I recorded an previous interview with Adrian last year when I was preparing the Kitesurfing Adventure Skills program. This time we didn’t talk so much about kitesurfing; we went straight to “the slope of the danger curve” and the connection between adventure sports and spirituality. Like life itself, what we do has that unique “combination of this is amazing, and this is terrifying”.
“We’re not satisfied with the normal, with everyday existence. It’s no surprise that we’ve found lots of ways to alter our mental state, and that we seek those out. And when we alter our mental state, what we want to do is alter it more. It’s hard, especially once we’ve latched onto a shortcut, to imagine that you can have that peak experience, that intensity, without the shortcut. It’s not about getting comfortable with ‘normal world’. It’s all in our heads—and since that’s all we have, then we can have the most intense experiences imaginable, or unimaginable, all in our heads. But if we’re dulling our senses, and distracting ourselves from the actual experience, then we’re not going to get there.”
“Experiencing consciousness directly, being in the flow state, when we’re not thinking all the time — that’s the essence, the beginning of a spiritual life. You get good at what you do. If one of the things that you do is meditation, or kitesurfing, or something else that gets you into a flow state, you get good at it. It’s a muscle that gets stronger with use, and that’s a great reason that we should all kitesurf more, because it improves the rest of our lives so much.”