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Launching the Shuttle: Our Experiences

Posted by on Oct 25, 2011 | 6 Comments

This post is inspired by a post by our friend John DeVries.  John is on the verge of leaving Michigan for an extended adventure to South America on a motorcycle.  We have quite a few friends that are at some stage of reformatting their life to do something they truly love.  Of this group, John is the closest to actually making it happen.  He’s literally days away from launching.  Read his latest post about the challenges of pulling the trigger:

http://motovagabond.net/discipline/big-hairy-audacious-goal/

When Shelly and I were preparing to leave, we had our own last-minute issues.  Since we had already made commitments that were irreversible (quit job, agreed to hold barefoot clinics all over the country, etc.) we didn’t have the option to back out.  We were lucky in that regard.  Had we not had that pressure, it would have been very easy to toss in the towel.

The combination of fear of the unknown and the frustration of seemingly insurmountable obstacles made those last few days difficult.  The closer we got to the launch date, the more pressure we felt.  John’s analogy was correct- it’s more like a shuttle launching into orbit than a bobsled.  It takes more than one short burst of energy followed by effortless coasting.  It takes a relentless, sustained period of plowing through the obstacles.

Even now, there are periods of time when we have to plow through unpleasantness.  If we have a long travel day, we usually have no choice but to drive.  On our recent drive from Nashville to Connecticut, I had a day where I felt like garbage.  I was tired, felt physically ill, was crabby, and had a hard time staying awake.  Still, I had no choice but to plow through.  We were on a strict schedule; we had no choice.

There are other examples- days when our kids are crabby, I have deadlines that require hours and hours of writing, etc.  That ability to plow through adversity is essential to succeeding.  Getting to the point to launching often requires tenacity.  Even after launching, that stubbornness will be needed.

Take John’s advice- it will get you where you want to go.  ;-)

 

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6 Comments

  1. Erik Lee Skjon
    October 27, 2011

    You’ll never regret these kinds of decisions. Routine is living death!

    • Jason
      October 31, 2011

      Erik,

      I agree, in our previous lives it felt as though we were just going through the motions without experiencing any kind of adventure. Of course, we still have a “routine” but that routine is nomadic. :)

  2. L3vi
    October 27, 2011

    I made the launching twice although for different reasons, it is a very difficult and highly respectable decision. I am glad you made it back in those days and now we can read your blog.
    I left Hungary about 4years ago with 200quids in my pocket to travel a bit around Europe, learn languages and get some freedom. Didn’t get home since. Things always turn right, if you put in the correct effort.
    Thanks

    • Jason
      October 31, 2011

      Levi,

      Good point about the effort. The process of preparing for the journey was definitely hard work, but it was also fulfilling. Now that we’re on the road there are still significant difficulties, but that’s part of the fun. Congrats on having the courage to make major changes in your own life!

  3. John
    October 26, 2011

    I know you guys went through the same thing. It’s weird, because some of the obstacles are mental and emotional, while others are physical. But they’re both just as difficult to push through. Currently, UPS has me by the ballz. ;-)

    • Jason
      October 31, 2011

      Ah, the power of UPS :)

      I probably don’t talk about the mental or emotional difficulties as I should. This is especially true if you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand your motivations. Many people seem to take our decisions as a personal assault on their own lifestyle. I have no real good solution for that.