If I am not wrong, each one of us has been through a time when we decided to do something and people laughed at us. Sometimes this laughter is also accompanied by a lewd or sarcastic comment. This behaviour can bring out two attitudes on the receiver’s part. In the first case, the person gives in to the contempt and decides not to pursue further, usually resulting in regrets in the later parts of life. The other scenario, however, involves the person to pursue the activity with renewed passion and come out on top. Once we defeat the general notion of the people around us, it gives us the right to brag about it. And of course, it feels good to see their faces, doesn’t it?
I don’t remember the exact time I became fascinated with extreme sports. I remember watching a documentary in which a man jumps from a plane with a skateboard and performs stunts mid-air. I remember watching another video of a person swimming with the dolphins. As I grew up, I kept coming across more and more videos of people doing various kinds of extreme sports. Today it’s no big deal finding videos on Youtube but I am talking about the time when internet had a very limited reach.
In India, extreme sports is a field not explored enough. People are too engrossed with their career and family to give it a thought, not to mention cricket. Also, doing something that puts you on the edge is severely discouraging. So, it was obvious that I got some really awkward reactions when I put forward my aspirations. I was told to keep dreaming when I mentioned skydiving. I was reminded of my inability to swim on mentioning sea diving. I was also reminded of the lack of strength I have, owing to the fatal illness I recovered from, when I mentioned rock climbing and other sports. I was also outcasted by some for not being a religious follower of cricket and having aspirations for something they felt was impossible for me.
And then, I went to Spain. One by one, I removed all suspicion from the minds of those around me that I couldn’t do anything. I jumped from a plane at 15000 ft in Seville. I dived twice in the sea, and I still don’t know how to swim. I climbed a rock and wakeboarded in the Mediterranean. I did things no one thought I could do.
I don’t need to brag about it. But I want to brag about it. I have done something that gives me a right to brag about it. We all do things that gives us a right to brag about. So brag about it, because you have earned it.