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Some of the few people I know who are in such a ready state all the time are special operators in the Marines and Navy SEALs. Their training prepares them to respond to crises anywhere in the world on virtually no notice, and when they do deploy, they do so quickly, efficiently, and ruthlessly. For those of us who aren't rushing to our nearest recruiting office to join these warriors in the field, we should try to keep ourselves sharp with a broad range of activities that continually challenge us in new ways. Think you're too old to ski or snowboard? Take some lessons this winter. Always wanted to skateboard? Buy one for yourself as well as your kid on their birthday and go scrape your elbows and knees together. We need to remember that we learn from failing and getting hurt, not from eliminating risk (which isn't possible, by the way) and deifying safety. I attended college at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It's a private Christian college that's consistently ranked in the top three worst party schools in America. To the college, that's a statistic of pride. They wear that badge with honor and, each year, the president will remind the student body that the college is dead last in party schools. So, as you might assume, I don't have any raging party stories to tell you about from college. I'll happily listen and laugh about yours all night long though. Since it's a Christian college, we held chapel sessions. It's basically a church service the campus holds for us every single week. A worship band sings songs and then, the President or a guest speaker will preach a sermon. At the end of most chapel services, there will likely be a huge call for us to go out and change the world. Perhaps the excitement comes from anticipating going to a massage parlor that practices techniques the addict hasn't experienced before. Maybe the excitement is produced by the amount of risk involved in a certain activity.

Danger and intrigue are exciting to the addict and summon the release of adrenaline, which is in itself is addictive. Through the preoccupation and ritual stages, the addict's brain has literally created a chemical cocktail that is as addictive as any drug. Any addictive behavior can be dangerously pursued and therefore is exciting, giving addicts a rush. Once addicts have reached their ritual stage, it is almost inevitable that they will go on to the acting-out stage. Moments, hours, or even days into their fantasies and rituals, sex addicts arrive at the full-blown expression of their sexual behavior. Compulsive masturbation with pornography, exhibitionism, voyeurism, hiring of prostitutes, paying for sexual massages, and visiting sex clubs are intensely stimulating. Once he has acted out, he may or may not look back with regret, fear, or anxiety about what he has been doing sexually or otherwise. He may suffer direct unwanted consequences as a result of his sexual conduct, which makes him feel even worse. If you're hesitant to try something new, think about what's really stopping you. Is it truly time or lack of gear or money, as you might initially claim? It's more likely an ego issue: you're scared of looking like a newbie or being embarrassed. Drill down to find your mental roadblock and then insist on going over, around, or through it. Make It Fun I take training and movement seriously, but I never lose sight of the fact that in the end, it's supposed to be fun. Being active is something that should be pleasurable--but when we become focused on the numbers our devices tell us and getting the latest and greatest equipment, it sucks the joy out of practice. Ending the Gear Arms Race If you live in a mountain town, you've almost certainly seen a suburbanite show up on your favorite trail with his $300 sunglasses, $750 technical hardshell, and $400 custom hiking boots. The same is true at the beach, where total beginners will nonchalantly take a $3,000 carbon paddleboard out into the surf and then get beaten down in the first big set of the day. This is based on a Biblical reference in the article of Matthew about The Great Commission where it says, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. It's also based on the vision statement that's posted on the back of the ORU chapel building.

The story goes that Oral Roberts (the founder of the school), was sitting in a cafeteria and God gave him a command about the new university he was building. His command was to, Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where My voice is heard small, and My healing power is not known, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased. This was God's commission to Oral Roberts for his university. To Oral Roberts' credit, he achieved the dream. He built one of the most prominent Christian universities the world has ever known. The campus represents 115 countries, and that's remarkable considering there are only about 4,100 students that attend the college at any given time. In 2017, 568 of those students participated in trips around the world to serve impoverished communities in the United States, and around the globe. Since addicts act out in part to compensate for their limited emotional coping skills, their sexual behavior and its consequences often make them feel worse about themselves over time, which in turn causes an escalation of the frequency and intensity of their behaviors. They lose faith in themselves and turn more frequently to sex to try to feel better. The depression, shame, and anxiety generated by their sexual acting out can bring addicts back to the very need for emotional control that initiated the addiction cycle at the outset. Each addict has his own particular response to his behavior and his unique way of gearing up for the next time. Think of a merry-go-round in motion; All addiction is characterized as progressive with diminishing returns, meaning there is a need for more of the chemical or more of the compulsive activity to get the same level of satisfaction. Over time, alcoholics require more and more alcohol in order to feel good. Likewise, the sex addict will find himself taking more and greater risks in order to feel the same level of excitement. Early in his addiction, an addict establishes rules that allow him to believe he has control over his behavior. While addiction serves its purpose to anesthetize an inner shame, to offer a false esteem, or even to produce feelings of power or control, the addict is certainly not delusional in his thinking all the time. The phrase All the gear and no idea springs to mind. Yet such people are a microcosm of the gear arms race that's intensifying in just about every sport and activity.

