Some Thoughts on Leaps of Faith

Rumors have been flying across the internet that my happy dance video from last week’s post caused me to bust my ankle. Relax (Mom). This is absolutely untrue.

What caused me to bust my ankle was trying to carve that stupid, wet, shitty snow. Fast forward several angry, Percocet-filled bed-ridden days later to me hobbling about on crutches bored out of my skull. I thought it only fitting to commemorate this event with an Un-Happy Dance.

Behold: A slightly opioid-addled un-Happy Dance, just for you. Kids: Don’t try this at home.

My deepest thanks for everyone who came by this week to bring me dinner, take the garbage out, go grocery shopping for me, and make stupid videos.

Before I became ambulatory again, I spent a great deal of time lying in bed or on the sofa, elevating said busted foot and contemplating life, the universe and everything. I spent a great deal of time reading Ken Wilbur. Ingesting Ken Wilbur’s ideas is sometimes no small feat sober, never mind with a brain awash in pain killers.

unhappy ankle

I also spent a great deal of time catching up on youtube videos of my trials riding rockstar superhero, Danny MacAskill, or as some like to say, Danny Megaskill.

Behold: Danny in his own words.

Some of my people watch those sorts of things and then have visions of me riding like that. Yeah. First of all, NOBODY rides like that. Danny is a unique trials rider. No one flows lines together the way he does. I can’t even manage a well-executed wheelie-drop yet, never mind ride on railroad tracks, or throw a tailwhip. So I dug up a little video that would sort of show what “my” version of trials riding might look like.

Behold: A dude with a giant suitcase of perseverance, and hopefully a giant vat of ibuprofen.

And then finally, Danny at his finest, and in slow-motion.

What I love about this video is that it depicts for me the way I feel when I’m deeply engrossed in a somatic problem, whether it’s rock climbing, yoga or mountain biking. Time slows down. You feel the flow differently. Sadly for me, I wasn’t feeling the flow quite as succinctly skiing what I now know is referred to as “Cascade Cement”.

What you see at the unexpected end of an otherwise unspectacular ski season: A ride down the mountain in a sled. This is almost NEVER a good thing.


I’m taking a very conservative approach to healing these days. I’m listening to my body very closely. My main goal this year is to focus on mountain biking again and let go of the rock climbing until after this year’s crown jewel in my adventure schedule: 24 Hours of Moab. I finally feel relieved to be in a place where I’m forced to slow down and focus on endurance rather than intensity, but this little mishap rocked me to my core. I felt betrayed by my body. I worried about defending myself to my students, my colleagues. I worry that people will see me as reckless and wild.

I am wild. Wildly passionate about doing what I love. But I’m not reckless. I’m… enthusiastic. I learned a valuable lesson from this misadventure. As Arno Ligner reminds us in The Rock Warrior’s Way, there are no failures if you’re learning.

Lesson learned?

Before you take a leap of faith, make sure conditions are ripe and you have the biggest, fattest boards you can handle before you drop in.

Shred on.

Walkers are the new skateboards. Get with it, yo.


One comment

  1. wow, gnakley, get butter soon.

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