Getting himself into difficult situations is a conscious choice, says ace adventure Bear Grylls, who believes that walking through the “middle” of his fears have helped him come out stronger.
Grylls shot to fame with his globally popular series “Man vs. Wild” in mid 2000s, which featured him navigating his way through some of the most inhospitable, dangerous places.
From climbing cliffs, wrestling alligators, eating snakes to running through forest fire, Grylls has done it all and the 47-year-old said his takeaway from his life has been to never hide from fear.
“It is ok to be scared by stuff, to feel that fear, it’s natural. You have to find a way over those scary things. I’ve learned that the best way to overcome our fears is always right through the middle.
“Most people spend their life running from the stuff that they’re scared of and the fear gets bigger. I’ve learned to always do the difficult stuff,” Grylls told PTI in an interview.
The British adventurer recalled how there have been several moments, both on and off the show, where he had had near-death experiences.
In 1996, Grylls was involved in a free fall parachuting accident in Kenya, which fractured his three vertebrae. But the adventurer said the incident has not let fear overpower him.
“I still find skydiving really hard. Ever since I broke my back in that accident, it has been super hard. But it (doing adventure) is a big part of my life, it’s something I do all the time and that’s a conscious choice, to embrace the difficult stuff and do the things that I find scary.”
During his career, the adventurer said there have been numerous occasions when he has felt he “won’t make it alive”.
“Certainly in the early days of ‘Man vs Wild’, I should have died 20 times. Whether it was pinned in rapids, caught in rock falls, avalanches, parachute failures or close encounters with sharks and crocodiles, or bitten by snakes. There have been many close calls,” he added.
Grylls is currently hosting Discovery’s survival show “Into The Wild With Bear Grylls”, which recently featured actor Ajay Devgn in an episode.
The adventurer has previously collaborated with several Indian personalities, from Prime Minister Narendra Modi — featuring on an episode of “Man vs Wild” — to superstars Akshay Kumar and Rajinikanth.
Grylls said his responsibility now is to use his experience in the wild and be a “shield” for the guests on the show while also ensuring that he amps up the thrill on the series.
“I do my bit to always keep adventure at the heart of it, keep pushing, go to amazing places and always keep risk and danger, a part of it, a part of my life and part of the adventure.” He, however, asserts that the real star of his show is the “wild”.
“The wild is always the best teacher, it’s the best guide, it’s the best mirror to character and window into our hearts.” “Into The Wild With Bear Grylls”, the adventurer said, uses the backdrop of the wild to show celebrity guests as regular people.
“Everyone is a regular guy, trying their best, hustling through life, trying to make a difference. Whether you are the prime minister of a country, the President of America, a massive movie or a sports star, we all have our fears and struggles, we have had many failures. The magic of ‘Into The Wild’ is that it is time to hear about those, to know the real people.”
Grylls said it has been a privilege for him to collaborate with India movie stars and introduce them to the wild.
“It’s one of the great privileges in my life, to be able to take such iconic Indian movie stars and introduce them to the wild and share an adventure with them and get to know their amazing stories. That is the beating heart of ‘Into The Wild’, as you get to know these superstars in a really honest, vulnerable way,” he added.
Into The Wild With Bear Grylls is streaming on discovery+.