Do you know someone who is hooked on adventure..?

Are you or someone you know frustrated, fed up or angry at not being able to climb, ski or bike? Mood swings, restlessness and a lack of purpose may be a sign of an addict. During COVID-19 especially this topic is relatable to so many people.

Adventure sports are often addictive - and I will put my hand up and say I was unknowingly addicted for a long time. In my past, I took very little joy in doing or talking about anything that didn't involve caving, climbing or snowboarding, it became an obsession. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this at all, for many people it is extremely healthy and rewarding. The question I asked myself was am I overly reliant on adventure sports for feeling content, free, and ultimately being happy.

This is an important question because circumstances change, and whether through injury, financial commitments, family needs, weather or even a global pandemic, you may not be able to go out and get the adventure fix you require.

"When a sun sets behind a peak, you can wait for the sun to rise, move a mountain, or learn to embrace the night" - what do you want to do?

Are you over-reliant on adventure sports for general well-being?

I remember at times being extremely restless if I had not been out climbing for a few days, and would inevitably end up disappointed in myself for feeling like I had wasted a day, missed out on an opportunity - I ultimately felt lazy and bitter about it. I told those around me that I was incapable of sitting still, relaxing, and enjoying some down time. After having some close calls in the mountains, getting caught out in a major storm and nearly being hit by a collapsing ice sheet on a climb, it made me question if I was trying to prove something to myself.

Two powerful questions to ask yourself: "What is my primary motivation for my adventures?" It could be the freedom, the sense of accomplishment, an adrenaline rush, companionship or solitude. Chances are you know the feeling you are seeking - that joy, thrill and completeness that allows for everything to make sense.

The second question may be tougher to answer: "What stops me from being content without the adventure......?"

Let me be perfectly clear - plenty of days were well aligned for me, and I have never pushed myself as hard as many of my friends, however when things got tough or I wanted to back out, there was sometimes a negative motivation driving me. I was motivating myself away from the discomfort of feeling disappointed, restless, and angry with myself. This is a form of escape and avoidance - a strategy that often ends up at a misaligned goal. When circumstances did not allow me to climb for several weeks, I would throw a bit of a tantrum, and in general feel very discontent, because I did not know how to switch it off.

Unless you live on a remote island with no tourism, there is a good chance coronavirus has affected your life. For many, it has forced a shift in priorities, a wake-up call to what is important in their life and those around them.

Throughout the world there evolves an ever more complicated set of rules, regulations, social norms, and behavior changes to keep the virus at bay. You may think they are ridiculous, necessary, under enforced or a form of dictatorship but at the end of the day it still affects us and is, in many ways, outside of our control. Outside of basic survival, ultimately we decide what freedom is, how content we are, and whether to make the best of a situation. COVID-19 has affected you - that is a truth, the important question to ask yourself now is how do you want to feel about it?

What if, when circumstances don't work in your favor, you could accept them and be happy?

Have you ever taken the time to consider what is so important to you about your adventures? Go ahead and take a minute to get in touch with your thoughts & feelings - be anxious about the situation if you must, get frustrated by it, become angry about losing freedom and control if that's what you feel you need to do. Does it feel unfair you have had to cancel your ski trip this year, or can't go to the climbing gym? Recognize what you are feeling and then breathe, reset and get curious - take a step back and ask yourself what are you looking to achieve through your frustration, anxiety or angst. Most likely, as you explore the intention and purpose of 'negative emotions', you will discover they are in fact far beyond a sign of disapproval - they are our strongest motivators, drivers, moral compasses and safety indicators. Thoughts, feelings, beliefs, emotions and reactions are our responsibility, they are malleable, they serve a purpose, and whether by conscious or subconscious.. are a choice.

As awful as the situation may seem, and as stuck as you may feel, what if you could create choice and opportunity? Have you noticed any changes in your values, motivations & priorities this year already? Are you ready & willing to allow yourself to continue exploring a new perspective? When circumstances don't allow you to climb a mountain, ride fresh powder, or surf the perfect wave you have a choice to find new ways of serving the intent of your frustrations and concerns, or you can do nothing and stay stuck in an uncomfortable state.

If you are struggling to find the intention behind your emotions, ask yourself "what would it feel like and what would I lose if I did not feel (frustrated / angry / upset)?" Many clients create clarity on what they are seeking through listening to their negative emotion. Perhaps they help to ensure you are motivated to progress, striving to be successful and remaining determined. Does it provide meaning & purpose for you that you are lost without? Finding your positive intention is an amazing breakthrough to experience, and one that allows you to be so well aligned and in tune with your goals that being content becomes so much more accessible.

Change is a constant in our lives, learning to embrace change and adapt is a valuable resource for every one of us. Victor Frankl is a holocaust survivor who was in a concentration camp for four years. These words of wisdom stem from a man who endured years of untold suffering, was held captive, and had no certainties in life. If you are looking for a new perspective, this thought provoking quote will provide great reflection:

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.Victor Frankl

You are capable of change - circumstances may be unfortunate, but our reactions are owned by us. Once you find the intention behind your negative drivers, it is a major step towards opening up new possibilities and options in achieving a feeling of content, without having to give up your drive or purpose.

Get Inspired

At BaseCampV we love to hear back from the community! What do you feel discontent without? What do you love most about adventure sports? What advice do you have for other members who are struggling with lock down or injury? Check out the comments below, and tell us your thoughts! Join our Facebook Group here

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