Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

Most of us have plans of leading a safe and secure life, avoiding risks wherever we can while busily going through our daily routine of work and office. Outdoor activities for us are limited to corporate team outings or those beach vacations we take once a year where we make sure we are surrounded in a womb of safety.

But there are few among us who seem to be continuously trying to push beyond their comfort zone. They put themselves in vulnerable situations and seem to enjoy the experience. They seem to have a stronger bond with outdoors.

Rock climbing
Credit: Paul Bratcher, Flickr

What makes them love adventure sports? What do they gain of it? How do they face their fears? What motivates them? These are some of the questions we had. So we met few such adventurous individuals around Bangalore to get some answers.

Here’s what they had to say.

Courage and Humility

Venturing out makes one an overall strong person. Not just outdoors, but in facing personal, or professional crises; in making stern decisions; and, being gratified with one’s stance in life. It imparts positivity to one’s life.

As per a recent study done by Erik Brymer and Lindsay Oades, coming out successfully from a life and death scenario which participants in adventure sports are exposed to, helps one in one’s personal transformation and betterment.

Indraneel, an amateur Paraglider pilot and sky diver from Bangalore agrees, “We jump off from very high altitude. Uncertainty of landing safely is at its peak. Facing such an instance is the real deal. However, the feeling afterwards is perpetual. The lessons involuntarily imbibed, are unforgettable.”

Sky Diving is offered near Bombay, Mysore and a few other cities in India
Credit: Laura Hadden, Flickr

Thrill

Who says no to electrifying experiences? Nobody! For different people it is at different degrees. And for participants of adventure sports, the thrill is uttermost! As we had mentioned in Adventure – Path to Happiness article, adrenaline is the master of this game.

It depends on how one streamlines his adrenaline-triggered responses to react the right way, at the right time.

Naveen, a mountaineering veteran of 20 years explains “Of course, it is initially tricky to do so, but repeated exposure to such situations definitely helps. The best part about it is, no matter how many times you experience it, thrill pertains. This is one of the main reasons why adventure sports is revered. And of course, they make some damn good stories later on that you can share with your grand-kids”

Mountaineering
Credit: Ashokboghani, Flickr

Facing fear 

Of Course we all get scared at times. If someone doesn’t say so they are either crazy or just lying.

says Balam, a professional WhiteWater kayaker. “Looking down from top of a waterfall, watching the gush of ferocious rapids, indeed sounds scary. But fear can be suppressed by convincing our conscience that it isn’t life-threatening. And the easiest way of doing so, is by going forth, and doing it.”

Sharing his advice for newbies, “Caress that mind of yours, say, “Aal Eez Well”, and give the adventure a shot. Once you come out of it, you can say, “In your face!” to fear. The next time you are adventuring, you can notice the fear being substantially reduced.”

Kayaking is fast gaining popularity in south India, especially in Bangalore
Credit: Jah Will Hanna, Flickr

Manoeuvre the situation

For the participants, best part of adventuring is how they confront extreme events. For example, it is crucial to pull the chute (in the literal sense) at the right time. “These kind of sports involves accurate mind-body coordination. Applying laws of physics and predicting the consequences is also very important. Manoeuvring is the biggest challenge of adventure sporting, and the most interesting aspect of it.” said Abhinav, a Bangalore based engineer and a weekend adventure warrior who does Paragliding, Surfing and Climbing.

Surfing in India happens on east and west coats
Credit: Egon Philipp, Flickr

Nature in a whole new perspective

We are not tourists or travellers. We are adventurers. We perceive nature in a distinctive dimension, and we enjoy it! While paragliding, we perceive the beauty of nature as a magnificent carpet – the bird’s eye view of beautiful mountains, green canopies, grasslands or coral reefs. While rafting, we don’t just experience the river-flow by mere sight or sound; we are a part of it. We allow the current to sway us along.” explains Indraneel about his experiences in adventuring. Close encounters with nature is a bit tricky, but entrancing.

Rafting is one of the most popular adventure sport around Bangalore
Credit: pinguin1961, Flickr

Rewards, rewards!

In all adventure sports there is a “reward system” involved, that acts in the head after facing extreme encounters. In other words, after completing an adrenaline-triggering event, another neurotransmitter substitutes it. This neurotransmitter, namely, dopamine, is responsible for happiness, pleasure and rewarding oneself. Hence, this is directly related to the happiness the participants acknowledge after an extreme adventure sport. “We feel rewarded. We feel great. We feel like doing it again!” said Balam when asked how he feels after running a hard rapid.

Kayaking in the Sayan Mountains, Siberia
Credit: Matt, Flickr

Meeting similar minded people

“One can meet a lot of people of similar interests, and that can be motivational in terms of keeping up the high spirits. It brings togetherness amongst us, and gives us a better identity of who we are.”  said Kiran, an avid trekker, well renowned among the community for this knowledge of trekking routes in Western Ghats.

Kundermukh Peak, Western Ghats
Credit: Aditi Das Patnaik

Some of the mainstream adventure activities are Rock climbing, Paragliding, WhiteWater Kayaking, river rafting, mountain biking, cliff-diving, scuba diving, wind surfing, etc. If you haven’t tried them. After all, like they say “If it terrifies you, it is worth doing”

Featured image credit: Aspearing, Flickr

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