Dodging the Tartar Steppe

Our DNA is hardwired to seek safety. Our DNA provides us with incredible tools (physical, psychological, and otherwise) to survival. One of the intangible survival skills attached to human nature encourages us to anchor and maintain. For example, it’s what makes getting paid $XX,000 a year until forever sitting at someone else’s desk seem attractive.

Kenny Kane sighting!

The Tartar Steppe is a Italian novel, written by Dino Buzzati, that makes tragedy of the concept of a man’s steadfast commitment to safety. Giovanni Drago, is a young military recruit that finds himself deployed to a rural outpost that overlooks  the vast Tartar steppe. The post serves serves as the first line of defense against a rumored invasion. Upon arrival, Giovanni was disgusted by the unmotivating, rundown fort and he promised that his stay would only be temporary.

Giovanni begins to learn that many veteran soldiers had the same intentions of leaving for other opportunities. They now speak subconscious propaganda of the impending invasion, which now consumes their existence.

Weeks, of course, turn into years. Giovanni’s thoughts, self-talk, and perspective begin to change. He has become his fellow soldiers. Years later barbarians do, in fact, march across the Tartar steppe to attack. Giovanni, who is now elderly and ill, is dismissed of his position and sent away from the post as a battle finally ensues. He later dies having lived a life that has eluded him. Lured by safety and the fantasy of what may come, Giovanni traded his life away.

I see this everywhere today. Folks seem to be marking time at work, in their relationships, etc. They all are simply waiting for some different reality to come. Of course, that reality doesn’t usually come to those who wait for it to come to them.

How can we avoid the Tartar Steppes in our lives? What the difference between being patient and succumbing to this mirage?

Logan Gelbrich


Friday’s Workout:

“The Chief ”
5 Rounds For Time:
3 Power Cleans (135, 95)
6 Push Ups
9 Squats
-Rest 1 Minute-

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