Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fear and Fate

I've been reading a great book called Clear Waters Rising: A Mountain Walk Accross Europe. It's about a man traveling from the western coast of Spain, to the eastern boarder of Europe on foot. While passing through the mountains of northern Spain he travels through an area littered with coal mines. He's ventured into one of the abandoned mines and begins to imagine what the life of one of these miners must be like: blackness, rockfalls, gas, flooding, dynamite.

  • I was beginning to understand fear. Or rather, I was beginning to understand that there could be no fear. Constant danger concentrated the mind on the practicalities of staying alive, of not making a mistake. It was a mechanical, absorbing business which demanded a combination of set rules and intuition.

    Real fear showed up when control was snatched by the claws of fate. Played the right way, fate stood little chance.

The reason this hit a cord with me is that it directly applies to motorcycle racing, among other things. Its really hard to explain to people what we do without them thinking we have a death wish. When i first decided i was going to start racing I had a new born baby. I could tell i was being judged. Some people were more vocal than others, but it was there. People thought i was being irresponsible. I knew that the only irresponsible thing i was doing was entering a hobby that would suck my bank account dry for years to come if i wasn't careful.

I guess this could also be applied to sky diving, which is something i've been presented with latley. I never thought of sky diving as something i'd do, but now that the opportunity sits in front of me, mine for the taking.... i don't know. The weird thing is, its not the falling, landing or any of those things that scare me. Its getting in that little plane, flying up to position and having the nerve to throw myself out of it when the time comes. I think its the anxiety that I'm afraid of more than anything.

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