Having spent many hours of my Swiss holiday watching the Live Tracking on the Red Bull X-Alps, and driving my family mad with constant updates on progress, it was great to see that Gavin McClurg has now interviewed the five times winner of this insane event, Chrigel Maurer.
I’ve done marathons before, but to see these athletes hiking that distance and more, day after day with a 10kg pack and ascending Alpine mountains, the stamina required for such an effort must be nothing short of super-human.
So what is it that makes someone want to win the same event year after year?
I was lucky enough to get tickets to this year’s Wimbledon Tennis Tournament in London. I sat in Centre Court with my wife and watched Roger Federer virtually devour his opponent and reduce this grown man to tears in front of 15,000 people. We both felt sorry for Marin Cilic, but couldn’t help being impressed by Roger’s relentless display of professionalism. It was his eighth Wimbledon win.
In Gavin’s interview with Chrigel he talks about starting to fly at the age of 14. It was clearly something that was in the family and living in such a perfect environment for paragliding (the Swiss Alps), the opportunities for practice would have been frequent and regular.
We all know how easy it is to fall in love with this sport, and anyone who has flown more than ten minutes on a EN-A school wing would admit that Free Flight is an amazing experience. But what is it that makes someone want to be the best in the World?
Like everyone else listening to this podcast, I was desperate to know what Maurer’s secret is, but I’m not sure if that question was ever really answered. Sure, he talked about training techniques and following his instinct when making decisions, but what was his real inspiration to win a fifth time?
I think some people are lucky enough to find their true vocation. That one thing that they are just meant to do in life, and with the right supporting team around them, they can reach the absolute pinnacle of their sport.
Congratulations to Chrigel and to Roger. This summer, Switzerland rules on land and in the air.