30 Days To Live

What would you do if you had 30 days to live.

There are so many people out there who create the ever popular bucket list. A list of things they want to do before they die. Although this sparks creativity and forces one to really think about what it is they want to do, feel and experience at some point in their life, I think this concept has one major flaw. Many people create this list more as a wish list and less as an action list. Something they hope to do rather than something they will actively work towards achieving. You see, the thing is, we never know how much more time we have. There are no guarantees in life, The only real guarantee is that one day it will end. It is up to us to make the best out of the only thing we know for sure, which is this moment, right now and that at some point that will end too.

This concept can be viewed in one of 2 ways.

  1. As a depressing piece of news, that everything ends at some point the bad and the good ….OR
  2. That we have right now and we have to option to do with this moment what we wish.

We have to take responsibility for our experiences, If we want more we need to make it happen, if we want something different then we need to search it out. If we don’t know what we want we can’t just sit around and wait for something to happen! We need to get up and start doing anything. Starting anything can be a catalyst to a life changing event… but you would never know if you didn’t start.

Shane McConkey was an inspiration to many people, myself as well and I was fortunate enough to know him personally. Although he passed away in 2009 his motivation and inspiration and legacy continue on through the words that he spoke, films he made and the people who’s lives he impacted!!

Loss

With the loss of several amazing athletes, friends and deep soul connections over the months I have been so tempted to throw in the towel. Not on BASE jumping but on making these connections, becoming deeply attached to those I love in the sport and just distancing myself from those who participate in it. I wanted to just run away from the pain and promise myself that I will protect me from the potential of continuing devastation by not becoming connected to jumpers any more. But then I realized how selfish that truly is and how terrible life would be if I actually did this.

It led me to ask. Do we allow the recent events and the fear of total devastation dissuade us and prevent us from making these once in a life time connections and friendships? Do we, for self preservation, close ourselves off to those who can have a profoundly good yet potentially horrific impact on our lives? Do we become self centered enough and say that we are doing so for self preservation reasons, so we can continue our lives as whole as possible? After thinking about this for many days I have come to the conclusion that we can not allow the possibility of complete and total devastation prevent us from making these amazing and loving connections. There is nothing more heart breaking then knowing a bright light exists and becoming attached at such a deep level and then losing them, except for the possibility of never experiencing the love, joy and laughter with these people in the first place.

The recent loss our community has suffered should do many things for us as a whole. It should remind us that no one is exempt and it can happen to anyone. To re-evaluate our decision making process and promise ourselves that we will never jump saying “it will all be ok”. That we will all take even more time to evaluate what the conditions are and be as safe as possible. And at the same time it should motivate us and force us to always ALWAYS love fully, tell those whom you love how much you love them all the time. Never leave questions un-answered and make sure that every day, you live knowing that if it was over tomorrow you have no regret.

We all participate in this sport fully knowing the consequences and potential outcome. Some of our friends and family know and accept this and some of them don’t. It is our job as compassionate, considerate human beings to express our deepest love and gratitude to those who fear for us and do our best to explain why we are willing to pay the ultimate price for what we do. Even if we don’t believe it will happen to us, We need to know that it can.

No one makes it out alive my friends but we can all do our best to insure that our exit time comes as late in life as possible.South-American-Patagonia-Mountains-HD-Wallpaper** This post was written several months ago during a time when several friends were lost to the sport. I couldn’t bring myself to post this until now.

 

Why Diminish Success?

In many sports there is rivalry, as there should be, between participants. It is what keeps us charging harder and aiming to achieve more. A little friendly competition is always motivating, but where we fall short is where there is a negative sense of judgement accompanying the rivalry. When mass judgement and a sense of dislike or hatred prevails over the normal sportsmanship and competition. This topic, especially relating to women in sports, has been coming up in conversation a lot recently. Mostly with an emphasis on pitting women against each other not in the typically competitive at their craft way, but in a way that our abilities are no longer the key focus but also our attractiveness. Female athletes are compared to one other on a skill level but also on how they look. A truly unfortunate comparison in my opinion. The result of this, in my opinion, is a sense of dislike towards those who are being compared and a deeper sense of insecurity. Especially if the judgement and comparison is voiced in such a manor or focuses on an area that we already feel as though we fall short.

I have over the past many years experienced women who participate in the same sports that I do whom all of the sudden have a problem with me. Whether it be from my experience, success, failures, outside influence, comparison or other unknown instigators it always left a bad taste in my mouth. The sports I love are very small and the number of female participants are such a small percentage. Although I am competitive I still value connections to other women who share the same passions that I do. Just because there is competition with in the sports world doesn’t mean there has to be an immediate dislike for the other individual.   I found it very interesting that this topic kept coming up and this morning I came across an article in the Adventure Journal which highlights the judgement of successful women mainly by other women. I found it very prevalent and a good read. I highly recommend it! The article can be found HERE!

