Fear can confirm that I am outside my comfort zone, but now with some 5000 km behind me, I think fear is more the unknown. I want to cross this channel and high winds are expected later this afternoon. I get up at 06:00. Pack my gear and fear and head towards the bridge. The Rio–Antirrio Bridge, officially the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge, is one of the world's longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges and longest of the fully suspended type. There are four major cement pylons bearing the weight of this massive structure. I set my sight on reaching the first pylon. The further from shore, the more rough the waves. So I just continue, slowly but surely, from pylon to pylon.
Now on the other side, I take a picture. Smile. And whisper a thank you for safe passage.
1. Use past experience - Fear can be a good thing. It’s a biological instinct that prevents us from doing stupid things that might kill us. All the waves, currents and extreme ocean situations I have encountered throughout the past six months have given me experience. Gain experience and use experience.
2. Analayze the challenge and the risk - Like any extreme decision, kayaking in rough conditions is understanding where you are on the linear line of challenge and risk. A challenge is no problem. One has the skills to handle that. A risk is where you challenge your personal challenge zone and use your abilities to the max to succeed. Subject to natural or unusual physical and mental challenges such as high waves, wind, currents and the reality of capsizing, cognitive perceptual processing is required for a successful outcome. I try to avoid risks, but in facing the challenge I often encounter unwanted risks.
3. Plan B - Often there is no plan B when taking on extreme risks. Extreme risk has extreme outcomes. My Plan B begins with Plan A: avoid extreme risks at all times, but use knowhow to tackle a risky situation. I don't seek the adrenaline and risk, though my knees where shaking when I made this early morning crossing.