As this healing process has been going on I’ve had a few introspective moments. The close call with being a dead body and evening news story brings a different perspective, and more importantly I’ve found a serious mental questioning on ‘is what I do and enjoy worth it?’. Personally the answer has been a strong and definitive ‘Yes!’. Yet my assumption that if I die or severely damage myself doing something I love, be it on a cliff, mountain-top or on the motorbike, that it would be fine has been brought to the fore and been found wanting (it is not a fear of dying, but one of missing out on all the stuff I could have done before dying). Now how this effects my mental attitude when I’m physically fit is something to find out. Maybe physically hard but relatively safe adventures will be the route I take. Whatever route I take I will do it because I enjoy it and the challenge it presents. It would be interesting to hear from people who have had similar experiences to hear how they mentally organised themselves after such events.
There is a new(ish) article on the Bangor University Website: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/news/full.php.en?nid=6308&tnid=6308. It discusses the psychological reasons for people to seek adventure (I’m sure there is a more comprehensive paper somewhere). It seems that we seek adventure for a heightened emotional response and that adventure allows us to take control of an aspect of our lives. Seems interesting. I think that we all struggle to truly know why we place ourselves in positions of danger, is it just the adrenaline kick or is there more to it.
Many climbers, mountaineers and explorers have tried to answer the question of “why?”. Mallory’s succinct ‘Because it’s there’ doesn’t really answer it. I believe it is a very personal matter that needs to be addressed individually, if you work out why you are doing something you perform and enjoy the activity much more. Which aspects of your own adventures do you get most from? Focusing on those aspects helps improve the overall outcome.
The Dakar Rally, heard of it? You should have. One of the most gruelling races on the planet, man and machine are tested to their limits. Desert racing at its zenith. And the best bit is that it is on at the moment.
Here is the official website: http://www.dakar.com/index_DAKus.html.
The route, even without racing, looks amazing. Watching it makes me want to just get out on my motorbike and go for a spin on a dirt road (which obviously can’t happen at the moment).
My Transalp is based on Honda’s racing bikes for this back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. No wonder it feels indestructible.
I'm going to get (and read) Full of Myself by Jonny Dawes. I'll let you know what it is like.
Now a load of videos to get you psyched.
Mixed Climbing Avalanche Accident (was buzzing round UKC a few weeks ago).