This Blog

This blog is dedicated to explorations of spirit, life, adventure, and people. I hope that it encompasses much more than the actions of people, but rather creates a more complete picture of what it means to be an athlete and a person in the outdoor community.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Letting go

There is a moment of zen in flight. There is no worry, just a complete surrender to sensation. 

You have to find ways to surrender to that moment. You have to let yourself get there, overcoming your resistance to surrendering is an art.

Your mind can get stuck. It can get stuck on so many things. A rock, an eddy, a boil, the height, your boat, your skirt… consequences.

In order to run bigger drops you have to overcome, you have to become unstuck. But what mechanism do we use to become unstuck. Do we grow our ego to overcome? Do we become selfish to overcome? 

A story:
At the Nilahue we were confronted. A Mapuche woman told us we were trespassing, she yelled, she shook a stick at us and her voice trembled as she told us “El rio esta infierma, la volcan esta infierma, el aire esta enfierma. El rio es libre, pero no puede pasar por aqui”. The river is sick, the volcano is sick, the air is sick. The river is free but you cannot pass through here.

We did not get stuck. We packed up and went through a public access point to get to the river. Questions linger of our decision. Kayakers went there a few days later and she still would let no one pass, the kayakers declined to run it from the public access point. Was this our fault? Did we force another group to walk away from a drop? She asked them if they knew us. 

She holds onto her anger, her pain about kayakers running her sacred river. She said “No tiene Corazon, no tiene cabeza, no tiene respeta por el rio”. You do not have heart, you do not have brains, you do not have respect for the river. 

Like so many other things that would stop us, we ignored that woman. We came from 3000 miles away to go kayaking. We become selfish, ego grows.

Can we do this sport without being selfish?

It is possible but it takes work. Through gratitude, through respect, through humility, encouragement, passion, and sensitivity. It is a challenge and sometimes you lose your way, you make mistakes. This was a mistake. We shouldn't have passed through her land, we shouldn't have been so careless. I tried to repair it. I apologized and grieved and tried to have humility.

But in the end all we can do is repair our mistakes, apologize, let them go, and wait for the hit at the bottom. 

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