Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Question of Risk

Got up VERY early this morning (around oh-dark-thirty as my friend Wanda would say)and got busy cleaning my desk. I've had a pile of papers accumulating there for far to long. Since I couldn't sleep anyway, I decided to begin making order out of the chaos.

One of the papers I came across was the release form I signed when I went white water rafting this summer.

Among other things it says:

"The risk of injury from activities involved in this program is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death, and while particular skills, equipment and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist; and, I knowingly and freely assume all such risks, both known and unknown, even if arising from the negligence of the releasees or others, and assume full responsibility for my participation..."

Fortunately for us, my beloved and I had a fantastic time on the Deschutes River and nothing ugly happened. But it could have.

I'm a firm believer in deliberately seeking adventure. That's why I like international travel, exploring wilderness, and doing things in my life that are sometimes unconventional. However, when it comes to my personal safety, I can at times be a big weenie. I tried scuba lessons twice. I panicked both times. I just cannot handle the claustrophobic out of control feeling I have under water with all that equipment determining if I live or die. I've passed up opportunities to sky dive. Why would I choose to jump out of a perfectly good plane?

I'm just wondering a bit about what makes some things seem adventurous and fun and other things seem too dangerous? Also, the statistician in me is curious whether there is any correlation between those who seek out adrenaline junkie rush activities and how much risk they are or are not willing to take with intimacy and interpersonal vulnerability? HMMM. Just wondering.

1 comment:

Ruth D~ said...

Sometimes I think the risk isn't really all that bad, statistically, but in such a litigious society any risk is a potential suit. And when you read the fine print . . . the risks laid out in ink . . . yikes! I skied down a double black diamond slope once after sliding past the sign that said, "WARNING: DEATH ZONE" Seriously.

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