Watching a PBS show about extreme sports this weekend, I thought of Dave Norell, extreme professional kayaker, while witnessing the pleasure on the faces of people jumping off bridges, “skiing” down mountains in kayaks, and gliding like a hawk 9,000 miles above solid ground. Even though I have zero desire to do any of the above activities, I do enthusiastically pursue and enjoy another kind of extreme sport.
My sport, like jumping off bridges, kayaking, and air gliding, is not for the weak. A strong body is not necessary, but a strong mind is essential. Like kayaking and triathlons, the sports that “Dangerous Dave” practiced, my sport has taken me into emotional rapids and swirling currents. I have persevered in front of my equipment with eyes burning and a nagging desire for quick-energy snacks. I have started at the beginning multiple times seeking ways to improve the journey, each trip tighter, faster, and more effective than the last.
I am a writer.
As a writer, not only must I learn the mechanics of my craft, create ideas, commit to a course (writing schedule), and keep on operating my equipment until I reach my destination, I must also believe, with somewhat egotistical confidence, that a publisher will spend thousands of dollars to print, sell, and distribute my writing to strangers who will read my stories. People who pursue extreme sports must also believe, with somewhat egotistical confidence, that they will reach their destination despite the obstacles.
Anyone who does extreme sports thrills in the journey. We know the risk, but we do it anyway.
For more information about Dave’s amazing life, go to http://brokehungryandhappy.com/