Time spent with friends is always a good thing. I wont say cherished cause that is an over used expression. I spend a good deal of time with my friends and they are a great bunch. I have been lucky enough to have several groups of good friends and some great friends over the years. This group is very close, we almost all wheel jeeps together and greetings and departures often include hugs, even between the guys.
We trust one another, depend on one another and a bond is formed in a club activity that demands trust with ones life and material things in Jeeping. This is done not just in being on a trail together but spotting one another through obstacles.
Spotting is simple in principle, hard in practice. You use voice commands and hand signals to guide the driver of a vehicle through difficult or damaging obstacles. Some need help with fairly easy obstacles. Some choose the hardest lines available and need help even trying to get through. Sometimes, it is about life and death as you spot on shelf roads and potential roll over situations.
Each driver chooses a spotter, and the spotter chooses to agree or not. Either can change out at anytime if they are not comfortable. Only one person speaks at a time. The directions must be clear and easy to understand. Sometimes, a wheel 2-3 inches wrong wont work, or can be a disaster.
As I was running a challenging trail last year called Holy Cross, I got into a bind when I was potentially gonna roll onto my side, a flop. I stopped and called for assistance on the radio. Before I could think really, three friends were counter weighting the jeep as another spotted me out of the problem. All of this from one call for help, instant response from my friends.
Oh if life was that easy.
Part of this weekend was spent with a friend. One who is struggling and will overcome but who is on a long road. We gather at his house for a BBQ and socialization and support. It was great to see everyone and him to remember how many people care about him. But also hard to see a friend struggle and you cannot even offer a counter weight. All you can do is offer help that can be refused.
Within a rough but amazing stretch of my life, I lost 11 friends or relatives in 8 years. I had a suit I ended up only ever wearing to funerals. I was not that old and many who passed away were much younger. Some deaths we saw coming such as grandparents. A couple it was a slow process. The hardest ones are the ones closest to you and un-foreseen.
As we pass through a very short life in my opinion, I do cherish friendships, and some friends become huge within my life. Some I have put my life in their hands [more on that in a later post] and some pass through, leaving a mark but not a long term friendship. All of those are needed. Sometimes a person’s job is to say one thing you need to hear, then move on. Sometimes, they go along the journey with you for much of your life.
So life, as in Jeeping, you stay in contact, watch in front of you, keep an eye on the rear view mirror for those behind you and pace yourself. Take the easy lines sometimes. Life is not about proving you are tough. But don’t be scared to take the hard line, and ask for help when needed from your friends.