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December 2009
Rock the Boat!
A conversation with adventure sport enthusiast Vishweshwar R Konda.
Upasna Kamineni 

How important is sports to an individual?

Contemporary urban lifestyles lack the necessary physical activity, so sports or exercise need to be actively pursued. It is required for physical health.

More importantly, in some inexplicable ways it has a great influence over our emotions, attitude and outlook. On days I play sports or exercise, I am a little more joyful, have a positive outlook, get more done at work and feel good. Some scientists relate this feeling to serotonin which is produced by the body during exercise and sports.

Did man lose his touch with nature?
Yes many urban dwellers have lost touch with nature. It is difficult to lose touch with nature, but some of us have managed to.

Your comments on the loss of man’s sixth sense and inclination towards nature…
I guess you are talking about instinct and intuition. I think we all collect a lot of knowledge subconsciously. Just as it is accumulated subconsciously, it sometimes manifests by itself at certain moments, just when we need it, without our conscious effort to recall it. For example, we may be trekking in the forest, we may consciously notice some landmarks, some flowers or some insects and we would have classified and stored this knowledge in our mind.

However, we also subconsciously capture the smell of the grass we are walking on, slight slipperiness of one side of the path, or a bend or a junction in the pathway. So on the way back, we instinctively know where to turn, our intuition tells us where and which side of the path could be slippery and then maybe even the distance from the starting point base on the smell of the grass we are walking on.

I do not see mysticism in instinct and intuition. If we are relaxed and open-minded we accumulate a lot of useful information and knowledge subconsciously, which will appear just when we need it, like a good friend in your life. That is intuition and instinct. In adventure sport, intuition and instinct are very useful, however that is not a substitute for training, learning, and following safety guidelines.

How do you describe adventure sport?
Activities such as trekking, rock climbing, cave exploring, white water kayaking are physical activities which can simply be pleasurable or give a high adrenaline thrill. These sports involve an element of the unknown and sometimes an element of fear, giving us a sense of adventure. Adventure sports take place in nature as opposed to a manicured playing field, say a cricket ground with well defined boundaries. It’s having fun with no well defined rules, in an environment that’s not fully defined, usually in the wild.

Five reasons why adventure sport is great fun?

  1. A thrilling experience where we conquer our fears and get a kick out of it
  2. A great way to enjoy nature
  3. Have a great time with friends
  4. Bond with family, in case of corporates – bond with the team
  5. Build inner calmness and confidence while having great fun – It’s almost a spiritual experience!

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