Keener (Canadian slang, noun)… Although the online dictionaries I consulted give a slightly different definition from how I have been using this word in everyday life, I had no idea this was a “Canadian” term until recently. My immediate social entourage however qualifies for that denomination, and it is for all the reasons possible but to show off: to follow their dreams, passions or simple thoughts to push their limits. It is not about competing with each other (ok, maybe sometimes), it is more about having fun, when possible, while managing some natural challenges, the ones no one can truly control and yet, can still be lived with once one has accepted them. Personal confession: I love that, and it is no wonder we get along so well.

We must be a little bit crazy to keep going, and the performance of François Gabart and Armel Le Cléac’h  only fuels up a tremendous rush of inspiration, and another example of humility. Maybe the idea of going solo around the world through the oceans strikes a chord, composing with the tides and the breaking waves. Engaging into the Haute Route, on skis, between Chamonix and Zermatt, also resonates as an exceptional human experience with the strangers from Day 1 turning into one’s essential safety valve on Day 6. The fears roar a bit louder and get tamed down through the support from the team. The guards come down, just because Mother Nature does not filter and expects the same from the ones who play with Her.

These examples may seem extreme, and our everyday context sound incomparable to some. I too had fears I wanted to overcome, and eventually eliminate, or at least attenuate. And I did not know all of them (not that I ever tried to list them): I am just a keener, and get rather moved and excited with what can unfold behind a simple “why not?” perspective.

Forget the volatile and sometimes brash way of jumping for the sake of jumping, it takes some cognition and reflection to cross one’s comfort zone. When I do, I am in for a shock, for something I could unlikely expect.

It is like getting naked, ridding of fears, personal stories and pessimistic anticipations, ready to face the Truth: accepting to be vulnerable, setting free from the past seen from a sometimes twisted interpretation, or the weight one puts in the look of others. Sharing the good and the not-so-good without feeling exposed definitely helps with expressing that keener part. I read that Life begins at the end of one’s comfort zone: I have witnessed some pretty amazing stretches, and it has proven to so be worth it. So, if you want to share and be listened to: I am keen.

Photo credit © V.Curutchet / MACIF