I was saddened to learn yesterday that the Discovery Channel has ceased production on "Man Vs. Wild" with host Bear Grylls due to contract negotiations. As an avid fan of the show, I've watched Bear's adventures all over the world and started to see the bigger picture of Bear Grylls: it never really was "Man VS. Wild," but rather "Man VS. Himself." Here's what I took away from the show.
Overcome Your Fear
I've seen Bear Grylls do some incredible things to get out of what would be a dire situation for you or I. I don't even like to get wet and Bear has scaled waterfalls, fled from sharks, jumped out of planes, and climbed out of caves. When it comes to these insane situations, Grylls says you have to push your fear back and overcome it. Good words for even every day situations.
In 1996 Bear broke his back in a severe parachute accident and it took a year to learn to walk again. Then at the age of 23, after learning to walk again, Bear became the youngest Briton to ever climb Mount Everest. At 35 he was appointed the youngest Chief Scout ever. He's been all over the world including Antarctica, studies yoga and ninjitsu, hold a black-belt in karate, speaks English, Spanish, and French. What did you do today?
Bear Beat The Snake River
In 2009 Bear Grylls dropped out of a helicopter into Hell's Canyon in Western Idaho. Traversing down the canyon, Grylls faced some of the worst rapids he had ever seen in the Snake River, but managed to make it out on the Oregon side of the canyon and survive. He called the experience once of his "toughest ever." If Bear Grylls can survive Idaho, I can too.
I was reminded of this saying while watching the video for the Hell's Canyon video, but Bear always talks about breaking his adventures down into bite-size chunks to make them much more manageable. Don't set your goal for the whole canyon, but rather the next rock, or ridge, or tree. This is something we can all use in our every day life. It's always easier to make little, bite-sized goals that help us work toward our bigger goals. Remember: everything is better, including life, in bite-sized chunks.
Family Will Get You Through
I don't think Bear has mentioned this in every episode, but the few he did stick in my mind. Bear is a professional adventurer and survival expert. The point of the show is that he usually has what he needs with him to meet obstacles head on. That includes his knife, his backpack, his knowledge, and a laminated picture of his family that he keeps in his shoe. I find that amazing and brilliant. On the two instances I can recall, he takes the photo out in front of the campfire and talks about how the thought of his family keep him fighting. Good words. Always think of your family and keep fighting.
Sure he eats bugs and snakes, and on one occasion Bear Grylls drank his own urine--That's gross--But beyond all of that he is a very inspirational individual who has climbed the highest mountains in the world, survived the deepest canyons, even had to learn to walk again because of the accident, and still went home and kissed his wife and hugged his kids. So even if 'Man Vs. Wild' doesn't survive, the deeper teachings of Bear Grylls will. I know I've enjoyed the ride and I feel better for it. Thanks Bear.