Day 12 — Mentorship

Charles MerrittDec 24 · 3 min read

During the month of December, Buddy will highlight, the Twelve Days of Fearlessness. Whether it is getting up the nerve to lace up your old ice skates with your five-year-old or conquering a halfpipe like your teenage days, fearlessness is not just situational for all- for some, it is a way of life.

"Nick Green learning how to lead climb outdoors from Jay Paul."
Nick Green learning how to lead climb outdoors from Jay Paul.

Season's greetings!

Do you ever hear, "I can't believe you did that," or, "Holy crap, that's amazing." You might have some fearlessness within you. With experience and practice, you improve, you try new things, and you chase bigger feats. What we all may forget when chasing our next epic pursuit is that there are people who can benefit from what we've learned, people we've met, and our energy. Here are a few simple ways that you can share your fearlessness with others.

Mentorship and Coaching

Certain activities have mentorship built in, and it's a fantastic way to pass along what you know. Almost every athlete or adventurer has stories about someone who showed them the ropes or equipped them with the mental tools to get through the ups and downs. These relationships might be structured, or they might form organically, but the common thread is that knowledge is passed along, accelerating learning. The not-so-secret secret of coaching and mentoring is that you will get as much out of it as a coach or mentor as anyone. Shh...don't tell!

Community Building and Support

"Advocating for more bike lanes at city hall."
Yours truly (and friends) advocating for more bike lanes at city hall.

Sometimes fearlessness isn't in the form of a white-knuckled feat at high speeds. Sometimes, it's the willingness to stand up for something you believe in. Across the US and around the world, community organizations keep trails in good shape, pick up trash, and advocate for community resources like bike lanes and athletic fields. You may not be racking up KOMs on Strava or hoisting hardware at the end of a competition, but the gratification of seeing something built for your community that you had a voice in supporting is every bit as sweet.

Take Someone on an Adventure

"Office MTB Day"
Office MTB Day

Sharing your fearlessness is as simple as a walk in the park, a day hike, or a leisurely paddle with someone who wouldn't otherwise go. So often the barriers to taking up a new activity are about knowledge and perception—not ability. Your experience and confidence can create space that someone might need to take that next step on their journey to fearlessness. Ask your partner or a couple co-workers to join you for something they might not otherwise do. When you reach the summit, close the loop, or cross the finish line, you'll see their faces light up with a sense of accomplishment, and maybe you'll spark a new passion in them.\

Renew the Source

Trash piles after a short trail cleanup.
Trash piles after a short trail cleanup.

You are not endlessly in motion. At some point, even the most motivated of us have to recharge our batteries. We all do this differently, and you need to find the methods that work best for you. One fantastic way to invigorate your energies is to note and revisit moments of accomplishment in our lives. Did you keep a trail journal on a long backpacking trip? Do you have some great photos of your group ride way back up in your Instagram feed? Fix a cup of coffee, throw on your coziest sweats, and remember how those moments felt. What we give to others in our own fearlessness, we can also give to ourselves.

None of us come into the world knowing much of anything, and we all develop our own paths in life. As we accrue bumps, bruises, and miles, our strength quietly and steadily improves. We fly past what were previously barriers, and to the onlooker, you're pretty damn fearless. We're fortunate when our paths cross and entangle with one another in unexpected ways, and we can be heartbroken when they must diverge. This holiday season, I encourage you to take a moment to share a little fearlessness with those around your table, in your community, or along whatever path you're traveling.

After all, it's better to give than receive.

Happy Holidays,

Charles Merritt

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