Truth Bombs and Rowing The High Seas

So here is the deal. I am using some basic research, guesstimation, and a general “Yeah, that should be close enough” attitude, and converting that to an exercise plan.  So, not only will you receive my wonderful version of fatherly truth, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to see me transform from a heavyweight Viking, to a lean and not-so-mean Viking that is able to bust a door down with an axe, row across vast seas, and drink a beer or two…or wine….or mead.  Or whiskey.

It’s no secret that I like Viking history and lore, so I thought rowing the distance from “possibly” the first route between Scandinavia and England, would be a fun way to help me get in shape for pillaging,

I have my path, I have my rower, and I have my goal.  I will be updating the path I am taking, including distances rucked (for supplies or revelry) and the distances rowed, as I move along on my Concept 2 Model D rower.

Follow along with me for encouragement and history, as I attempt to row across the North Sea to make my mark on Blighty….all from the safety of my garage or gym.  The Path

Welcome Back!

So, things have been quiet and uneventful for awhile now, so nothing really new to write.  Thanks for checking in.

Kidding.

The joys of being a new father have gotten the best of me, and have left this site and various media accounts dormant.  But I am back, and starting off with a bang.

More details to follow.

 

How To Learn Like A Viking

I am guessing that some of the Viking skills were learned the hard way.  Kill or be killed. Considering their seafaring abilities though, I would have to assume that there was some form of skilled training.  I mean, did they pick a guy to be a ship builder, and then find out at sea that he was probably a better cook?

 

Scholarly Pursuits:

  • Dad Scholarly Pursuits:  I am a guy who graduated high school while successfully completing honors level classes and by all accounts, should have gone on to university and graduated with a degree.  Problem is, I had no idea of what it was that I wanted to do, and I couldn’t see the value in attending classes just because I had to do them to get them out of the way.  So, I entered working world without a degree, started making money, and that was that.  I have actually progressed my career pretty far, considering I do not have a degree, but it has held me back at certain points, and will most likely limit my upward reaching capability in my current field.  That being said, I have a hard time agreeing to pay what it costs to get a degree, just so I can complete a formality for something I am already skilled and capable enough to do.  So, if I really want to think about my own scholarly pursuits, it is probably more of a “free” pursuit, limited to minimal costs for either books or on-line courses, or even local skills training.
  • Viking Scholarly Pursuits:  I am not sure if there were scholarly pursuits of the Vikings, per se, but I would imagine that there were at least members of the group who learned via the elders on matters regarding healing, etc.  I mean, if you look at the engineering of their long boats that were used to sail the rough North Sea, there had to be some manner of passing down precise details.  Add in their navigation capabilities, and even perhaps their battle tactics, and the picture quickly becomes clear that there were advances and specialties that the Vikings held in comparison to their enemies, that were not just luck of the draw or handed down by the Gods.  Maybe they didn’t follow our now traditional manner of attending a university to learn a skill and get a degree, and then move into the world to either utilize those skills, or flip burgers (I’m looking at you, liberal arts).  So, maybe the most clear way of defining the “scholarly pursuits” of the Vikings, is to say that they learned how to do things better through trials and hardship, so that their life might become better.  I think I could focus on that without having to go back to college.

What are your scholarly pursuits?  University?  Tech school?  Online? Or, good old fashioned grit and perseverance?  Share in the comments section.

Hagar or Ragnar?

If you are a regular reader of Hagar The Horrible, you have a pretty good idea of what Viking family life was like.  Happy go lucky Viking Leader Dad, stern Viking Mom, lovable rascal of a Viking Son, and a hot Viking daughter.  At least, that seems like the gist of their roles in the Viking family unit.

If, on the other hand, you look at Ragnar Lothbrok, from the TV show Vikings, you get a bit of a more complex view at the Viking family unit.  Multiple wives, children by both, or more importantly, sons by both.  Add in the acts of raiding, leading, following, negotiating, exploring, learning, and taking vengeance when needed, then the character becomes more three dimensional than Hagar.  Fatherhood and raiding aside, there is a vast difference between bumbling Hagar and calculating Ragnar, which is one reason why there are multiple Instagram accounts dedicated to Ragnar…and none to Hagar, my guess.

Family Life:

  • Dad Family Life:  I have a wonderful wife, a very young son, and a strained relationship with my own father.  I know how I was raised, and for the most part, I was raised well.  There are areas that I wish would have been better.  I see what I deem as failures between my Dad and I’s relationship, and I am desperate to not repeat them with my own son.  I am a bit of a homebody when at home, but love getting out and exploring new things when away from home (like in vacation).  I am filled with wanderlust most days, and look forward to sharing this world with my wife and son as he grows older.  I want to teach my son, instill great qualities in my son, encourage that spark of curiosity and drive to explore.  I want him to be better than me.
  • Viking Family Life:  Considering the general view on lack of morals of the Vikings (raping, pillaging, killing, etc.), their society was actually somewhat egalitarian when it came to relationships between the sexes of the natives.  Slavery is the definite check mark against their society morals, but women did have more of an equal standing with the men, in comparison to some of the other prominent civilizations at that time.  The family was typically raised in a communal setting, which meant close interaction with others, and more importantly, shared consequences.

Did Vikings Use Ladders?

What did the ladder say to the Step Ladder?  “You’re not my real father!”  Hahahaha….ahhhh.  I kid, but seriously, why is a ladder so often used when referring to advancement in one’s career?  Because you start at the bottom and move your way up toward your goal.  I/m sure that Vikings must have used ladders for storming castles and such, but I wonder how they considered their own “career” advancement?

Career:

  • Dad Career:  I have been in the same field for a little over 18 years.  The career has been lucrative, but also stressful at times, and I find that I am losing interest.  My drive to rise through the ranks has been lost.  This could partially be because I am feeling a little lost at this time in my life and career (middle age crisis?), or because I just don’t feel challenged.  Either way, it definitely isn’t the love of my life, as far as skills to get paid money for goes.  I view myself as a creative, and my current career just feels like I am filling time until I die.  So, yeah…may be time to do something different.
  • Viking Career:  I don’t believe that Vikings, or at least the Vikings we think of, had “careers” so to speak.  I am sure that some of them had skills that they excelled at, such as metalsmithing, or farming, or ship building.  But the Vikings I am most interested in, historically factual or not, were the ones who raided, who explored, who took what they wanted and brought the spoils home.  It could be said that maybe they preferred to be home weaving on a loom, but raiding is what brought wealth to them and their family, but I also think that to them, raiding and fighting and conquering is what made the Gods happy, so to speak.  Living a good Viking life was critical to making it into Valhalla.  Challenging yourself in life or death situations was one way of living the good Viking life.