High Places

Yesterday, Sunday, my lovely little family went out for a rare movie night. But this movie night was not like other typical movie nights; we were not seeing the best of Hollywood or the newest release. Actually, we were watching the best of Calgary’s short films on mountaineering. I wanted to share this with you because the speaker that we were seeing that evening sparked a flame in my mind about who I was becoming. Please meet Steph Davis:BASE jumper, solo climber. And she is the best female climber in the world.

“What I most want from life is the ability to learn and to be free”-Steph Davis

Rather than trying to remember each detail from her talk, I will pick out the things that struck a note in my mind. She provided me with a big sense of relief and helped me attempt to envision my future once again. No Mom, I am not becoming a BASE jumper. [BASE-jumper]: somebody who jumps off of fixed objects at incredible heights and uses a parachute to break the fall. B.A.S.E. stands for, Buildings, Aerials, Spans (bridges) and Earth (mountains/cliffs). The insanity of this sport is too great for me to handle, but how she became a BASE jumper and earned the title of the best female climber in the world is one that I will never forget.

Like myself, she was a musician for much of her younger life up until her late teens. Studying very hard at her music, head down, disciplined worker. But in her late teens she had a turning point. She tried climbing once, and immediately after she quit piano. No transition period. Her explanation for this was that climbing was the only thing that made her light up, it gave her an immense feeling of “it was me and the mountain”. She had gotten no such feeling from piano. She said it took her parents quite a while to accept that she was who she was and that the mountains and BASE jumping was where she belonged. Understandingly, I mean, what parent wants to hear that their kid has decided to dedicate their life to jumping off of mountains and climbing? But what inspired me the most was how confident she was about this. There were no doubts and no regrets. Although she attended University, her true place was hanging off of cliffs. Don’t worry, I am not going to start solo climbing or anything like that but listening to her speak provided me with a sense of relief. I have to find something that makes me light up and give me a sense that nothing is impossible, no matter how mindless that activity may seem to be to onlookers. If it makes you happy, go for it.

To finish, I’ll leave you with something that she said that I found very important to remember. She said, “I don’t want to do something that is only going to light me up for a short time, what I do needs to be something that will light me up for life. It is not worth it if it is only a short-term thing. For me, my life it is not working in an office, it is climbing and jumping. You’re probably thinking “wow, she’s weird”, haha that is okay with me.”

Check out her accomplishments, http://www.highinfatuation.com/

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One thought on “High Places

  1. jen s says:

    this person is indeed an inspiration. it would be wonderful to find what you want to do with your life (give meaning/focus to your life) in an instant, as this person did. however, for many of us it takes a bit longer and is perhaps not so instantaneous. finding your passion is, i agree, an amazing thing but this is not something everyone finds, and for some it is discovered/articulated as an adult, and that is ok. i think the important thing is to not stop searching and to do everything you can to make the most out of what you have, or are doing, in the moment. carpe diem.

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