In a perfect world we would all get along with one another, have a sense of respect, celebrate each others successes and still have a friendly sense of competitiveness with one another. Obviously this is a little too Sesame Street of me, but a good thought nonetheless;) At the very least women in action/adventure sports should understand that many comparisons are irrelevant and if we feel insecure about the comparison we should look at the reason why and address that rather than getting upset about it. 1534916_10102077357740333_109083504_o

Fear

Fear, Control and limitations are all an illusion. Ones that we either allow to rule our worlds or we decided to defy and not allow them to hold us back.

What do we really fear?

what are our true limitations?

what is control?

Ask yourself this and understand these three things we impose upon ourselves. Then decide that you will no longer allow yourself to create these things and therefore you will not implement them in your life any more. Then and only then will your true potential be available for you to reach!

It’s Not Every Day You Lose Your Pants In FreeFall

Just a short while ago I was jumping in Lodi, CA with a few really close friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while. If there is one thing that is true it is the fact that when we all get together the shenanigans go through the roof.  Our attempt at a Mr. Bill skydive was not exempt. Here is just one of the jumps that made my trip so hilarious and special!

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It’s Not All Fun and Games

I have felt very fortunate over the years to have the ability to do what I love not just for fun, but to also make a living. I have the ability to enjoy my work and invest myself 100% into what it is I do. I am a firm believer in making sure you love what you do for work. Many people have heard the phrase similar to, If you love what you do than it isn’t work. I go back and forth with weather or not I feel this is accurate. Even though I love that I get to travel the world, BASE jump, Skydive, climb ect and enjoy it I still have to work very hard and yes it does feel like work. But the difference is my attitude towards the work that I do. It is not my idea of fun to stay up all night, writing, emailing, sending proposals, stressing abut finances or budgets, responding to project ideas, submitting project ideas, receiving emails declining my projects or worst of all, not receiving a response at all, just to name a few. But for me this is all a necessary evil to have the ability to participate in a lifestyle that fills my life with so much joy, love and excitement. So by default my work becomes less of a burden and instead more of a way to accomplish what I truly value in life and that is enjoying my life to the best of my abilities every single day. I promised myself at a very young age that I wouldn’t work a job that I didn’t love. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I do have to say it has most certainly been a struggle at many different points in my life. Not finding work, not having a steady income and even at times not having a place to live. It hasn’t always been amazing trips and exciting adventures. But through it all I stayed true to myself and I firmly believe this is the only reason I am where I am today.

To lead the life that you want it will take work… lots of work. But I can assure you that if you stay true to yourself, your desires and your happiness that one day it will all pay off. In the long run loving what you do is worth every sacrifice you will have to make along the way. I have learned so much about myself through the process and grown in ways I wouldn’t have if I had given in and pursued a “normal” Job. I’ve worked harder than I ever thought I could and in the process have felt so rewarded by my experiences.

My result has been massive amounts of happiness and a much bigger sense of accomplishment. I feel so fortunate to love what I do and will do what ever it takes to continue to do what I love and love what I do!

It’s not all fun and games… but it sure is worth it!

Freedom

Letting Go Of The Trivial

triv·i·al ˈtrivēəl/ adjective  1.of little value or importance.

That is the literal definition of trivial. Most people place so much additional importance on small things that at the end of the day, or in the big picture, don’t even matter. We are programed to put more emphasis on small insignificant things…  I am guilty of this myself. Now, level of importance changes from person to person and what we truly value will never match that of someone else. So an understanding of the validity of the saying “one mans trash is another mans treasure”  is key to not judge what others hold important. Over the years I have worked to let go of the trivial aspects of life that most of society places a huge level of importance on. One of the ways to work towards a freedom from the stress of the truly trivial is through meditation.  A solid and regular meditation practice does wonders for relieving the ailments that accompany stress. I love meditation and practice it regularly, but there is one more activity that I enjoy which takes my mind completely off the trivial aspects of life… Getting myself into a place where I am actually forced not to think about that which doesn’t matter. In BASE jumping it is just me, the object and mother nature. I am forced to forget all that hinders my daily clarity and I have to focus 100% on the moment that I am in right then and there. It truly highlights how many things I think about, stress about and worry about and how truly insignificant they are. Luckily this level of letting go of the trivial can be attained in many different ways other than hurling yourself off an object with a parachute. It can be attained through any activity that requires focus, attention and puts a smile on your face. I have experienced this through yoga, slack lining, climbing and many other activities but you can truly seek this in anything that you do. It’s just up to you!! Now I am not saying to give everything up and become irresponsible, but instead I implore you to find what it is that captivates your attention, moves you to be in the moment and at the same time brings the trivial aspects of your life that stress you out to the forefront of your mind so you become aware of them. That is the first step to letting them go…. Then the fun starts ;)

Clair Marie, BASE girl looking over the edge