‘You’re an a#$*&^% when you started, and you’re an a#$*&^% when you finish.’

Jason Micheli —  December 7, 2012 — Leave a comment

MV5BMTQzMTcxNTU1Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzIxNDUyMw@@._V1._SY317_CR12,0,214,317_Last night I watched 180 South.

It’s a documentary that follows adventurer Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. In the beginning of the film, Yvon and Doug are reflecting on how much the sport of mountain climbing has changed in the past 50 years.

Whereas he and his peers once undertook climbs for the challenge and journey of it, today thousands of wealthy people pay for sherpas, guides, high end equipment and choose the easiest possible way to reach the summit.

Today, people just want to get to the summit often with out ‘ever having to pitch their own tent or unroll their own sleeping bag.’

For Yvon and Doug, however, it wasn’t about the summit. It was about the journey.

It was a spiritual discipline.

And you can’t take shortcuts with a spiritual transformation, Yvon and Doug argue in the movie.

If you do take the path of least spiritual resistance, one of them (not sure which) says ‘You’re an asshole when you started, and you’re still an asshole when you finish.’ 

Surely that’s spiritual wisdom if ever there was any. And it’s wisdom with which I daresay Jesus, who spent 40 Days in the wilderness-without a sherpa- carried his own cross and hung upon it for several hours before he breathed his last, would agree.

Jason Micheli


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