I must mention a story I heard at my recent job orientation. Working for an ski resort that has a reputation for extreme terrain, I should expect to be asked, "Would you please share your most adventurous experience with the group?" Didn't. Flabbergasted that I am now such an adventurous person that people would ask me to share adventure stories as part of my job, I started to search my mind.
Oh, yes! The story about taking a 4 person plane packed with 5 people off the island in Honduras. That could be good. Jumping off the 40 foot waterfall? Could work. Yeah. Maybe. Not that great. Poking the lava with a stick. I could touch on the bus ride over the mountain pass with the open door. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhh...
"Ok, Todd. How bout if you start?"
"Sure. Uhhh, well? I guess it would be about 5 years ago. I was mountain biking with a couple of my friends and of course I was way ahead of the two of them, and, I was attacked by a grizzly bear."
The group waits. Eyes begin tentatively shifting ever so slightly. The search for confirmation of that being the entirety of the story is discreetly underway. Todd looks to his right and tries to pass the torch. The cardigan wearing snow bunny to his right is horrified. Luckily, this time, that snow bunny wasn't me. I would have tried to follow this story. The actual snow bunny knew better. She just stared at Todd, until, some dude asked, "What? Dude? Where? How?" Simple questions, but apparently the right ones.
It should be said, Todd is older. A ski patroller of middle age. No visible scarring on the face.
"Yeah, so I was headed up (name of trail omitted cause I forgot) and I was pretty far ahead of my two buddies. This griz comes at me from the side. All I heard was gnarly thumping, something I don't usually hear. So, I see the bear and it's already charging me. Man, it got me really good."
"Dude, how'd you get it off you?"
"My friends finally caught up and unloaded two cans of bear spray."
There is more to the story, but I'm already doing Todd an injustice with the shotty telling, so I'll let the gist of it speak for itself. The real gem of the story, though, came later when we were discussing the merits of helmets while skiing. Todd, piped up, "I'm sure psyched that I wear a helmet when I mountain bike. That bear busted one gnawing on my head."
I told the story of poking lava with a stick. Becoming a badass is a constant education in humility.