Last weekend, I was driving to Bristol to go mountain biking with my friend Dan when my car broke down. Not once, but twice. On the way down the gear stick went scarily slack in my hands, and no amount of waggling could persuade the car to move out of first. On the way back, my drive was rudely interrupted by the horribly distinctive death rattle of a broken exhaust pipe dragging along the road. My heart sank.
Rather than wait for the RAC (and face the humiliation of calling them out for the second time in 48 hours) I decided to take matters into my own hands and bodged it, managing to strap the exhaust back to the bottom of the car with my bike chain.
I tell this story not as evidence of any sort of engineering genius (I am the least mechanically-minded person I know, and was hugely surprised that it actually worked) but because of how it felt. Overcoming a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, and going from intense frustration to pure elation in the process, was enormously satisfying. It was also strangely familiar.
It struck me that as adventure sports fans we experience this sort of thing a lot. We’re all obviously used to travelling physical distances, but the emotional journeys adventures take us on are just as significant. As Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, once said: “When everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts”.