Finding Fear In All The Wrong Places
This article is about a woman who ventures out on a solo sea kayaking trip, and instead of the reoccurring question "why?" she is plagued with the question "aren't you afraid?".
Upon reflection, Virginia Marshall realized that while she was out on her own at the mercy of nature she felt little fear in her day to day tripping. She tries to distinguished that there is fear, rightfully so if you're all alone and a man walks out of the bushes by your tent, then there is irrational fear. The kind of fear that doesn't let you sleep at night because the forest is creaking and cracking, which leads to fatigue and bad decisions the next day. She admits that she has seen S&R helicopters circling the sky and forensic divers looking in the depths, she knows the danger and knows that there is fear present in what she is doing; but she also knows that if that fear were to hold us down and exceed the fun of the trip then we couldn't experience the gift of being unplugged that nature gives us.
I highly recommend this article for anyone who has experienced fear (everyone). She details the difference between witless, paralyzing, irrational fear and common sense, get-back-to-where-it's-safe fear. She recommends going on a solo trip if you ever can to get back in touch with yourself and with nature, and fear is a natural part of this. I very much agree that it is important to unplug and re-sensitize ourselves to the world at our fingertips and have fun while doing so. Her closing paragraph also rings true and emphasizes the importance of being outdoors and programs such as ODE; "Am I scared? The only thing I truly fear as a kayaker is the day that no one paddles alone because it's too dangerous- or worse, too boring."