- Men's Health & Wellness
How to Live Stress-Free and Care-Free!
The sense of a boy...
Looking back, the "good ol' days" contained fun, laughter and spontaneity created by the non-existence of stress in my life as a young boy! With a modern Tom Sawyer attitude created by being left alone in a youthful world of make-believe, imagination and then a practical decision to be an adventurer naturally followed. On summer vacations when leaving the house in the morning, I was in tune and alone with my world that existed as the "boyhood option". It was tantamount only to when dad left his daytime responsibilities and climbed into the huge pecan tree behind our house, to help us build the most elaborate tree house ever, (well except for Swiss Family Robinson's), but he was very creative, reviving his youthfulness again as he mentored us!
It mattered not whether it was a make believe gun, an old banana seat bike, slingshot, bow and arrow, or whatever prop was available; the reading and learning of the classroom had to now be lived out in a fantasy that I created, alone with nature in a park or on countryside playgrounds in the many towns of which I lived while growing up.
Regardless if morning or afternoon, rain, or sunshine; as long as temperatures could be controlled by taking off layers or putting on layers of clothes. Normal attire was bluejeans and t-shirt, and a jacket that had to "look cool" "for the day". Neither did location matter where I was for adventure to happen. if it didn't already exist, why then we brought it with us and made it happen!
It could mean going into the public park and blazing exclusive private trails and building imaginary zones for pirate exploits, or arctic explorations; mimicking Blackbeard's high seas' adventures, or Admiral James Byrds adventures in the south pole; even sometimes playing indian roles with a Soshone chief or Sioux brave at the lead of a war party in the wilderness of years gone by, always there was some sort of excitement to be had.
One quick little story was while "fishing" on the Snohomish river in Washington State, not really prepared to catch anything ourselves, a grizzled, but nice man asked us if we wanted to take home a 24 inch steelhead he had just caught, and my, the story we fabricated upon arrival at home about "Oh, how that fish had fought and we barely got him reeled in," and God knows if Mom and Dad really believed us or not, but we had the "proof" in our hands, and yes, we really were fishing!
While living in Biloxi (St. Martin) many times we went fishing in my dad's neat little 17 ft Cobia fiberglass boat.. On weekends we cruised up and down the bay and a few times went out in deep water and fished out from Biloxi towards Ship Island. Well, as I was ambitious about going to the island and exploring; it led up to one Saturday afternoon while no one was home, I rode off on my bike to the wharf where we kept our boat. Checking the fuel tanks and started her up, and after untying the lines, I eased that baby out into the bay, headed around the point, powering up to full throttle and setting a course straight for the west side of Ship Island. I was so brave and in my mind I was a pirate going out to the island and looking for treasure. But as I got closer and closer the skies turned dark and waves began to beat on the hull, and seemed to drive me farther out. I tacked her in closer considering making a landing, but I got worried as I saw it was now quite late as well as turning dark on me and though I could see stars coming out, It really was a south-east squall that promised to cause me trouble getting back.. So, reluctantly I turned away from my destination and quartered her back towards Back Bay.. I got a little scared as the force of the waves hit me broadside. I had to keep her headed into the wind and pulled down my slicker hood and held on tight to the gunnels, one hand on the controls and feet tight against the fulsom. I began to think "what if something happened?" I was not a good swimmer, though I did have an ever ready life vest; I was sure to have lots of trouble on my hands if I capsized.. I have to tell you that at that age, I most likely did NOT know all the risks that I had taken, even though I was a pretty good seaman and felt up the the task at hand. (Now I have read the book "The Dove" in which a guy takes a sailboat around the world single handedly and I do know the thrill and the feeling of "you are out here facing the world alone, and its all in your own hands to survive.)" But almost needless to say I safely made shore that night, docked that sweet little vessel, and though I might have missed dinner, I made it home before Dad came home! Never did I ever say a word for years and years until I was grown about that secret solo trip to Ship Island! As a senior now, I intend to relive that moment and make that trip in better conditions and plant my country's flag on the island and leave my legacy intact for my grandson, who is sure to follow in my footsteps.. Or so I believe!
Jumping forward to today's world of high stress politics, economy and hard to manage relationships that threaten to ditch the creativeness fostered in the American boy; I'm learning to live by the keyboard and expand my mind's usefulness, this only attained through college degree and life experience, but it makes you wonder, where did the boy go? Now the most we can do to alleviate the 'change' is to pick a hobby or a pastime that can link us to our roots of origin. Its been nearly impossible though to recapture nimbleness, virility and creativeness of youth, being carefree again and unstressed by local and world events surrounding us each and every day! -It makes you ask how bad do you want it?
