Several weeks ago, hunky Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake fulfilled a childhood dream by spending a week doing his best Les Stroud impression in the Pacific’s Marshall Islands. Bringing with him only the “bare minimum,” Rep. Flake survived on the abundant coconuts, crabs, and fish that he discovered around the island.
This long bout of Crusoe-envy seemed to be more physical than spiritual, an appreciation for what Teddy Roosevelt called the “doctrine of the strenuous life.” Roosevelt bemoaned the “timid man,” the man living “a life of slothful and ignoble ease.” The man I fear I’ve become. As a kid, I used to snicker when I shook an uncallused hand. Now I’ve got two of my own. I used to bathe in the evening after a hard day’s work. Now I shower in the morning.
But if I was really looking for physical exertion, I could have just trained for a marathon. Perhaps the greatest appeal was not knowing what was behind the next wave. Maybe I would learn something about myself.
More, including spear-fishing, an encounter with a shark, and what Rep. Flake missed most about home, here.