When Swede invited me back, he asked me to tell what I have been up to. As I am still relearning my way around the site, I will just post here. I believe I was last active on here in 2006.
I started caving in a place we call TAG. it is the spot where Tn, Al, and Ga meet. There are some 20,000 caves in this area and new ones are probably being found right now. I was a bit afraid of tight spots, but I haven't let fear stop me. At the same time I got really involved in vertical caving(basically rappelling and climbing rope with mountaineering gear). Not all caves are horizontal. There are many "pits" or "drops" as well. There is nothing cooler than hiking up a hill to a small hole in the ground, tying a rope around a rock or tree and rappelling into huge rooms hundreds...yes hundreds of feet underground! Along with horizontal and vertical caves, there are also multidrops. Those have horizontal, then vertical, then horizontal, etc. I have descended several mountains from the inside and swam out of the bottom. if you think spring water is cold, you should swim in it before it comes out of the ground! That lead to taking cave rescue classes, then becoming a certified professional rope access tech(I am a RAT lol). That means I can do confined space cave rescue, climb towers, windmills, bridges, buildings, etc in a industrial work environment where hanging from a rope in a harness is required. I still go backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and now I define myself as a caver as well!
Don't let the masses or doctors fool you into thinking getting older means doing less. The loss of will leads to inactivity which leads to loss of ability which leads to growing old. as proof, I fell off a roof 2 years ago. Fell only 10 feet but on to concrete while tangled in a falling ladder. No, my dumbass wasn't tied off because it was a very easy roof. I shattered my shoulder, broke left knee, cracked right knee cap and both elbows, sprained both wrists, broke 3 fingers on my left hand, blew 2 discs in my lower back, and took a Homer Simpson blow to the forehead. I had to make a decision..... be disabled and sit at home taking pain pills waiting on old age and inactivity to slowly kill me... or dig deep within myself and get back up. I chose the latter.
It wasn't easy. It took until this past summer to get back to 95%, but I am back doing everything I did before I fell. Maybe more because I now know what it is like to sit in a recliner for 6 months like an old man. Inactivity is the leading cause of bad health. Yes I have aches and pains, but they only get worse if I sit around. The human will or "spark" is stronger than the human body. It gets easier to lose with age. My spark became dim for a while. That scared me worse than falling. We all need to work everyday to keep it burning just like a campfire will always need wood. That "spark" is the number one survival tool and trumps any piece of gear you can carry. Everything we need to survive is in our minds. Without a will to survive, no amount of skill, gear or prepping will keep you living...
I promise I left out the bad stuff that has happened. That would be TMI ;-)
I am a better person now in many ways. I have been tested and I survived! :thumbsup: