There may never be another president like Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th president from 1901 to 1909 and the person responsible for our amazing national park system. Roosevelt was a born naturalist and an explorer at heart. In 1914 the Rough Rider embarked on the greatest adventure of his life as he set out to explore the River of Doubt, an Amazon tributary that starts in Brazil and eventually empties into the Amazon River. It was a natural addition to my trip to Iquitos.
Having ex-president navigate a river in Brazil that had never been charted was similar to having President Obama take a trip to Mars after he leaves office. This man was a true patriot and adventurer who lived what he believed.
During the trip down the River of Doubt Roosevelt and his team faced perils we could only imagine, famine, disease and hostile Indians. This is a man who could have lived out his life in luxury but decided to make one final mark on history, one that almost cost him his life.
It’s funny how many people sit in their little box and look out wondering, what if? What if I had chosen another path in my life? What if I decided to change my life? What if I dared to do the things I dreamed?
We spend most of our lives in the box that we created for ourselves; many times wishing we could get outside of that box. The crazy thing is that the person who has the key is the same person you see in the mirror every morning. The only person who can change the “what if’s” to “I did” is you. Don’t continue to drift down your own River of Doubt. Today that same river bears the name of our 26th president because he dared to step out of his box.
The human body has two ends on it: one to create with and one to sit on. Sometimes people get their ends reversed. When this happens they need a kick in the seat of the pants.