This morning I learned through my FB feed that Dean Potter had died. He died in the way that everyone would have predicted. He hit the ground after a jump. His parachute did not open. I read through the many comments remembering him as an amazing inspiration.
There was a part of me the was frustrated and angry. A part of me wanted to shout... 'he threw away his life. He wasn't a hero. He made heroism out of needlessly risking his life!"
I went off on some other internet escapism about buddhist characteristics and there in the page was a Dean Potter interview, bringing me back. He was sitting with his then girlfriend and fellow climbing and base jumping partner, Steph Davis. This led me to her Ted Boulder talk on Flying Again.
The more I pondered these justifications for living so much on the edge being the seat of joy, the more I considered my own life in the light of this idea. I had lived on the edge. I had lived in a car for almost five years with a net worth of $1000 thanks to my sponsors who gave me climbing equipment. I had moments of not having money for food and yet choosing climbing still. And I had so much freedom. I loved teaching people. I loved being free to choose to go climbing or to write another article or to work with a client. I loved and even now long for the freedom in such a simple life.
As I prepared to go to a family celebration I realized something. My anger, frustration was really a projection of what was tearing me up. I resented the part of my life that was dictated by my sense of responsibility to people, to work, to activities that did not bring my that joy. I was doing those things out of a sense of obligation and in doing them I felt very little joy, in fact it was the birth place of resentment.
I am the one rejecting the possibility of living life on my terms. I do not believe that I can just leave it all and find people who will want to learn from me. I do not believe this old body can get back into shape and learn even more about how it all works. I am the one holding me back - UNINSPIRING ME!
Time to change.