Just Do It!
Just do it! Apparel giant, Nike, uses this phrase as their slogan for a reason. No excuses! No poor me! No nothing! Get in the game and make it happen.
Several years ago, 1995 to be exact, I did just that. I went for it. Here is the condensed version of how “Just do it” unfolded for me.
I have been hunting something of some size ever since I can remember. I love to hunt and boy did I, every chance I had I was hunting. I am from Oklahoma so whitetail deer are plentiful and readily available for any willing hunter: elk are not. My parents were close friends with a couple from Arizona and every fall this couple would go to their favorite elk destination in Colorado. Did I ever want to go? Trouble with this scenario is they used this trip as their vacation and they sure did not want to drag someone else’s teenager along.
After a few years of feeling left out and sorry for myself, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. You see I had just gotten married to young woman who at this early age of marital bliss thought all my ideas were good ideas. We were going to travel to the western slope of Colorado to hunt elk on our own. I really did not know the first thing about hunting elk; however not to be deterred, I soaked up every tiny piece of elk hunting information I could get my hands on.
The cliff notes of my initiation hunt is as follows: leaking tent, noisy gear, nowhere near adequate physical condition, nearly ruined my new bride’s outlook on hunting big game, spent too much money, did not kill an elk or even see a legal bull, need I say more?
Ok that is the negative side of the events, let’s take a look at the side I prefer to see, the positive.
I have been hunting out of state every year since that original, initiation hunt. No longer do I make the mistakes I used to make either. To put it in a word, I am a learner. Every year I find ways to up the ante and each and every year I find greater fulfillment in my hunts. To think of the path my life might have taken had I not taken that maiden voyage to Colorado; well let’s not think about that path.
There are so many how to articles or how to videos available at your fingertips for any big game animal you would like to pursue. This article is not to explain to you my “how tos”, it is written for the sole purpose of the “why to.”
Life in general is hectic. With technologies ever advancement and claims to make your life simpler, I believe the adverse happens. Having technology at my fingertips, I have never been busier. You say you will take the trip next year when you can plan for it or set aside time for it. I promise you will be busier than ever, something will rear its ugly head to squash your dream trip. Now for the true meaning of the Nike slogan, just do it no matter what, make it happen because it certainly will not happen on its own.
Too many times we work to have the stuff or material things in life and we overlook the living of life.
I heard a quote from Dale Carnegie which said “Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”
The phenomenon of doing this is you will find that planning that trip the next time will become easier. Part of the intimidation factor will be gone and the excitement will be enhanced due to the learning curve. You will find excitement in wanting to challenge yourself and push yourself to the next level with each passing season.
I am a do it yourself hunter, you may prefer an outfitted adventure, whatever; for the sake of this article it does not matter. The important aspect is you are doing it! Many others will continue to talk about doing it while life passes them by year after year, make sure you are not in that category.
Keep in mind, for once the taking of the animal is not what is important, the trip is what is important. Now anyone who knows me knows this is not my normal attitude, when I hunt I am determined to take the animal I am after. This is the one instance I feel different, the taking of the animal will come with time if you are a learner, if you are lucky it could happen the first trip.
That Colorado elk hunt changed my life and what I learned from that experience has moved over into other aspects of my life. Today Matters. Whether taking walks with my kids, or having dinner with my wife, never put off until tomorrow. In every way live life for today.
This article is my opinion, the opinion of Nathan Lawson you may agree or disagree. I sincerely hope you find the positive in it that will make your time afield more special.