Eustace Conway is a man who never accepted the word no, who never worried about how others perceived his life, who never gave up on his dream.
Who is Eustace Conway?
"By the time Eustace Conway was seven years old, he could throw a knife accurately enough to nail a chipmunk to a tree. By the time he was ten, he could hit a running squirrel at fifty feet with a bow and arrow. When he turned twelve, he went out into the woods, alone and empty-handed, built himself a shelter, and survived off the land for a week. When he turned seventeen, he moved out of his family's home altogether and headed into the mountains, where he lived in a teepee of his own design, made fire by rubbing two sticks together, bathed in icy streams, and dressed in the skins of the animals he had hunted and eaten."
Author Elizabeth Gilbert called him "The Last American Man" (in the biography of the same name, excerpted above); others have named him a modern-day Daniel Boone.
More simply--and more importantly--he's a man who's following his dream.
During a long weekend spent at the beach, I read Gilbert's eloquent and riveting biography of Conway. I couldn't put it down. And I couldn't slow down my mind. I felt so inspired, so energized.
What inspired me was not his prowess in the wilderness or how he overcame a rough childhood and an overbearing father, but his sheer determination. (His "anything is possible" mindset reminds me a bit of our own SparkGuy!)
Eustace Conway sees a challenge and barrels right through it.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail in winter with little more than the clothes on his back.
Crossing the country on horseback in just 103 days.
Kayaking across Alaska.
Hiking the Alps in sneakers.
Living in a tepee in the woods for years, all the while studying English and anthropology at Appalachian State University--and graduating with honors.
Living for months with indigenous tribes in Guatemala.
Racing across the Great Plains, parts of Canada and the northern U.S. in a horse and buggy.
Acquiring about 1,000 acres of Appalachian wilderness and building the Turtle Island Preserve, a sustainable, primitive farm and education center.
He's done all that and more--and he's not yet 50.
Eustace believes that humans are losing touch with the Earth, and he believes it is his destiny to help us reconnect. To say he's driven would be an understatement.
What I took away from Eustace's story is that anything is possible, if we believe in it enough. Whether you dream of retreating to the woods and learning how to build tepees, becoming a champion triathlete or gaining confidence in yourself, it is possible.
The human mind is amazingly strong, if we truly commit ourselves to our goals. Eustace reminded me to live each day with passion and commitment. I encourage you to do the same! In the mean time, watch this interview with Eustace.
Have you heard of Eustace's story? Does he inspire you?
What have you accomplished in life that others doubted? What goals still await you?
More From SparkPeople