The shit that I love I love the shit out of it!
I love climbing. I love paragliding. I love exploring new situations – moving beyond my comfort zone – and I love the people I get to do that with. Proximity greatness.
More than a year has passed since my last post. I wrote it in Costa Rica, surrounded by friends and positive energy at 0 meters altitude. And now, I am back to 0 meters altitude and, coincidentally, also at 0 Latitude in Ecuador, thanks to Oliver Kyle; the inspiration.
During the time the has passed since my last post I double fractured my leg. I reached my highest altitude yet and took off with a paraglider from that same spot. I loved, have been loved, created new connections and made sure to keep the existing ones alive and deep. I slept profoundly in some amazing places and I was kept awake by some rough ones. Nearly all the spectrum of life, without the dying part of things yet.
Doing what I do and with my lifestyle, the presence and uncertainty of accidents and death are well present on my mind. It does not make me drop what I am doing and go around hugging everybody telling them how much I love them. (I mean, that is quite nice thing to do…)
But since I don’t know when the end is going to happen, I might as well enjoy what I am doing in the moment, such as writing this blog post right now. Learning that it is not about what I pay attention to but rather the quality of that attention.
This post will recount the first event after Costa Rica, as I remember it.
Speedriding in France! What an amazing sport and I am fortunate enough to know pilots with a great passion for this hybrid sport.
Pretty much the same team that was in Costa Rica came to France to rage on the slopes of the Alps. Paul, Carl, Joey, Reuben… These guys gave me some basic instructions, helped with the gear and off we went. After a few training laps at Grand Montets in Chamonix we went on to play in different areas. The sport is fascinating. Then came that fateful flight. I clipped my skis in the air, making one of them drop down, dangling below me, attached by the leash. Landing on one ski, on a 9m wing, with limited experience was a bit of a challenge to say the least. Right at the end of the landing, I lost the balance on my good ski and spun around. My binding did not release and I heard the daunting sound of cracking bones from inside my ski boot.
Bit of a bugger. As a mountain guide, I only make money when fit and healthy and I don’t have much of a financial bumper. Since I had to pay for the surgery and cancel all my work until the beginning of August, I was bit worried about life in the coming months. This uncertainty as well as the idea of cancelling my climbing and paragliding plans went instinctively through my head in the moment of impact. I let out a scream that emanated from my gut. It’s origin not the physical pain but some great, inner frustration. That moment was filled with so much disappointment! Yet somehow not blocking it off, that was also the moment that the frustration left me.
Next thing I knew, I was living for 3 months at my sister’s house with all her family. Jana Mazurova – a strong and inspirational force! A person who knows who they are and understands what needs to be done in life; I could not have been in a better place. In the house: Jana, her partner, 4 kids, a cripple (me) and later on, for 5 weeks, a girl – my love of the last year – joined us in our busy family. Eight people in total, yet life in the house felt spacious, caring and full of amazing moments. I had no time to think about the things I could not do and feel frustrated due to injury, my life was now filled with the daily happenings of a thriving and full family house. Even though all I did was lie on my back with my leg elevated, I felt like I was experiencing life to the full. Proximity effect. When you are close to somebody who is loving and living life, it affects you in an equal way.
Body-wise, not having the cast on my leg, but a piece of metal keeping my bones together, allowed me to take daily cold baths. I had already been doing the Wim Hof method for about 1 year. In this time, I was really happy to be able to do something more for my body every day – and so stoked not to be doing it alone! My nephew joined enthusiastically in those cold dips. It is so helpful to have good methods for the mind and the body when things get a bit rough! They make the life very enjoyable!
Next post will be about getting back to climbing, flying and guiding.