Adventure sports are on the rise. Outdoor brands are selling more gear and traditional sports participation is decreasing with a big increase predicted for adventure sports, perhaps even overtaking the traditional ones in the future.
So why all the hype?
As someone who spent a long period of life inside, away from the outdoors, I was probably the last person you would expect to start climbing, canyoning, or caving.
But now I do, and I go out in every spare moment I have!
After many years of adventuring in the outdoors, as well as leading my 2000 member strong adventure club, here’s what I noticed on how adventure sports will change you!
How to Have Big Adventures!
Your Guide to Starting Outdoor Adventure Sports Easily!
THE 10 WAYS ADVENTURE SPORTS WILL CHANGE YOU
It starts off with the obvious:
1. Become Healthier
It’s no secret, being outdoors is good for you. When we are outside we move naturally, especially over rough terrain, which gets all our body parts in motion and the blood circulating. We get fitter. When we do adventure sports, we increase this effect further by pushing ourselves more than we normally would.
2. Connect With Nature
Connecting with nature has become more important of late as our cities of concrete overflow into the landscape. Adventure sports often result in a deep connection with the environment. As examples, climbing, skiing, canyoning are often at their most enjoyable when no one else is around. With just you and nature, it’s hard not to ignore the texture of the earth and rock, the flow and colour of the water, and the scents drifting into your nostrils.
3. Connect With People
It’s strange how much you can trust a new climbing partner and connect with them without even knowing their full name. I’ve done this many times when climbing with new people. Most adventure sports are similar. You are instantly in tune with the people around you. On top of that, many adventure sports will teach you about how people work, how they manage stress and anxiety, their humour, and how they adapt to new situations. After all, these things are important in adventure sports partners, so it’s natural to gain these character reading skills for life in general.
4. Find Your Zen
This is the most cited reason for people to actually start doing an adventure sport. They want to find their zen state, to be in the moment. A place where nothing else matters but the present. We are bombarded by media, work, rules and social expectations. Finding an escape to enjoy just yourself in the present time is not only sought after, but even good for you!
5. Fear and Stress Management
Going out adventuring for the weekend and then coming back to normal routines and problems during the week can make it all seem… easy. Some problems are always going to be difficult, but when you just spent the weekend challenging yourself and solving the physical and mental problems that go with it, you gain a understanding of HOW YOU react to stress and fear. Life isn’t about avoiding these things, its about managing how you react to them and actually feeling them, not ignoring them (there's that zen state again).
6. Gain Humility
As humans, we do tend to get a bit full of ourselves and think we are far superior than we might actually be. Adventure sports put a reality check in play as we realise that nature, like the terrain, animals, or weather, can just as easily smite us. Being in the mountains makes you feel small, and that’s because you realise the sheer magnitude of your surroundings in comparison to you. And nothing makes you think ‘I’m just a small human’ than an incoming thunderstorm in the backcountry!
7. Self Confidence
Seeing the many people in my adventure group overcome challenges and get out of their comfort zones showed a unsurprising result. They grew confident. I felt the same. Adventure sports develop your confidence as you grow, learn and experience your chosen sport. It’s hard not to be confident when you do things many shy away from. You stepped up to a challenge, and you feel awesome!
8. Know Yourself
How well do you know yourself? How do you think you would manage a crisis? Or a new fear? Adventure sports nurture growth without you even knowing. You overcome fears and challenges and each time you do, you figure yourself out a little better. Many participants of adventure sports also report they feel they have their passions and purposes figured out in life. I include myself there. I know one thing for sure. I’m happiest when I’m outdoors and having fun!
It’s hard not to see the incredible views, experience some small risks, and not come out with an appreciation for life, our fellow humans and the big blue ball we call home. We can see more from going outside than we can sitting staring through the window. Our views broaden in every sense of the word. I know my fellow adventurers deepest fears and why the laugh and cry. I know the craziness of the weather with even a small elevation gain in the mountains. And I know how sensitive the environment is each and every time I go outside, with the pollution and encroachment effects we have on this planet.
With balance in life, comes happiness. It’s not just about the adventure sport. It’s about the people you do it with. Those scenic views and sounds of wildlife free. And the sense of satisfaction that comes out of having a fantastic day outside, muscles sore but smiles big.
Have you tried an adventure sport? Do you have a passion of your own? Let me know below in the comments how it has changed you!
The post, 10 Ways Adventure Sports Will Change You, first appeared on The Vertical Adventurer.