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- Maha Upanishad


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News

Oct 10, 2018

A Note From the Editor on World Mental Health Day

Our Editor-in-Chief Apoorva Prasad explains the paradox that is his own life, and how important the outdoors is to his own mental health.

WRITTEN BY

Apoorva Prasad

Science tells us that screen time is bad for our health, both physical and mental. As a startup CEO, I literally have no time for anything. Multitasking in front of multiple screens is practically the very definition of the job (actually, it’s six or seven jobs at the same time).

Apoorva Prasad

There’s a massive paradox in running a startup that espouses being outdoors, and the reality of not being able to get out and do what I love. It’s why I started this in the first place. It demands a huge sacrifice. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t wake up on most days feeling ready to quit it all to just go climb, hike, ski or sail, to travel, to write and shoot, all the things I once did. Instead, I need to manage projects and people, look at charts, apps, spreadsheets and reply to hundreds of unread emails, some more pressing than others.

Sometimes I walk. A lot. In the evenings, as dusk turns to night, and I’ve left work, I just start walking. Sometimes I know which direction to take, sort of, and other times I just turn randomly, in an attempt to lose myself. As someone who has traveled the world and lived in many countries and cities, it is somehow incredibly difficult for me to genuinely get lost.

I need to climb to remain sane.

The times when I actually feel myself, feel normal, is when I manage to get out for a day of climbing or being outdoors in a focused way. It’s like mental therapy. The sound of the forest, and the trail underfoot. The light streaming through leaves. The texture and smell of rock. Focusing on little things, putting on a harness and tying on climbing shoes, and the immediate pain in your toes that focuses your attention on the single task at hand. The lack of screens and competing devices and incoming notifications and annoying pings. Leaving all that behind is one of the greatest joys I have when I’m in Berdorf, a climbing area not far from Luxembourg city. It’s magical, in the way that one of my first climbing crags was – Annapolis Rocks, on the Appalachian Trail, not far from Frederick, Maryland. Or the Gunks, in upstate New York, and Seneca Rocks, in West Virginia, where I learned how to trad climb. Back then, learning to climb was a way to prove something to myself, a single-minded passion and devotion linked deeply in my mind to escape and freedom.

A young fresh faced Editor-in-Chief, Apoorva Prasad, in Montserrat, Spain.

Now, I don’t need to prove anything to myself or anyone else. I don’t need to climb hard, I just need to climb to be outside, and get away from the clamor of this increasingly busy world. I need to climb to remain sane.

More than anything else, talk to someone about it

If any of you are struggling with stress and the everyday challenges of life, yet you still read our stories and dream of the outdoors. I encourage you to get out there, be a kid, grab your trainers, grab your chalk bag, or just book the holiday that you deserve, and of course, more than anything else, talk to someone about it. In a perfect world, drag your friend along too, they might just need the outdoors as much as you do.

The world is your playground.

More information about World Mental Health Day can be found here. Depending on where you live there are also a wealth of resources, our favourites include Movember who offer help around the world. In the UK, the NHS lists all the organisations that offer help. The National Institute of Mental Health also lists places where you can find help in the USA.

Cover photo: The last time AP went snowboarding for a day away from office… with steep-skier Sebastien de Sainte Marie

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Athletes & Explorers

Dec 05, 2018

Stephanie Gilmore’s 7th WSL World Title and a Wave of Attention that is Bigger than the Men’s

Three months after announcing equal pay for men and women, the World Surf League celebrates Stephanie Gilmore’s 7th World Title.

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WRITTEN BY

Brooke Hess

On September 5th, 2018, the World Surf League announced plans for equal pay in men and women’s surf competitions in the 2019 season. This announcement was a huge step forward, not only for women’s surfing, but for women’s sport in general. The WSL had set the standard for equal pay in athletics.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) the WINNER of the 2018 Corona Open J-Bay at Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. Gilmore now wears the Jeep Leader Jersey after beating Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Final and takes over the Yellow Jersey from Peterson (USA). Photo: World Surf League.

This past year, the WSL had received negative feedback after a photo went viral of the Billabong Ballito Pro Junior Series male champion being paid twice as much as the female champion. Most social media users were upset with the pay disparity at the event, commenting on the photo as “blatant inequality” and “archaic discrimination”. However, some social media users argued in favor of the unequal payout. They argued that men’s athletics are viewed in the media more than women’s athletics, therefore bringing in more revenue, and justifying the pay disparity. A social media user commented on the Billabong Junior Series surf photo saying, “Surfing, like most sports is a predominantly male sport. More people watch the men’s surfing, more men surf than women.”

THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?

Many people would ask, do more people watch men’s surfing because it is actually more interesting? Or, do more people watch men’s surfing because that is what the media has always streamed, and thus, audiences are more accustomed to watching the men’s style as opposed to the women’s? Valeria Perasso at BBC News puts it well, “audiences will not get excited about women’s sport as it gets minimal exposure in the media, and the media would justify the lack of coverage by saying that female athletics do not generate enough audience engagement.” The same is true with other sports as well. Managing Director of the Women on Boards advocacy group, Fiona Hathorn, says, “Had our culture been used to seeing women rather than men playing rugby or football for generations, we would find the idea of men playing sports rather novel.”

NO LONGER A RELEVANT QUESTION?

If you head over to Google, use their News Search and type in “WSL Surf World Championship”, “2018 Surfing World Championship”, “Surf World Title WSL”, or anything along those lines, an article on Stephanie Gilmore and her 7th world title will be the first article to pop up. Every time. This means, not only are women now starting to get the pay they rightly deserve, but they are starting to get the media attention that goes along with it.

It was just last week, that Stephanie Gilmore won her 7th world championship title, proving to the world that women’s surfing deserves just as much attention, respect, and prize money as men’s surfing. She is now tied with Layne Beachley for the women’s world record of most surfing world titles.

With all this being said about the inequality between women’s and men’s athletics, the second half of 2018 has been a major year for progression of equality in women’s surfing. Women are now getting paid the same as men, and with Gilmore’s 7th world title win, she is also getting the same media attention as the men.

Hats off to Sophie Goldschmidt, the World Surf League’s new (and first female) CEO for pushing for equality!

Cover Photo: World Surf League

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