Stab Magazine | Mark Mathews And The Joy Of Fear, Featuring David Pocock

Mark Mathews And The Joy Of Fear, Featuring David Pocock

Friendly conversation about the spectre of terror, featuring two people who scare themselves professionally.

Words by stab

Is there joy in everyday fear? The type of fear that you bring upon yourself? Perhaps! If nothing else, it reminds us we’re here. And, like, without the dark there can be no light. Self-elected fear is a complex emotion; As a surfer, it’s likely you know what it is to paddle over a lump and see a feathering lip on the horizon, and feel that wonderful drop in your gut. But, what about those who take the bizarre activity of surfing to its wildest limits? How do they wrestle the high-voltage fear they regularly encounter? This greatly interests us.

We like Mark Mathews because he has a penchant for swinging on big, black walls of water and putting himself in situations that most of us can’t comprehend (see also: the belly of a bomb at WA’s The Right). Since Mark has such an intimate relationship with fear in his day to day, we asked him to host a series in which he opens the passenger door of his Land Rover to other professional athletes we like, to clock some clicks and discuss the mysterious phenomenon of fear, in its many strange forms.

Today marks a deviation from the pro surf dynamic of eps one to three. Rather than being exceptional at standing over a piece of foam, Mr David Pocock makes his living being incredibly proficient at the game of Rugby Union. Much the same as with high-performance and big wave surfing, one must be physically and mentally superior in order to earn and hold a position at the top of this sport. Instead of the thought of asphyxiation in the depths of the ocean, or being pole-driven into an unforgiving section of reef, David’s fears involve concussions, torn muscles and chronic injuries that can end not only a career, but a lifelong passion as well. Preparation is the key, and as David mentions to Mark, “worrying about the result isn’t going to help you.” Though they may come from separate worlds, listening to Mark and David discuss their views on overcoming the obstacles of the mind is enlightening, to say the least.

Oh, and if you haven’t already, then watch episodes one and two here, to learn about the gritty competitor hidden beneath Sal Fitzgibbons’ bright wrappings, or episode three here, to ride deep in a double-barrel shotgun at The Right with Taj Burrow!

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