In cycling, it's the weight of your bike that seems to be the biggest issue for bragging rights. And once you've got the handmade $7,000 frame, then it's the minutiae of brakes, helmets, and the rest that keeps people forking over their hard-earned cash at their local bike shop. In our materialist society, we can buy just about anything we want on credit, and what we want is the lightest, the fastest, and the best-looking sports gear available. Keeping up with the Joneses is no longer about how big your house is or what car you drive but what gizmos you store in your garage and unload from your car. This is good news for bike and surf shops, big-box stores like REI, and online behemoths such as Backcountry. But it's bad news for the sports themselves, which have lost the vibe of bohemian sixties surf culture, the dirtbag ethos cultivated in places like Yellowstone in the seventies, and the closeness of the tight-knit fell running fraternity in the UK during the eighties. Turn up at a local race in just about any sport now and it's like going to the Outdoor Retailer show, with everyone showing off the latest shiny toys. This not only takes the focus off the community but also puts off the newcomers needed to keep sports thriving in the future. That means approximately 14% of the college raised hundreds of thousands of dollars on their own to go out and make an impact in the world. With many alumni like Jim Stovall, Bill Weir, Ryan Tedder and Joel Osteen, the students are an interesting bunch. But, at the end of each chapel service, the President, or one of the speakers, will likely make a decree to go out and CHANGE YOUR WORLD! God spoke us into existence for a purpose and a calling. Go out with the gifts you have and be an example for God's Kingdom. GO OUT THERE AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE! Whether you profess to be a Christian or not, you've undoubtedly heard this same message. You hear it from our elected presidents, our government leaders, our philanthropic business owners, our motivational speakers, our church pastors and anybody who's looking to stir up a crowd. It's the basis for many motivational seminars and talks. There are times when he is aware of his dishonesty, ashamed of his lies, and feels guilty for the pain he is causing his partner. It is then that he tells himself he won't do it again or he puts restrictions on himself.

He often promises himself he will do things differently next time, and then he feels twice as bad when he cannot keep his promises. As the alcoholic tries to control his behavior by saying to himself he will only drink after a certain hour or only on weekends or only certain liquor, people who are sexually addicted impose their own restrictions (as seen in the examples below) and soon break their own rules: Eventually, the addict comes to break all of his own rules as he takes more and more risks. He starts to have affairs with women in his town, then a neighbor, and then a woman at his church. He starts to visit massage parlors in his own city and starts his day at work by downloading pornography. When he continues his risky behavior despite negative consequences and he requires more and more to obtain the same effect, then addiction has set in, no matter what the specific behavior. The behavior will continue to progress and it will ultimately destroy the addict's life unless the cycle is disrupted with a new start in recovery. Unlike complete abstinence that defines alcohol and drug recovery, sex addiction recovery does not require total abstinence from sex. They start to feel priced out if they don't have a few grand to drop on the latest and supposedly greatest gear. In addition, it's foolish to think that possessing cutting-edge equipment will provide a massive competitive advantage. Give John John Florence a crappy, entry-level surfboard and he'd still destroy a beginner on a custom board. Put Scott Jurek in a pair of cheap tennis shoes and he's going to crush a recreational runner sporting $250 shoes. Then there's the issue of identity. If your self-worth is dictated by the gear you've bought, you're leading a pretty small, unfulfilled life. This is not to say that you should never invest in quality, durable gear, but if it defines you and becomes more important than the activity you're using all this stuff for, then you might want to reexamine your priorities. For Lenny Wiersma, it took a surf trip to Costa Rica to get a fresh perspective: I went with some friends who had these expensive boards, and if any of the Americans there got a ding in their board they'd say, Well, I guess I'll have to buy a new one when I get home. Contrast that with these local teenagers who were riding these giant, clunky boards that looked like they were forty years old. GET OUT THERE AND SEIZE YOUR FUTURE! YOU ARE SPECIAL THE WAY YOU ARE.