I’ve been watching American Ninja Warrior. If you haven’t been watching it, you should give it a try. It’s an interesting little show. Extreme obstacle courses. It’s utterly insane what some of these obstacles are, and yet, a bunch of people always manage to get past them and hit the little buzzer signifying victory.
It’s a “clean” show as reality T.V./game show/competition type of shows go. No mudslinging, no name calling, no back stabbing, no behind the scenes plotting. All the stuff reality T.V. isn’t these days. It’s about a bunch of people who share a common interest, extreme obstacle course racing, and how they work together and support one another to achieve the goal: winning. There’s a huge sense of camaraderie. No one hopes the other competitors fall. No one tries to psych anyone else out. Sure, competitors that get knocked out due to someone else completing the course faster are disappointed, but they get over it quick and celebrate the person who won. Because they all support and believe in each other. In short, it is a community.
Which brings me back to the Renaissance Faire. It’s an entirely different thing (except for maybe the jousting) yet it’s exactly the same. It’s people dressing up pretending they lived hundreds of years ago and being in a place that supports that choice without judgement. They are just as committed as the American Ninja Warrior competitors. Instead of training hard to climb up a fourteen foot wall, they wear full length velvet dresses with sixteen layers of crinoline in sweltering heat. Commitment.
I find these two disparate things so similar. They are both community (support without judgement. Given fully and without the expectation of anything but return support without judgement) and commitment. Truly believing they are a knight and living the life in that moment or truly believing they can complete a 25 foot vertical climb using only their hands and feet. And doing so without fear because there are others surrounding them who believe the same thing.
And I am inspired by these things. These are people who found something, however outlandish we might judge them to be, and committed fully to them. Doing whatever they need to do to support that choice. If that doesn’t inspire me to get cracking on this WIP, nothing will.