Have you seen the story about Alex Honnold – Alone on the wall?
For those who haven’t, here’s a short recap.
In June 2017, Alex Honnold climbed a 2,307 meters rockwall called El Captain, alone and without ropes.
What? Without ropes?
No ropes, no harness, no climbing buddies.
Once the word spread out, TV showed a high interest to document it. Therefore, Alex did it again in front of the camera.
Do you know what was the first question Alex was asked after screening?
”But Alex, what if you fall?”
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know the answer: ”If you fall, you die”
I read his book ‘Alone on the wall’ again. It is impressive. When started reading that book, my question was: ”Why would you risk your life to climb something that you have accomplished previously on the ropes?”
The answer was crystal clear:
To conquer yourself.
When I thought about my challenges in the past, I realized that I have actually lived it. And many others have too.
Extreme sports are the most simple way how to reach a higher state of mind even without realizing it.
Think about it. Why do you have such a great feeling after ripping a trail on your mountain bike? Why do you have such a great feeling after sending a steep culoir on skis straight-line? Why do you have such a great feeling after bungee jumping when adrenaline rush is gone?
You have overcome your fear.
That is obvious, but now imagine that you are riding your favourite mountain bike bike trail alone. It’s smooth, you know it like the palm of your hand, and it’s not challenging anymore. Your adrenaline is level is quite low actually, you don’t even know if it’s present. After you finish the ride however, you are feeling glorious. What is the reason?
You have experienced your higher-self.
Do you want to know what that ”higher self” actually means?
It is a wise and intelligent part of you. It has many names. No matter how you call it, it is in your head, ready to unleash your potential.
There are many ways how to reach this state. The most complicated one in my understanding is meditation. We have all heard about some enlightened monks, which are doing it, but nobody has explained us what is going on and how they achieve it.
Meditation is basically when you calm down your mind and focus your attention on basic body functions. You are focused on your breath. You are present in the moment. You don’t think a second forward, or backward. You don’t feel fear, because it is not possible for your mind to create thoughts about fear in the present moment.
Fear doesn’t exist in the present moment.
To reach the state of meditation require focus and energy, but when you are in it you are feeling amazing and you don’t wanna get back to a world ruled by your fear based mind. The truth is, most of us don’t know how to reach that state. …Until we start descending :-]
It’s easy now..
Extreme sports require so much concentration that most of the time you can’t think about anything else. And that’s it!
If you can’t think, you are automatically in your higher self. Your reactions becoame instinctive. You are focused on your breath. You don’t need to think about anything else. Every obstacle is automatically cleared. Every root and rock is automatically analyzed and your body moves accordingly. Every berm is automatically ripped. Your Neocortex is in charge. Your fear is not present. You are in the state of meditation and you don’t want to stop!
Did you ever wonder why are you riding the same trail way better when you are alone than when you are racing your final lap in a competition?
Because you are thinking.
It’s like when you open 12 browser windows, photoshop, Call of Duty, run an antivirus security test and you are wondering why is everything freezing when you are only trying to write a letter in Word… Why don’t you close all unnecessary tasks and focus on what you are doing in this present moment?
Let’s go back to our story of Alex Honnold.
Do you know what was the crux of Alex’s 2,307 free solo climb?
It was the ledge in the upper part of the wall, where he had stopped to recover. After he reached this ledge and rested, he got scared. Do you know why?
Alex Honold – Alone on the wall
…He started thinking
When you are climbing the wall alone and without ropes, you are in your higher self state. You are fully focused. You are not thinking. You are moving instinctively on the rock in a flow. Your movements are dialed, there is no error. Your Neocortex is in charge. You are stoked. You are in the state of full meditation. Enlightenment.
Then you reach the ledge however, only to recover and then what happens? Your focus on your primary mission has stopped and your fear-based mind has a chance to strike.
And here you go.. Isn’t it a bit windy today? Isn’t this ledge too narrow? Do you feel safe here?
You are feeling tired. Your legs don’t hold you up strong enough. There are not many features to grab onto in case you fall. What? You can fall? Sh**t. You will die here.
…And here you are in the middle of the massive headwall, scared to death, alone, not knowing what to do.
Are you going to start moving and get rid of this hell in your head or…