One of the optimum tools at our disposal is the amazing resilience of the human psyche. The imagination that allows us to conceive an escape from age and stress on a daily application of standing still for certain moments of capture, focusing and meditating with our inner spirit through denial of boyhood loss. Whatever it takes for each of us personally, a trip to the attic and pull out the toys of our youth, or drawing a diagram on the workbench that makes sense only to us; by entering the schematic with our mind and integrating it with the blended imagination of maturity and adolescence. No one can take our boyhood memories from us. The search and prayers of yesterday's attempts to grow up and be an 'adult' are now in attrition as we strive with great effort to regain our decency and self respect that only re-entering our childhood can achieve. Today's purchases of man-toys is the commercial society's way of capitalizing on the extreme stress placed upon us 'macho men', to tap into our pocketbooks, as well as exploiting our insecurity; us hoping that by having these symbols of youthfulness, we can maintain our self-esteem a few more years until it no longer matters, as our mind grows old in the graveyard of yesteryears. Are these just a band-aid on our ego?
Many of us hope to leave a legacy; a heritage of who we are, who we were, and of dreams of who we want our chidren and grandchildren to be. Proof of this is the times we hear it spoken, "Don't be foolish like I was, son!", or "Why can't you be like your dad, and make me proud of you?" We all have our personal quotes to constantly remind our offspring. Why not rather than these frustrating selfish and prideful remarks, could we not say to our boys: "Be a man, find time to be creative, read, meditate, be imaginative, this is the way I found myself when I was your age. And ask them "what is your dream? Now GO OUT AND PLAY!"
What we have forgotten is that boys don't become real men unless first they successfully find their childhood. Men don't stay men unless they preserve their youthful dreams and vigor. Lose those qualities and stress will surely overwhelm. Waiting for you is some youngster that needs a role model and a mentor on "how to be a boy". To be taught how to be carefree by another 'once upon a time' Tom Sawyer of the 21 century.. another real life action figure like Superman, that plays with his kids.. one that shows the timid how to be brave and how to be a boy scout of the universe in real life.. Get out your baseball and find a place to throw it; someone will see and connect with ya. Give a little bit of life back to the planet.. Quit being selfish and a workaholic and so achievement oriented! At the verrry least reserve a place in your life for play.. It will reduce your stress, it will clear your mind. Endorphins or not, energy expended to preserve yourself will pay high dividends.. Walking across the street to meet the neighbor will give opportunity to swap stories and to share secrets of how to live carefree.. Ride your bicycle, and look out for the ancestors who are still showing us how to trade apple cores in exchange for getting the fence whitewashed so you can slip out and raft on the river with Huck Fin.
I'm not telling you exactly how to do it, but I know you have it in you, because I did!
As a Boy I Read Books
Reading was a huge pastime as a boy. I read many of the normal youth series, including Tom Swift, Hardy Boys, Bobsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and others. Also classics such as Tom Sawyer, Shakespeare, Swiss Family Robinson, Blackbeard, The Prince and the Pauper, Journey to the Bottom of the Sea,. Mysteries and Detective reads such as Sherlock Holmes/Scotland Yard, Alistair Mclean Novels, Romances, from Harlequin, to titles such as Dragonwyck, Catherine, etc. when we moved to a new town, I quickly checked out the library. WE were there series included stories about our founding fathers, and important documentaries surrounding our national history. Along with all of these, my parents got us the Patriarch Series which in many ten volumes had high quality illustrated stories of the first Bible leaders, From Adam and Eve, to Moses, Jacob, Abraham, Gideon, Rahab, and many more.
These written works all contributed to my avid interest in books, in history, in writing, in all the aspects of human expression through the medium of paper and ink. The ability to read, comprehend and retain information is a huge asset as well as being a crucial building block of society and the human framework on earth. Who can read? Anyone who has eyes, and a mind to comprehend what another person has written. We all leave marks from our upbringing and past; the only difference is those that are committed to written(or other media} record of existence are more likely to be remembered by future generations. Men like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Ronald Reagan, and women like Laura Bush, and Conteleeza Rice. what is written will endure. How long? perhaps a few generations. Listening to a TV documentary of Tavis Smiley made an impression upon me just recently due to his established writing career. Values of humanity are well expressed through writing both of novels, and documentary works. My youth was filled with stories of others, while I was trying to become a story myself. perhaps that is presumptuous to say, however, just "living" to me was enough expression, because it was filled with energy, It was filled with adventure, and with anticipation.
April 4, 2015
- Boyhood and Bicycle Adventures
This story is about childhood experiences on a bicycle and having fun as a youth and how it effects you as an adult. the importance of Physical Activity whatever age you are! Safety Instructions.