It seemingly makes little sense that for many extreme athletes the most memorable and important experiences they have usually involve an incredible challenge. In a TED Talks episode featuring surf photographer, Chris Burkard, he describes a little bit about why pushing against your comfort level to the max delivers the most unforgettable life experiences.
In the video, he recounts his career path, his love for adventure, and the near incurable wanderlust that he felt a need to satiate. The answer was simple, to become a traveling surf photographer. However, he found that the dull monotony of routine can afflict even the most exciting of jobs, and was quickly becoming disillusioned to the tourist traps and glamour that began to surround his work.
Desperate to find a way out before he was completely jaded, he decided to take a chance and be one of the first to photograph and surf the more extreme environments of the world that were off the beaten path, and more importantly, sporting some of the best and most extreme waves and temperatures in the world.
From Mexico to Norway, the sandy beaches of Cancun were replaced with frigid tundras and washed up icebergs. The temperatures routinely fell into the negatives, and the conditions were more brutal than ever. The only reason the ocean was not frozen was due to the violent storms that kept the water moving.
Yet, Chris found solace and serenity there. He discovered a joy in the simplicity of his new environment, the basic goals to not freeze to death, and to experience some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
Learn more about Chris Burkard and his photography career in this exclusive interview: