Breaking the norm

Challenging vistas

Breaking the norm

While it is passion for some, it is a way of life for others. Adventure sports and activities have indeed come a long way.

Amidst fast-paced lives, many Bengalureans are seeking these activities as a channel to let out their stress, face challenges better, reconnect with near and dear ones and nature and even as a team-building exercise.

These activities have opened up different perspectives, says Sudarshan Ramesh, a civil engineer, who likes going for rappelling and trekking with friends from work.

  “It isn’t easy to explain the level of confidence they instill and the way they
connect people. Especially when going out with colleagues, one gets to explore different sides of a person that they wouldn’t normally be able to see in a work environment,” says Sudarshan.

  “Challenging situations like combatting nature and its forces to be at a certain place or finishing a task together help build determination within one and as a team,” he explains adding, “Since we were a bit more aware of each other’s capabilities, work also became fun later on.”

Apart from being thrilling, these activities also help push one’s own limits, says Manoj Chhapia, a managing director. “Apart from running, I have taken up river-rafting and trekking with friends. I took to these as I realised that such activities open up one’s horizon,” says Manoj.

He says that adventure sports are a relatively new addition to routine life. “Parents often used to stop us from attending a river-rafting activity or trekking, mainly for safety reasons,” he says. These activities definitely add to one’s self-confidence. “Experiences like river-rafting made me realise what our ‘jawaans’ go through at the border everyday. They help us achieve a tougher approach to life, while also making one sensitive to nature. With this, I realised that nothing is unachievable in life,” adds Manoj.

Others like Dr Aashish Shah, a laparoscopic and bariatrics surgeon who likes bungee-jumping, whitewater rafting, mountaineering and trekking, says that these experiences gift one varied moments of self-realisation. “The higher the altitudes one climbs, the lesser they think about themselves and the more they realise how mystical nature is. Such experiences help a great deal to humble one down,” he says adding, “These activities also teach one that they are nowhere close to being as fit as they imagine themselves to be.”

Adventure enthusiasts who host treks and other such activities at places like Leh and Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and the Himalayas, say that these activities are proving to be a big channel to route stress among young professionals in the city. Sudhindra Subbarao, who has taken others along with his group ‘Wild Wanderers’, says that there is an increasing corporate clientele now. “They often choose activities like rappelling, bouldering and river-crossing. A day out for the corporates has moved on from being just a picnic to more intensive plans,” vouches Sudhindra.

    “Some of the groups do not want to go out all the way, so we design trips which have small hikes and a camping experience. And when the young professionals do this as a group, it helps increase their interaction and encourages them to work together as a group,” he says.

Adventure lover Mala Chandrashekar, co-founder of ‘Mystic Wild Pvt Ltd’ who works as an adventure sports trainer, feels that these activities prepare one for many things that they imagine to be impossible. “One might think that rock climbing is for people who have been doing it for years. However, these activities prepare one to deal with any hurdles they come across later. They also give great insight into stress-filled situations,” she adds.   

 “With somebody to cheer one along, they prove to be great platforms to focus on end-solutions,” says Mala. The safety features are often a worry for people. However, she details, “Our activities include certified instructors and safety equipment with benchmark standards.”

Mala adds that while hosting events, the group also gives a demo and detailed talk about what the activity would be like. “All these features need to be taken care of when organising events like rappelling and ziplining which involve ropes.”  

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