Monday, October 15, 2012

Gravity and Transformation.

October is transition time -- the leaves on the trees are turning all sorts of beautiful colors. The air temperature is doing crazy things. It's time for the next training phase: Pre-Season. Although training is part of my life year-round, now is the time to step up the game and level of focus for the snow season.
Change in season at Seven Springs, photo by Jb.

When zoning in on the mental, physical and emotional focus needed to prepare for boardercross, learning about the challenges, accomplishments and transformations from others (athletes, new mothers, research colleagues...) helps me to focus. It's the power of the hero story. Learning about how that hero deals with a challenge, conquers it, and transforms in the process keeps me inspired. Having an example of how others have dealt with their challenge provides me with a data point on how I can conquer my own battles.

The story consuming my mind since yesterday afternoon is Felix Baumgartner's

Felix Baumgartner, Photo from The Telegraph.

He jumped from the edge of space on Sunday. Freefall from 128,100 ft.

He broke the sound barrier (Mach 1.24, 833.9 miles per hour).
From the BBC

He has been considering this jump since 2005, although he dealt with a number of challenges before being able to finally perform the jump in 2012. And there's a bunch of science that was learned in the process for developing better space suits, parachutes and escape procedures for space travelers.

That's seven years of challenges and transformations to reach his next level. Something about jumping from the edge of space, and surviving, makes Baumgartner's story one of those "ultimate" battles, where the individual has to deal with the whole range of internal and external struggles and challenges to succeed.

I wonder what went through his mind when he decided to proceed with the jump, even when he realized that the visor heater wasn't working (meaning that his visor fogged as he exhaled).

How do you know whether to push through or hold back at a moment like that? 

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