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What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?

Well I will take these questions as meant to be PG/PG-13 since that is the rating of my blog. So let’s stick with thrilling and exciting but non sexual things for the answer. So what is the wildest thing I’ve ever done. Well I’ve done many things others might consider wild. 

I got this question in one form or another from many sources and it’s worth a good answer. I guess I’ll take the things I consider wild and tell you about them. 

Shhhhhh be vewy vewy quiet I’m hunting Gators!

I’ve gone alligator hunting. Done in the swamps aboard an air boat with little between you and the water aka where the gators are. They hide so well just below the surface and you have to be on alert for air bubbles. These little hints are sometimes the only warning you’ll receive when hunting the most successful water land predator on earth.. 

When you tag a gator on your line the power of this animal becomes instantly real. They thrash and roll and it’s easy to miss your footing. A single misstep and into the water you go, right into where the gators are. They roll and thrash and you try and hang on. The fight is incredible as they try to free themselves. 

The bigger the gator the stronger it is and you never know just how big it is until after it’s tagged and it comes to the surface or is dragged to the surface. 

The fight to subdue them is just the beginning. Even once they’re controlled they remain dangerous. Even once they’ve died you still have to bring them in. This means putting your hands in or near the water. All the while other gators are ever present. I’ve seen people bring in one gator and another snaps at their hands. 

These prehistoric animals are incredible, majestic and dangerous. If you get to hunt be sure you eat what you kill because they’re also tasty.

Smoking the water pipe!

I’ve surfed the pipeline in Hawaii. These are monstrous waves several times taller than me. The power if you wipe out is immense. Thousands of gallons of water instantly smash on top of you forcing you under the surf. You’re tossed and buffeted about as you swirl helplessly beneath the mighty waves. You have to ride along until the calm as the wave pulls away and frees you from it’s grip.

Once the wave has passed you have to gain your orientation before attempting to swim to the surface. After the dizzying ride it’s easy to not know where is up. 

Pipe-lining is fun and dangerous. The thrill as tons of water cover your exit and the instant you know my only way out is the daylight ahead. The race as the tunnel begins to close and deep within an almost primal need to survive takes hold. You crouch and dig deep for speed to exit before the tunnel closes on this ride forever.

These are incredible once in a life time and never to be repeated waves. sure there will be other pipes but that one, your pipe will never be seen again. That is a once in a life time event, unique in every way.

There is little like the power of the ocean to remind us just how small we truly are. 

Wind and thunder and waves oh my!

I went surfing in a hurricane a time or two. The power of mother nature in full display. The water below, the wind and thunder above and the pouring rain. It’s a huge rush to be on the waves in a storm and it’s also very dangerous. The waves aren’t as controlled because the wind causes cross waves. Directions change on a dime and your board is slippery from the rain. 

Sure the board always has water on it but not the sheet of water provided by hurricane force winds and rain. Balance becomes another fight and not just because of the rain. The wind with sudden gusts can remove you from your board by force. I’ve been blown off my board a time or two…. or twenty and every time it’s unnerving.

Unforgiving ocean combined with the anger of nature and you have but a glimpse into the power of the almighty. These rare days where every moment counts and life and death are but a mistake away. A time fraught with danger, mystery, challenge and survival. The adrenaline fills your body and your heart pounds so hard you swear it’s going to pop out of your chest.

But if you ever want to know the power of nature get on a small piece of fiberglass and paddle out deep during a hurricane. It’s not for the weak swimmer or fiant of heart. But you will know the raw power of his great creation first hand.

It’s all in the hands!
I used to free hand climb and often found myself hundreds of feet up. Often those climbs were hundreds of feet vertically only to meet a horizontal ledge. During these times I’d find myself with only my fingers, a few cracks in the rocks and little more as I searched for the next handhold while hanging above the rocks below. 

An inch at a time as below the earth fades. The moment is all that matters, that next handhold to continue moving forward. Don’t look down! Concentration is key as any mistake could send you falling and trust me when I say it’s not the fall, it’s the sudden stop at the bottom you want to avoid.

I gave up free hand climbing some time ago. I still miss it sometimes but honestly I’m better not doing it. It’s dangerous and wild and I wouldn’t recommend it to new climbers or anyone prone to panic attacks, fear of heights or rash decisions.

There is little to compare muscle vs mountain in this world.

In conclusion!

For me wild generally means nature. It means me vs myself in an unforgiving arena. The ultimate in gladiatorial combat is challenging yourself in Gods house. No roaring crowds, no one but you to face the ultimate challenge; yourself. These are the moments I live for, the very pinnacle of survival. The moment it’s all on you, no one to blame, no one but yourself to face. Pushing yourself to break the barrier of your previous victory of self.

These are the moments great grandfather called Yishuwa’ca (Besting self). The only limitations of the human spirit is the one we place upon it ourselves. Our only challenge worth our time is the challenge of besting ones self. My location of choice has always been in Gods house as the ultimate judge watches and I stretch myself to surpass my previous limitations of spirit. The rush as you dig deep and stretch yourself.

The rush of survival is wild indeed. These are among the wildest things I’ve done on a PG/PG13 level of course.

~Michelle Styles – May 13, 2014