Human relationships, in all aspects of life – therefore also in sports – as well as in canyoning, can be very fulfilling. However, there are cases where we might get emotionally hurt especially when tasting the bitterness of discrimination.
Definition of discrimination
As the dictionary defines it: Discrimination is “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” Synonyms are some not so positive words as: prejudice, intolerance, narrow-mindedness, unfairness, favoritism, one-sidedness, sexism, chauvinism, racism and some more.
No doubt about it, there are all sorts of people practicing canyoning – from different backgrounds, sexual orientation, financial situation, age, strength, stamina, technical knowledge, ability, talent… you name it! As all outdoor activities, canyoning is a magnet for adrenaline junkies, nature lovers and responsible people to egocentrics, competitive and complex people. In this blog post we don’t want to be judgmental, so we tried to find some point of views that might be useful, one way or another.
Τhe feeling of unhappiness
Should you find yourself in the unpleasant situation of an unfriendly treatment by one or more fellow canyoners don’t blame yourself – you are enough and so is everybody on this earth. Instead of taking it hardly just take it easy and examine your present status as a canyoning member of this particular team. How is your physical condition? Do you feel you need some extra exercise? How is your technical knowledge? Do you need some more practice? How is your movement in the canyon? Do you need some more sparkle? Can your fellow canyoners trust your techniques? Do you follow the guidelines? Do you trust yourself? If not – what can you do to improve? Once you answer all these questions you can ask yourself a last one: Do you must/have to/need to be in this team? Canyoning is all about fun and appreciation – should you maybe move on to another… more friendly team?
Τhe position of supremacy
Are you on the top of the world, fearless, highly competent, super canyoner or maybe the God or Goddess of canyoning? If you find yourself in the position of supremacy there might be some canyoner (or more) who is worth your arrogance and discrimination. You think so? Well… think again! Canyoning is a very demanding, extreme sport with no room for egoism and competitive mood. One single human error can become fatal. Many times, many examples of overqualified canyoners, many serious accidents have proven that it is better to keep your feet on the ground and be humble. So, if you really want to have the best team members… start practicing empathy! Help them improve! Help them get the best out of themselves and never ever judge them or discriminate them. Helping others get higher results is lifting the whole team to a brand new level, creates trust, durability, speed, performance and above all great fun with safety and ease.
Watching a team member getting in a difficult position due to discrimination
Gossip is very common among people. Talking behind anybody’s back in a canyoning team can even lead to the dissolution of the team. So, should you find yourself in the middle of a scene as an observer first of all try to be calm. Use a friendly voice to soften the situation and don’t take sides. Wait until the whole descent is completed and when everybody is safe and sound then speak up, if you want to. However, kindness and understanding are the best options to resolve such matters – hopefully your team will be all together in a good spirit… always or… soon again. Be cool, enjoy life, enjoy canyoning!