We were at an event last season when someone we know was talking about his injuries that altered how he does things but aren't (really) life altering. He said he won't go sky diving again because of how much of an impact this injury had on his family and the harsh reality of how much worse it could have been. In his words, "I won't do that to my family"
Then again, Sherry McConkey talked about how much pain she and their daughter have been through at Shane's passing in relation to the pain of living with Shane if he weren't doing what he loved. Is there a balance that can be found?
With Sherry's description of emotional pain, in the first case she no longer has her husband, friend, confident, and life partner. That is a very hard journey and I have nothing but empathy for her. In the second case, she would still have him, and he might have rediscovered other aspects of his life and find other pursuits that may have been fulfilling to him. Maybe he would have been happy and not impossible to live with, as Sherry seems to imply might happen if he were to have give up or minimized the thrill-seeking and mope around unhappily.
Speaking as a therapist, and as an individual who was at one time in life absolutely crushed by my failure to live what I was convinced was my most cherished aspirations: somehow I survived, grew, evolved in my thinking and emotion life, gained other perspectives. I believe this is always possible.
Shane, and many other amazing athletes who are active in extreme sports and stunts, all have (or had) the capacity to find additional things they love or gave them great meaning and satisfaction.