Wednesday, December 12, 2012

measuring risk

I was over at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre last week for the Adventure Sports Conference, a terrific melting pot of ideas and experienced practitioners in the Adventure Sports industry, as well as characters who have helped shape what we strive to achieve in Adventure... 

What was exceptionally refreshing was the agreed philosophy of taking risks.... given that 'experiencing adventure' means just that. The education we deliver as Adventure Sports Coaches is developing the judgement and skill of healthy risk taking, measuring the benefits of an activity.
Discussion involved questioning what is acceptable risk? weighing up the fact that without risk there is no learning, and in fact no activity at all...

What are the risks involved with inactivity (removal of risk), both to our health and general well-being?!
Our focus should be on the benefits, and how to maximise these without unnecessary risk.

sunrise pics above taken by Kim Tastagh - risking more than a little chill to get them.
Our night paddle from Port Erin last night split into two groups, an intermediate training group and a beginners group. Both groups set out to challenge themselves, gain new experiences and above all have fun! 
They also took risks...

...that their individual 'arousal level' may go higher than anticipated, elements would likely be unfamiliar and unexpected, reducing our primary sense of sight sharpens other senses...  

But the real risk of harm was far outweighed by the benefits of a real adventure!!

Obviously everyone has their own perception of what real adventure is to them... A quote which came up last week that I can certainly relate to when i've pushed my own limits, (when not coaching students : ) and may often be the case when individuals embark on their own adventures;

real adventure is
"Extreme misery looked back upon with fondness"

Although not the norm, I can clearly reflect upon a few examples where this has been the case. 
More recently when winter climbing - standing in a mind-blowingly stunning landscape, (with a fair drop beneath you) belaying beneath a constant shower of spindrift and loose ice, hands numb, body not far behind, and then when its your turn to climb, the delightful 'hot aches' as the blood rushes back into the extremities...

Looking forward to next week with Keri & Steve in Chamonix!!

ps. I see that Sir Ranulph Fiennes is back over on the Isle of Man a year next June
Having missed his talk earlier this year, i'm keen to hear his next one : ) that will put 'hot aches' into perspective..

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