Badassery Is A Choice
There are a lot of actions you can take to be a badass these days. For some, many of them happen on their own, like growing a beard, radiating a natural manly scent, having a chiseled jawline, or being Jason Statham. However, these steps are all passive and create a sort of pseudo-badass persona. The true mans man (or womens woman) looks for ways to do/or become a badass. Luckily there are things like rock climbing, mountaineering, spearfishing, base jumping, backpacking etc that allow us to expedite the process.
Thus the story of "The Night Hike of Humphreys" was born. We had planned a night hike to Humphrey's Peak on Thursday. That evening a raging lightning storm was making moves to spoil the hike but instead of giving up hope we waited, and waited and waited. Eventually the lightning died down and diverted direction so we made our way to the trail head. Once there we saw bolts shooting across the sky in the distance but decided it was far enough away. So, at 11:15pm we began. The humidity was maxed, the fog was thick, the barking spiders were out, and we eventually had to scramble after accidentally losing the trail but we made it. After pitching a tent and getting a good 2 hours of sleep I woke up to the most incredible sunrise I had witnessed in a long time. Being slightly elevation sick may have had a euphoric effect on me (Buffalo = 600ft, Humphrey's Peak = 12,000ft) but the mountains were moving me, the sunrise was warming my chilled innards and I realized that being a true badass is about perspective.
In hindsight, the hike was horrible, probably one of the worst I've been on but it made the view at the top that much more powerful. I realized that if I didn't love the outdoors I wouldn't be outside in the dark, dank, night. I wasn't hiking because I wanted a "sick sunrise pic" but because I had to. I needed to because I feel connected to the outdoors and despite the apparent danger, I love it. Doing risky things can gain a lot of "likes" but living unapologetically and doing things because you love them gains respect. But it's not about earning respect from others either, or impressing those who aren't "outdoorsy" enough. It's about doing things that satisfy your soul. The essence of a true badass. The impact of active action will always trump passive action. So go do something you love already.