GoPro Mountain Games 2024 Day 3: Navigating the Highs + Lows in the Mountains and in Life

If there is one thing I know about mountains, it is that these landscapes consistently have highs and lows. That is why for today’s Mountain Flow yoga class at GoPro Mountain Games, I encouraged practitioners to lean into the ups and downs they take on their mat. Such is the reality of life — there are going to be journeys that take you to places you don’t want to be but, inevitably, lead you to your destiny. Instead of judging the lows, thank them for paving the path to where you are craving to arrive.

The flow of a mountain is everywhere. From a surface level point of view, artists and athletes may seem drastically different. But in reality, everyone is climbing and cascading through their reality.

GoPro Mountain Games Yoga Class

The author teaching the Mountain Flow yoga class at GoPro Mountain Games.

I had the absolute privilege to teach this Mountain Flow class alongside musician Megan Letts. The talented artist said being a musician is “the most tumultuous job in the world.” She added that this profession is anything but consistent. Letts passionately explained how the ups and downs of life impact her way as a musician.

“On a more granular level, when I am writing a setlist for a band set, we’re always thinking about the shape of our musical set,” Letts explained. “So, we will think about where we want to start with the audience and where we want to end up. It is never just point A to point B, [the music is] moving up and down. And our energy reacts to the people that we are playing for and the people we are playing with.”

A mountain range does not seamlessly and perfectly ascend and decline. There are countless inconsistencies, uneven ground, that take you on mini sub quests along the way. Letts’ music embodied this in our yoga class. Her music drove the energy that guided us from shape to shape and took us to where we were destined to be.

Professional sit skier and author Trevor Kennison can attest to this to this model. The athlete became paralyzed from the waist down in a snowboarding accident on Vail Pass in 2014. He then adapted to living life via a wheelchair and transitioned his snowsports career to being a sit skier.

“There are ups and downs everywhere you are, especially having a traumatic injury like I had, but you know, I think this is super important [to address] especially being in a mountain town with [abundant] mental health [needs],” Kennison candidly shared. “You know you cannot always see it, and there are a lot of ups and downs. I think it is important that we be more open to talking about [mental health].”

Kennison reminds us that not everyone’s personal mountain is always physical. It is often an internal voyage where the adventurer must challenge their limitations, leading them to their greatest self-discovery.

I am going to look at my time today leading Mountain Flow as a Petri dish for the journeys taken in life. There will be high highs and low lows, and you would never know how one feels without the other. A mountain’s rise and fall is beautiful, and so is life.