My wife and I recently watched the documentary DEEP WATER (on Netflix) – about Donald Crowhurst’s ill-fated 1968/69 non-stop, solo, around-the-world sailing attempt. Fascinating, ballsy stuff with great original footage and a very cohesive telling of a complicated story.
A heart-wrenching tale. A cautionary tale.
I won’t spoil the plot (and, yes, it’s a true story – believe me, you couldn’t have made this one up if you’d tried), but the whole thing gave me pause to consider how I approach what it is I do. Adventure sports live near that VERY fine (and – dare I say it?) potentially fatal line between genius and insanity. Gutsy vision, passion for the outdoors, calculated risk, self-reliance, heroic execution… or, in some cases, failure… with devastating results.
I’m confident that I ride that line on the safe side for what I do. I have a young family to consider and that’s a BIG factor for me (they are why you’ll never find me on an 8,000 meter peak despite my keen interest). But we should all give some thought to the question of “how far is too far?” and know – instinctively know – how we draw our line and why. The point, for me at least, is that adventure gives me a much deeper perspective on how truly remarkable life is – in a way that nothing else has. For me, adventure is a means to the end of a more richly experienced life. So I’m all for adventure, but not at a greater cost.