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If You're Going to Have a Midlife Crisis, Do It Like This

What says "midlife crisis" like a new found interest in motorcycles, sports cars, or bombshell girlfriends? When my brother turned 40, all of a sudden he was into punishing his body. He was pulling off ultralight day-long sprints on trails that normal folks spend two or three days backpacking. He completed a rim-to-rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon in one weekend. He clung to the door of his Tacoma, dragging his legs down the pavement for a half block, as a thief stole it right out of his driveway. Turning 40 ain't easy.

The salt-n-pepper dudes in this film hit midlife at full throttle but from a different angle . . .

Walrus Mom Cuddles with Her Baby — And It's Irresistible

walrus cuddle

My daugher's school dedicates one week every winter to Project Week, a week in which all the kids give a little presentation. Chloe is in kindergarten, and all the kindergarteners had to pick an Arctic animal. She chose the walrus.

"What made you pick that one, Chloe?" I asked her.

"I don't know," she said. And then, "Wait, I know. They're CUTE!"

You want some cute in your day? Ask a preschool child to say the word walrus.

The Sunday Morning Chillax: The Vast, Miraculous Complexity of Yosemite National Park

Yosemite falls national park water falls

Take a peek into the impressive array of activities going on in Yosemite National Park in just one day in this phenomenal video. That inlcudes some exhilarating footage of hang gliding about 3 minutes into this feast, hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail, a painter hanging out in the valley, rescue operations, a father-son climb up Cathedral Peak, timelapse photography . . . and much more, too.

The Cool Story of How Rock Climber Tommy Caldwell Got Started

tommy caldwell climber on el capitan dawn wall

In the arena of big wall rock climbing, Tommy Caldwell is a guy with an impressive résumé. We're talking numerous first free ascents on El Capitan and an insane enduro record of Yosemite's Triple Crown he pulled off in 2012 with Alex Honnold — 80 pitches combined of three classic big wall climbs in just over 21 hours.

So what makes a guy like this tick? How'd he get his start? This video shows how he credits his dad with getting him started. Click on through to see it.

Cool Find: Osprey Poco Child Carrier Backpack

Child carriers and backpacks are not all that new, but you probably knew that already. The entirety of human history all over the globe show examples of slings, pouches and cradle boards used for hands-free baby transport. However, in 20th-century U.S.A., child carriers were absolutely non-existent. That changed in 1968 with a young Peace Corps volunteer named Ann Moore who witnessed the women in Africa carrying babies and infants in slings on their backs. Moore eventually returned from her service in West Africa, started her own family, and having loved the idea of keeping a hands-free active life while keeping her baby snuggled against her body, she went to the store to buy a baby sling. She couldn't find one, so she designed her own soft carrier, called it the Snugli (link) and practically launched an entire industry.

Kelty came along in 1992 with their iconic kid backpack and you could say the trails of the National Park system haven't been the same since.

And now there's a new, fancier, snazzier pack on the street from Osprey . . .

The Sunday Morning Chillax: The Narrows in Zion National Park

Zion Narrows hiking in the water canyon

National Geographic put the famed Zion National Park hike, The Narrows, on its list of America's Best 100 Adventures, and if that's not a good enough endorsement for you, try this short film. The trail is the Virgin River, so well over half of your hiking time is spent wading or swimming — that's the appeal, don't you think?

Click through to see the video . . .

11-Year-Old Girl Is a Rock Climber Like No Other

Brooke Raboutou climber girl

Given the last week's news of Lance Armstrong coming clean about, oh, earning his Tour jerseys and resulting millions of dollars by fraud, it certainly has to give us parents some pause about the path we're setting our kids onto when we get them involved in competitive sports. Will they (we?) too become so enamored with winning that they'll turn to cheating? It sure does seem like the edge is near.

But here's a refreshing video profile of a very young athlete, Brooke Raboutou — an 11-year-old rock climber setting impressive records.

How One Vulture Helps Kids Recognize Their Self-Worth

victor the reluctant vulture jonathan hansonAs much as I hate to say it, raising kids is awfully scary business. And I prefer to think of myself as the sort of gent who looks for the opportunity in a situation, not the problem. But I'd be a fool not to admit it. First, there's feeding, clothing, and providing a warm place to sleep — these are the easy ones. Then we have to do our best to shape our spawn into behaved children, which is way easier than it sounds. Then get them an education, teach them how to ride bikes, do their homework, make friends, clean their messes, lick their wounds, respect money, follow instruction and on and on . . . it's not easy and it doesn't end there, sorry. We also hope to make them feel loved and important (ahh, yet not too important), and we have to somehow help them discover their talents, skills, self-worth and identity, frequently to their ferocious resistance. To use a baseball metaphor, the strike zone is about the size of a shoebox. How can 18 years possibly be enough to get the job done right?

If raising kids is hard, making it through adolescence is no cakewalk, either. Who didn't feel awkward or aimless at some point during those years?

Here's a new childrens' book that tackles the issue . . .

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