I have always been the adventurous sort looking to travel and to try out new activities. Whenever I see something exciting I feel an overwhelming desire to have a go which you would think might have brought trouble knocking on my door at some point but it never has. Despite a complete lack of experience or skill in any particular outdoor pursuit I have survived white water rafting, hydrospeed, zip lining, horse riding, quad biking and paragliding on several occasions. I have always emerged with little more than the odd bruise so when my friends describe me as a daredevil I feel like a fraud. I am actually a bit of a wimp as my recent attempts at learning to ski have proved.
Mastering the Slopes
I have never quite understood why I am happy to jump off a mountain hooked to a parachute but find sliding down one on skis quite terrifying! Copious amounts of practice have improved the situation but I am certainly no daredevil who laughs at serious injury in the face. Indeed despite my active life the only time I have ever broken a bone was in my own home.
I tripped on my way out of the door and broke my finger when the front door slammed shut on it. This was all the more embarrassing as my cats regularly used my third floor sash window as a cat flap and survived several jumps from high altitude without injury when I couldn’t manage a walk down three steps!
In my experience if you are going to meet with disaster it probably isn’t going to be whilst engaging in adventure sports. There are risks, of course, but then as my domestic accident showed only too well, there are risks everywhere. I have always felt that if I am unlucky enough to suffer a premature death it will probably be whilst trying to negotiate the M25 not when attempting to raft the Zambezi. I would guess that any statistics which are available on the two activities would support my beliefs.
Guides and Instructors
Perhaps adventure sports are generally conducted in a state of heightened awareness as the dangers are obvious and so lapses of concentration are rare leading to less accidents. The presence of the guides and instructors also helps. Of course you can never really have total control over a situation when nature is involved and there have been some very high profile accidents. Generally, however, adventure sports are a reasonably safe way to spend your day as long as you listen to the guides and follow their advice.
I am now considering what to try next! I have yet to experience kayaking, rock climbing or potholing so there are few activities to investigate but I think that I will leave snowboarding alone at least until I have mastered life on skis. There is always something new and exciting to master and a great adventure around every corner.
Article by Sally Stacey