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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Positive affirmation

In both life and in extreme pursuits, we always have two options when weighing decisions. We can look at what we lose, the possible negative affects of our actions, or we can look at that which we can gain.

On a fundamental level, when we look at the negative aspects of decisions, we box ourselves in. Every action has a negative consequence, or at least a possible negative outcome. If there isn't, it is not really a decision, it is just an action. People trap themselves by only considering the negative aspects of decisions. People will stay with partners because they don't want to hurt them, or they don't want to be lonely. People will stay in jobs because they have financial obligations, don't want to rustle the coop, or can't take a risk on the unknown.

We can't live like that.

Making decisions that involve risk do turn out poorly sometimes, it is not that things will always turn out in the best way, but the risks that we take typically teach us, and define the goals that we are going to be able to achieve. Applying to jobs is risky, applying to schools is risky, asking someone on a date is risky, running a waterfall, hitting a jump, presenting in front of colleagues, entering a race; the list is endless. Our fear of vulnerability cannot be the determining factor in what shapes us, otherwise we will be sheltered and possibly unhappy.

In outdoor recreation, there is a this idea of perceived versus real risk. For example, top rope mountain climbing has a high level of perceived risk and low real risk. I think that many of our non-sports decisions are like this as well. Real risk is extremely low, and almost entirely emotional, and fear based. I think one reason I do, and people do, outdoor sports is because it puts regular life events into perspective. You are not risking your life when you walk in front of a class to teach. You are not going to get caught in a sieve if you apply to a job a little outside of your resume. You are not going to take a whipper off the rock by asking that person you like on a date. These decisions and actions are still hard, and very real and anxiety inducing, but they take their proper place in your mind, as relatively manageable aspects of your life.

Bottom line:
Be courageous, you decide your own path

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