For the Arctic residents of Life Below Zero, complacency is not an option. Lack of preparedness means certain death. The stakes are high living on the outskirts of humanity, and for many in the lower 48, life can be pretty sedentary, pretty comfy and cozy… until now! [Cue Life Below Zero Weekly Challenges].
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. If you’re sitting comfortable somewhere, you just get complacent, bored, and lazy. But if you’re pushing yourself every day to survive and keep going… to me, it’s amazing,” says Andy and Kate Bassich’s new student, Cody Allen, of his transition to Alaska.
Andy Bassich believes that life is cyclical; and he’s hoping this generation is due for a repeat–one that comes back to a place where people try to become a little more self-sufficient. Cody is one such example of a young man who has the drive and desire for such a lifestyle. Kate and Andy have seen many clients come and go, and there’s not many people that they have trusted to take their dogs out on the sled alone. Tonight on Life Below Zero: Thin Ice, Cody gets that chance. And according to Kate, “I got a deep down feeling in my gut that this boy’s got what it takes.”
And while Cody is honored to be trusted with such a precious responsibility of mushing with the dogs solo, he’s also nervous. He has taken in a tremendous amount of verbal instruction from Andy, but he knows he’s not going to really learn until he’s out there experiencing it for himself. Well aware of all that could go wrong, he bravely accepts the challenge. On top of that, according to Andy, “If you’ve never fallen off a dog sled, you’ve never driven a dog sled.”
“It takes imagination, determination, and follow through. Those three things usually will get you by out here,” Andy declares of life in the Alaskan bush. He continues, “If you spend one year in the bush up here, you will learn more about yourself in that one year than you will in a lifetime of living where there’s distractions, compromises, and all these other things in life.”
This certainly proves true for Cody; he shares, “Right now, I don’t know if words can really express how I feel. I mean, I’m 26 years old. I spent a good portion of the last ten years trying to figure out who I am, what I’m supposed to do. Coming out here, I thought it was just gonna be a really hard subsistence lifestyle, but I’m coming to find out it’s something I feel like I was born to do. I love this. I mean, there is absolutely nothing else I’d rather be doing right now. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to call anywhere else home.”
For this week’s Life Below Zero Challenge, we’re asking you to step out of your comfort zone. Cody took a risk, one that he was afraid of, and it ended up being a rewarding and life-changing experience. So this week, get out and try something new! Let us know what it is that you’ve been holding back on, and how it feels to overcome.
Tell us! What inspires you about the way these folks live off-grid and on their own? Think you can try giving up some of life’s little luxuries and live a sliver of the Arctic lifestyle? Let us know if you are going to partake in the weekly challenges, and share your stories and experiences. We’d love to hear from you.