This week I rekindled an old passion for climbing. Chris and I went to Climbers Rock
|Trying the bouldering wall
So where is all this going? In the words of the rock band Genisis "To the land of confusion". You see I love sports, well at the least the unconventional, non-team sports. I love trying new things and fall in love easy. I also become obsessed with learning and mastery when I discover something new that I like. My first thought leaving the gym was "when can I get back here?!". Then I began to think about a discussion the four of us had in the gym that night. Chris is a bmxer, a runner and he and his wife both climb and do yoga. Christine is a cyclist, backpacker, climber and runner. We had a conversation about how can you fit all the things your passionate about into your life. We had no answers. Part of my reasons for quitting my job recently and going to something with a lot less hours was for this very reason, more time. More time with Christine and more time for my passions. So finally we reach the initial question, "who the fuck am I"?
I've spent my whole life trying new things and then "becoming" those things and by that I mean it becomes my identity. I sometimes feel like a chameleon. I have always had the ability to slip into another lifestyle and blend right in with everyone else. In my pre-teen years I was a martial artist learning jui jitsu until a back injury from a homemade zip-line left me bedridden for an entire summer. I became a cross-country runner in public school and obsessed over that. Now I was a runner. In middle school I finally talked my parents into letting me have a skateboard and quickly became a skateboarder. This was it for me or so I thought. My entire identity revolved around being a skateboarder.
I wore bandannas and suspenders hanging off my shorts because that's what the pros in California were doing. No one got me or my style other than my fellow skateboarders, but that's how we liked it. I have been a skateboarder for 25 years now and until last summer that's what I considered myself to be. If you asked what I did or who I was the answer was simple, I skateboard therefore I am a skater. the last few years I felt my skateboard prowess slipping away as I worked harder and harder to keep up with the next generation. Last year was the tipping point and after getting dominated by their power and speed at a contest I no longer felt like I was a skateboarder. It's strange just how much I had tied my identity of being a skateboarder to the necessity of being a really good skateboarder. That's when I discovered triathlon and through triathlon discovered running. Now during my many years of skating I sidestepped into a few other identities.
So where am I now. I'm not sure anymore. As I discover new endeavors to grow and develop in I fell awash in how to describe myself. An identity crisis of sorts. Oh and did I mention I'm a songwriting and guitar player that spent a couple years to record two albums of original songs?
I still skate and mountain bike, this year with the addition of road cycling. I'm racing a lot as a runner so I certainly feel that it is a part of my makeup now. I began swimming again in anticipation of my triathlon racing this summer. Am I a swimmer too? I also fell in love with camping last fall when Christine took me to Algonquin and now have a list of items to purchase to begin my life as a hardcore backpacker. Now climbing has been thrown in the mix.
So who am I?
I am a skateboarder, mountain biker, road cyclist, runner, swimmer, triathlete in training, weight lifter, yoga practitioner, musician, juggler, outdoor enthusiast, backpacking hopeful, newbie climber, loving boyfriend, ex-chef, ex-carpenter with obsessive tendencies for learning.
This is Ryan Brown in all my confusing glory and I wouldn't have it any other way.