Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Should Adventure Athletes Have More Faith In The Unknown?

Ever jumped your mountain bike off a 6' drop? What about climbing a 30' high-ball bouldering problem? What about shredding a 45-degree couloir at 13,800 feet? Do these things even sound appealing to you? Would you do them? If you did, what would be your risk mitigation program? Would you assess all the potential harm to come to you? Would you analyze ever possible outcome? Would you then walk away knowing that things could go horribly wrong? As an adventure athlete, I've gone through a crazy modification in my thinking lately. And if you're like-minded, consider my post.

For the past five years, I've tried to assess all the risk-factors, the potential damage to my body and cost of fixing it. Almost every activity I pursued began with lots of analysis. And the outcome? Pretty much good (a little knee pain). However, in my calculations, I lost sight of one of the most important things - faith that it I will NAIL this gap drop!

This lack of faith bled into my "real" life, and instead of being open to possibilities, I assessed. Every emotion, thought and sensual feeling was measured and controlled. For some reason, I couldn't disconnect the outdoor-challenge-safety mentality (which is important), with my personal life. And what happened? I lost faith in the unknown... I lost faith that it'll all work out, and that if I trust in the universe... Well, you get the idea... My question is do other athletes experience this (I'd wager that endurance athletes have this problem too)? Do you try to control too much of the situation that you forget the beautiful scenery and the experience, in favor of the perfect shred?

I've read that shutting out all possibilities, because of a rigid attachment to expectations can deplete the magic, mystery and beauty of this world... You never know which egg is going to hatch (maybe instead of following the plan, you'll find a new path and adventure). Perhaps we (me) should let life come with more fluidity and with no attachment to the outcome. Hmm...

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