Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What moves me?

It is my belief that the true measure of a life well lived is not in material possession and accumulated wealth but in experience and joy. That belief is one of the factors compelling me to do this trip. Below, in no particular order, is a short but strong list of movies and one graphic novel that inspires me to push myself beyond my limits and experience life beyond the confines of society.

Bucketlist - If you haven't seen this movie, you need to. It is the incredibly powerful story of two men who concurrently find out they have months left to live. With their deaths ever-approaching, they make a list of things they want to do before they die and set out to cross the items off that list.
This movie makes the viewer ask themselves, "What do I want to do before I die?" A select few viewers will ask themselves, "What do I need to do to accomplish this?" I am proud to say that I have answered both those questions and will be able to cross an item off my personal list this summer.
Instead of including a trailer, I will include the John Mayer music video, "Say," a song that is essentially about living with no regrets and is just as poignant.

Into The Wild - I first heard about Chris McCandless in grade school. It wasn't until 13-15 years later that I heard about him again via the movie Into The Wild. This is a docudrama inspired by the writings in his diary as well as interviews. Chris McCandless abandoned his conventional lifestyle in order to realize his dreams and discover who he is.
The reason this movie touches me so much is because it captures the spirit of desire. No matter what anyone says to dissuade you, if you want something, you have to do everything in your power to make it happen. McCandless realized that and he did something so many are afraid to do. He acted upon it.
Even now, when I watch this movie a fervent envy consumes me. Until I reach the end, that is. I envy everything but the end. This movie shows us the beauty of all that is around us if we would just be willing to venture outside of our comfort zone.

Hidalgo - I saw this movie in theaters and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a great story about a man and his horse competing in a race with the odds stacked against them. In the end it becomes not just a race, but a test of endurance and self-discovery.
As my riders in spin class and fellow cabbers can attest, I am all about testing endurance. For me, there is no greater feeling than putting oneself into a truly arduous task and emerging victorious. That is why I have the distance and timeframe set on this trip. It is not just about the experience but the test of physical prowess. It's not just about traveling by bike and seeing lots of sights, it's about seeing what I am capable of.

The clip below is the first 4 minutes of the movie but only the first 2.5 are applicable to what I wanted to convey. Natural beauty and test of strength.

Midnight Nation - Many who know me personally know that I am a nerd. Particularly, a sci-fi/comic book nerd. Midnight Nation is a graphic novel (a snazzy way of saying "long comic book") that follows one man as he walks across America's shadowlands in an effort to reclaim his soul. Below is a link to a very powerful scene in the novel and below that is an explanation of why it affected me so greatly. If you plan to read the comic, you should skip to the last paragraph.

Midnight Nation

The reason this scene is so awesome is because it talks about what I have been talking about all along. People don't do what they want to do because they are afraid of what may or may not happen. Instead they huddle inside their safe zone, with a content regret of what never was. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked, "Aren't you afraid to go?" which is followed by, "I would be to scared to do anything like that."
If we let fear dictate our every move, we would merely exist. I want to LIVE.

I suppose the only thing left to post is a couple of questions to you, the reader. What do YOU want to do before you die? What do YOU need to do to accomplish this?


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