Homer's Travels: In The Pit Of My Stomach

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In The Pit Of My Stomach

Why do I feel so conflicted?

I was going to go out today. I was going to go out on the Wabash Trace. I was insistent that it would be Tuesday. No real reason - just that I set aside Tuesdays and Thursdays to do hiking/biking/outdoorsy stuff. Tuesday had this other allure - the temperature was forecasted to be below zero. -8°F (-22°C) to be exact. At least in the morning. The high was going to be 10°F (-12°C). In my head I saw this as a challenge. More of a challenge than snowshoeing or long distance hiking. I wanted to feel what cold really felt like. I wanted to beat the cold. I wanted to be stupid.

Watching the weather report last night, they kept using the phrases "dangerously cold". Part of me shivered with anticipation. The rational part of me doubted. Soon afterward I decided to postpone the trip for a day, a day that would be some 18°F warmer. At that moment, that moment of decision, I felt something in the pit of my stomach.

In the pit of my stomach I felt regret. In the pit of my stomach I felt relief. Both feelings fought so hard that I had a hard time sleeping. I felt like I'd lost a fight. I felt like I did the right thing. I felt in conflict. I still do.

I have always been more adventuresome, a bigger risk taker, in the confines of my mind. In reality I look for any and every excuse not to take the risk. Any excuse to play it safe.

Too bad you only feel alive when you take that risk.

Why do I feel so conflicted?


  1. I call that "cabin fever". You want to get out of the house but you have no real ambition to do it. So what is the solution...Just hang in there...it will get warmer and your desire to use those snowshoes will happen.

  2. Sometimes you have to know when to pick your battles. Often (especially with us guys) there's a fine line between "risk taking" and "stupidity".

  3. Mom: You may be right. I also feel that if I can't get out do to weather or temperature that I may be missing something.

    GH: I hear ya.