Neil Feineman asked, "has retirement dulled your edge?"
I like to think I keep it sharp in other ways but overall I am way more tolerant and flexible than I used to be. I still don’t believe doing anything halfway is worthwhile. A guy who interviewed me recently wrote that I “railed against mediocrity not in terms of output but in terms of effort.”
This is reflected in the philosophy of Gym Jones and our project there. It started out like Fight Club and it grew (organically) into something more, something big. I don’t have a name for that. But I do know that when we put our training philosophy, which is largely influenced by what I lived and learned in the mountains, out there for people to see on the internet we changed some lives. My books reached some people. My multimedia shows reached some people. I used to think I went through life talking to two people at a time. I think the web multiplies everything 100x, both the bad and good.
Bukowski wrote a fine poem about reinventing oneself. I went from professional climber to photographer and writer back to climbing then became a trainer (for the DoD) and a competitive shooter then a coach and a different kind of trainer and somewhat computer-savvy entrepreneur. That edge you asked about made it possible to see and do, it makes everything clear, and meaningful.
I have to paraphrase a brilliant friend here, I know the world and mankind could be better, bigger, faster, and more, if only people could make a commitment, could stick to it, and really do something. In the mountains I overcame my own mediocrity, and became exceptional. Sadly, the result of having achieved simply showed me how much further I have to (and can) go. Most never earn this gift because it is only given to those who recognize and then overcome their own self-imposed limitations. And who wants to do that when the new 90210 is on the TV?