Dangerous ways: the art and the means of falling

Maxence Gallot wonders about the psychological impact of gliding flights and of the way of recovering from them. As the saying goes, the importance isn’t the fall, but the landing. Bam.

“It is by falling that one learns” my ski-trainer never ceased telling me when I was a kid. This phrase buzzed around my brain. A whole load of questions came to me concerning the spirit. And who else was going to be able to answer these, because slowly I was already questioning the path of life which was going to lead me up to this point.

Maxence Gallot

Sometimes the night tortures me. Who has never dreamed that they are falling in to a void? Has never seen the end to this fall ? Forcing me to believe that the importance above all was the manner in which I was going to land, I woke with a start each time before I touched the ground. Sweating and unsettled, the anguish disappeared the moment I found my breath before going back to sleep. Today, I continue to think that falling is not a failing, but a good starting point for everything which pushes progress and evolution.

Maxence Gallot

The fall, this vertical movement of a body getting closer to the centre of the earth under the influence of gravity, puts us in face of the merciless truth : nobody is invincible. If the person hurtles down a slope taking too much time to analyse the terrain and detect the difficulty, they will certainly expose themselves to some unforeseen pirouettes (everybody falls one day or another, no matter the number of subscriptions.) Certain come out if better than others, but the mountain has no preferences whether the skier is a professional, a guide or a holiday maker. Same thing for the shoreline, the ocean is going to eat us all at a given moment and then vulgarly spit us out on the sand and coat us with fear. As for the bitumen, it is often, very often, what finishes us, whether we are learning to skate-board or if we have been doing it for 20 years. Evidently, it is a question of humility because “he who considers himself too much, often falls at the base of the peak”. But falling is not an end in itself. It is the best way of learning to protect ourselves and discover new horizons, at times unexplored.

Maxence Gallot

Dreaming of somewhere else, reaching a summit, making the first tracks, opening a couloir, wanting to fly, take off from the ground, rowing out in to the open, fitting in to the movement of the wave and hiding in the tube… Going to meet the void and unusual just for the pleasure, that is also life. Only experiences make us advance. The process of learning includes the falls along the way. It is necessary to live for the moment and learn to bounce back literally in the figurative sense. Changing direction or starting all over again opens one up to new experiences.

Maxence Gallot

The fall is rich in its teachings. It makes us grow. One only has to watch the hours of filming necessary to realise a 5 minute section of video. The weather conditions set the chances and the acrobat’s task. And when finally it presents the occasion to do it well… it is often a complete day of falls, failures and frustration before obtaining the long awaited image. The fall holds us all by the nose, but stubbornness does things right and rewards the audacious.

Maxence Gallot

When we are a kids and when we dash out on our first bike with stabilisers, our parents are frightened to death for our balance which is under construction. When we get older, we are afraid of falling because it could be that we can’t get up again. Our experience of life sends us signs of danger. It is finally all one’s life and at all levels of practice that we maintain these feelings. Only unconscious fools are afraid of nothing.

Maxence Gallot

For most of the time, falling is an integral part of the procedure and magnetises the memory with memories to recount. Maybe, there, we have the beginning of an answer to the passion which drives us and burns a little fire for us. Maybe if I were to go to the end of my dreams, they would not be as tragic as all that ? The flame which encircles this quest for pleasure is called engagement. It units us, makes a whole life vibrate and whereas many will find these passions insane, we’ll tell them its tough luck for them and we’ll continue to curl up and to smile…. for love of the fall.

Maxence Gallot

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