA, scores of patrons and employees wore Steelers' jerseys and every HD flatscreen had the game on (which they won, by the way). I looked over at my wife and said: "This is information/sensory overload compared to where we just left. We went from being in the mountains sans cell signal/cable/commercialization to BAM! ... it's all back." I do like the conveniences of home, I like a good HD picture when I'm watching a show, and I do love my own bed vs. air mattress and drip, drip, drip all night as dew slowly accumulates over my head in the tent. But, I wouldn't trade the experience this past weekend.
While I was picking up my dog this morning from the boarder and waiting for the staff to come up front, a commercial was playing on the tiny 13" TV from Time Warner Cable, touting how you can now watch FOUR "live" TV shows at once from within the same household. In other words, you can now separate your family amongst 4 devices in a house, whether they be the HDTV, an iPad, iPhone, or other viewing device while having no interaction, no socializing, no sharing, no quality time while everyone glues themselves to the screen. I can see it...kids get off the bus, head straight to their rooms and that's pretty much it until the next morning. It's really sad. I have ZERO regrets for cutting the cable over a year ago. Our $40 HDTV antenna picks up plenty and the few shows we watch a week...as a family...are plenty. After that commercial ended, it was time to pick up Bristol and head home. Here she is...eager to get home and stretch her legs:
A few other things I loved about the experience this past weekend:
- After every meal, we washed our own dishes on the outside deck. Sanitized and all. Community...working together.
- Every food scrap was collected and used as feed for the pigs. Yep, pigs were in the woods behind our tents. A big 'ol muddy pig pen with two resident pigs. Oink. (quite the stink in the early hours, too!)
- Profit was clearly not a goal for the event. There wasn't a shred of commercialization or greed-hungry folks present. Instead, an event to test endurance in a place largely untouched by civilization yet incredibly beautiful. The purity of the event went hand-in-hand with where it was held, who organized it, and the home we all adopted for the weekend, The Mountain Institute.
- Take away all of the stuff of life and when you hit rock bottom physically or emotionally, not much matters except for the ones you hold closest. After that 2nd fall and passing out then getting cut from the race, I only wanted my bride. NOTHING else mattered. As we creep up on 21 years together, I thank God for her every day and the miracle He has worked in us and through us. I'm thankful for her relentless support while I pursue these goals of mine.
- Volunteering is contagious! Yea...go figure! I already see a nudge to run more WVMTR events so SHE can volunteer! Talk about flipping things around! Alrighty, then...if you insist!
- Hold the ones you love closer, support things/events/places/businesses/causes you believe in...REALLY support them, and be you. Know who YOU are first!
- When you invite God in...really invite Him in, He won't leave you. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that in nearly 18 hours on those trails, I was never bored. Worship song after worship song after worship song played in my head. From Skillet to Chris Tomlin to Steven Curtis Chapman...they just kept going. Combine that with the artistry surrounding me in color, it was beyond breathtaking and so awe-inspiring.
I'll be enjoying the day off today...federal holiday. It was a restless sleep last night as I never got comfy and the quads continued to scream at me. Some rest, a new garage door opener getting installed, and lotsa water. Sunny and mid-60s, too. I'll take it.
Have a great week, friends.