In my personal life I like to keep things pretty simple and I think my blog is a reflection of this.
Really - I am a pretty simple, uncomplicated person and not to profound. I love my life, my husband, my friends, my family and my dog. I am a responsibility-a-phobic and that certainly keeps things simple and uncomplicate (thank-you Keith!). I like to run around in the woods and I like to spend as much time as possible outside. Sometimes by myself. Sometimes with friends. I am a bit of a loner and sometimes a social butterly. I also am a bit of a hedonist - I enjoy things that give me pleasure. To borrow a quote from Keiths' old kind and generous jewish uncle from New York:
"I like to do things that give me pleasure and surround myself by people who give me pleasure!"
I think this word has got a bad rep in recent years, as people now associate it with all things sexual and decadent. According to the dictionary hedonism is: "the doctrine that pleasure is the chief end of life" and "the willful pursuit of pleasure". While I realize that pleasure is certainly not the chief end of life....I certainly enjoy its willful pursuit!
Alllllllllright, you are thinking....where is this simple fun loving girl going with all of this? Where are her pretty photos and simple descriptions of fun in Banff? What does it have to do with risk? How much coffee has she had to drink?!?
As every person who has every trained for a marathon, an ultra-marathon, an adventure race or WHATEVER sport of choice it is that you do has noticed: generally, people have some pretty bizarre notions on what is risky, on what is safe, on what is addictive behaviour vs. passionate behaviour, and on what is pleasurable!
As I train for my first Ultra I have been fielding more and more bizarre questions from friends and family that question everything from my perception of risk to my sanity. I am continually amazed and bewildered by the questions and what people "perceive" as normal and what is safe, healthy and risky.
There was a great article I read about Aron Ralston a few years back that had a fantastic quote about risk. Aron is the the climber/outdoors enthusiast who had to cut of his own arm when it got pinned under a massive rock in the backcounty - and he seems to be a together, articulate, unassuming good guy. He has returned to climbing and in particular, solo winter climbing. He received a fair amount of attention when he returned to climbing because people were calling him an irresponsible risk taker who should have learned his lesson. Aron says:
"People chastised me that I obviously hadn't learned my lesson or that I was a bad role model. Now, I'm not going to suggest that everyone should take up solo winter mountaineering. But we all bring risk into our lives, through our choices about how we make a living, how we drive, how we party, and how we eat: it is far riskier to be a McFood-pounding smoker than to climb solo.
If it seems that I fill my days with moments that cause my heart to pound, my breath to rush, that's because those are the times I feel most alive!!"
So there it is. What gives me pleasure might not necessarily be what gives you pleasure.
What you perceive as risky, I perceive as something that gives me pleasure. Why would I deny myself that? Because those are the times I feel most alive!!
Thanks for listening!