Fall & Rain - Hancock, NY
Just last weekend I visited a remote part of the Catskills on the border between New York and Pennsylvania. I'd never been past there and was surprised by the sign saying "Tune into 1610" for national park information. Seems that area is a National Senic River and it shows. It's quite scenic which you'd think I have lots of pictures from there. Nope, not a single scenic image was shot there. I have a couple good reasons why I didn't shoot much except what you see up here. One of them is not the rain. There was lots and lots of rain there and really, for most people so much rain is a good enough reason to not get out the camera and take epic scenic images. Nope, rain is not an excuse for me, ever.
Rain has never really been an excuse for me to not shoot. That's not saying I always go out in the rain. It's just saying I'm comfortable enough with rain, even with camera gear, to get out there and shoot if I need. Some people might even say I love rain. I love being in it. I love the wetness. I love just about everything about rain.
You see, I wasn't always like that. I had my period of time when I hated rain. Hate is kind of a strong word, in this case, it's totally true. I hated the whole idea of being out in the rain for all the obvious and standard reasons--cold, wet... Cold. Did I mention cold?
That all changed on one very epic rainy day. That day I worked at a leadership course where the participants had an opportunity to do a Ropes Course, one of those courses where the participants get to overcome their fears by being exposed to lofty heights and swaying trees with only a few ropes and knots holding them together. It's great stuff. I know, I've done those types of things a few times. This time, I was helping out on the course at the bottom of the rapel.
You see, the rapel is a rope thrown over a clif and the participants get to descend down the rope with seemingly nothing except their own grip keeping them from seeing destiny. When it's a 150 ft rapel it feels kind of epic hanging over the ledge with your rope and your grip. The safety features totally escape you when you up there like that.
It's quite safe after all. There's a guy at the bottom of the rapel that's monitoring the participant as they descend. Because of the unique configuration of the rope setup, that guy on the bottom can use another rope and arrest the participant like "right now" with a simple pull. It's easy. You stand at the bottom staring up at the descending participant and encourage them on all the while holding onto the safety rope ready to pull at a moments notice.
That guy is called the belay and I was that guy on an epic rainy day. Not just any old misty day with rain spitting on you. Oh, no. It was a gigantic rainy day with buckets of water falling on you... All day long.
So imagine being that guy and having a negative thing about rain. That was my situation. Also, it wasn't one of those "if I just tough it out it'll be fine". That thought works great if you're only out there for a little while. For eight or ten hours? Not a chance. Something else has to happen.
Now comes the power of the mind. Instead of hating and hating being out there in the rain doing my job, I had the opportunity to transform that experience into something positive. The thing for me was simply getting past the "hate" part and only concentrating on what I had to do which was plenty of distracting enough. As the day wore on, the coldness, pain of being out there, the negative aspects of the rain washed away--pun intended. I began to appreciate the clouds were making it comfortable instead of an epic sunny day heating everything up. The day passed uneventfully. I might even say successfully with all participants having an epic rainy day on the ropes. I certainly did.
After being out there so long and being soaked to the bone through and through and realizing I didn't melt away in all that water, I re-evaluated my experience of rain. I decided I could actually appreciate the rain instead of dreading it. The opportunity was to transform something from negativity to positive. How cool is that.
That's the opportunity, to transform something that takes your energy away to at least to something neutral so it doesn't detract you from whatever you're trying to accomplish. I my case, it was all about rain. What can it be for you?
On this day, the day this blog's image was shot, I went running. The running thing is a totally different story. On this day, it was raining and raining as in cats and dogs raining. Any problems for me? Not a one. Just a normal run with an opportunity to experience it completely soaked. Epic is the only way to describe it. I wish I had an image to show that experience just as I felt it.