Friday, February 27, 2009

Will To Live

I recently read a quote from Jack London, author of White Fang. He said he once swam out to sea starting at the opening of the San Francisco Bay (currently known as Ocean Beach). He said he swam out so far he could no longer see land. When asked why he did this, he said he wanted to test his will to live. His design was to swim so far out that he couldn't concevably have enough strength to swim back. By doing so, he could find out just how much he wanted to live. He said when he finally reached the shore, he was so exhausted he could hardly move.

When I was younger, I surfed at Ocean Beach a couple of times. I wore a wetsuit and it was still freezing. Ocean Beach seems to have a few too many great whites. And, it's always overcast there. I'm guessing Jack London didn't have a wetsuit. I don't know weather write this guy off as a nut job or be in awe of his feat. But, oddly, it seems the nut jobs, who do unfathomable tasks, leave some sort of legacy.

These days, bucking convention is a hard thing to do--there's so many people doing it. It would be nice to do something that my great-great-great-great grandkids would hear about and say, "Whoa!" What is it though that would do that? Someone's walked on the moon. Many people have swam the English Channel. Someone has circumnavigated the globe in an helium ballooon. Many people have summitted Mt. Everest. Many people have rode their bikes accross the Untited States. Shoot, people have ran accross the United States. What's left to do anymore?

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