165 feet to bed: Tree lessons for Everyman

Some of my friends and family think I am nuts because I climb trees. Bonkers. Lost in the proverbial woods. At work I get shrugs, the telltale sign that the topic of tree climbing doesn’t matter to a lot of people. I beg to differ. I think tree climbing has a lesson for everyman, whether you climb trees or not. Well, I have canopy blog, and the burden is on me to defend why climbing and trees matter. The best metaphor I can think of is going to bed in a treeboat.

Sleeping in a treeboat: all harnessed up and ready for bed.
Sleeping in a treeboat: all harnessed up and ready for bed.

If there is one word that captures climbing big trees it is “deliberate,” and nothing epitomizes this better than treeboating. When climbing big trees you take nothing for granted. There is no room for error because one mistake could mean death, and death is the one mistake with no recovery. Every action has to be planned and reconsidered before being taken. You take only what you need and nothing more, and you take everything that you need and nothing less.

Me, I like to relax before bed. Take a shower, have a bowl of ice cream, and chill until I’m drowsy. But when bed is hanging 165 feet high in a tree it’s a different story. Imagine climbing 165 feet on a rope that is the diameter of a dime. Every single muscle is on and every neuron firing. You have to trust your gear and your skill, or else you are completely, totally forsaken. And when you are up in that glorious tree, you are surrounded by life.

165 feet to bed.
165 feet to bed.

In other words, climb a big tree and you are alive. When bed is a treeboat you are 100% dedicated to living life fully and totally. It is the opposite of most everything else in our daily lives. Who relishes driving to work as the high point of a day? You are passive and it is dead time, something to get through because of what is on the other end. The word we use for watching TV is “vegetating” because you don’t participate, you let it happen to you. Climb a big tree and you are taking life to the bank. You own it! When in our lives are we most engaged and happy? Usually on vacation, because we take charge of what we do and when we do it, and we live large. Why are adventure vacations like zip-lining and mountain biking so popular? Because of the thrill we get from living. That is the essence of tree climbing and treeboating: own life, be thrilled, take charge, live large.

Dang.  It's a long way to the bathroom.
Dang. It’s a long way to the bathroom.

Therein lies the message for Everyman. Trees bring us life, whether we climb them, just look at them, or breathe the air they make for us. Tree climbing is fun and delivers us to living. You don’t even have to climb a tree to participate, just visit this blog and enjoy. Thanks.

This post is dedicated to my climbing brothers and sisters: Jamz, Brian, Will, Scott, Damien, Aaron, Augie, Jason, Julian, Luke, Kt, Soman, and many more.

Jamz Luce suspended between two ancient Sitka spruce.  He is 100% dedicated to living large.
Jamz Luce suspended between two ancient Sitka spruce. He is 100% dedicated to living large.

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