IMG_1844After hearing about the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica ( http://www.newser.com/article/d9semar00/brit-skier-felicity-aston-sets-antarctic-record-becoming-1st-woman-to-cross-continent-alone.html )and reading a great fiction novel portraying amazing women adventurers ( http://www.amazon.com/Ringclimber-Mark-Cashman/dp/0979571510/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329360783&sr=8-1 ) I began to seriously think about the idea of risk. What it means to me, as a mom, daughter, wife and woman. Where to draw the line? What makes it worth taking your survival in your own hands or, in the case of a backpacker, your own two legs?

Choosing to face risk is a hard decision. When you’re standing on a mountain and a sinister cloud is coming your way, you have no choice but to make the best decision you can to save your life. What about the less obvious situations, like whether to climb that mountain in the first place, or how to face an uncertain future for your child. What is worth risking in order to live your life to the fullest?

As a mom, I struggle every day with simple worries for my child. I am not the best at risk taking but I want to be. What do I do someday if my son wants to go ice climbing or be a police officer? I hope I will support him. How do you overcome my fears though and not live every day in terror of what the next moment holds? I have a lot of questions and not so many answers.

SleepingGiant106On the trail, it’s exhilarating and simplifying to only worry about the basics: where the water I need will come from and where I’ll shelter for the night. The desire to reach the top of that mountain no matter what fears I have to overcome or how hard it is to get there keeps driving me. I’m speaking slightly metaphorically, though. I don’t want to climb Mt. Everest because I definitely don’t want to die on the side of a snowy cliff alone and scared. I want adventure that makes me sleep the soft, deep happiness that comes from success. I have to push my boundaries past what I have done before, but I don’t think risk has to put your life in senseless danger.

Risk has to be a measured and calculated belief that you can overcome the odds or take whatever life throws at you because you have the knowledge to do it and are brave enough to face it. I love that there are people out there who do that every day like firefighters and moms (I know I’m a little biased) and those who go big occasionally like the racers in the Iditarod and some of my very closest hiker friends. They all inspire me to explore, fight and risk until I’ve enjoyed everything this lovely earth has to offer.

3 thoughts on “Risk

  1. Dan Kardas

    It was hard to watch my mom die. When I went to the hospital late last Friday nite I knew my Mom was close to death and that scared me. It scared me that she might die right in front of me. But, I owed it to my Mom to make sure that someone from her family would be there when she left. Fate chose me to be the one to be there. I am glad that I took the risk because I was able to be there for her and to make her passing to whatever lies beyond more comfortable and more peaceful than it might have been. That was worth the risk. I advise everyone to take risks in this life, because without them, we will not grow. As Duke Leto said, “The sleeper must awaken.”. Only then is there growth.

    Thank you Ara, for this opportunity to expound on the positive value of risk.

    1. znara

      You are so right! I have found that the only times I regret something in my life have been from inaction, from missing an opportunity, not from facing my fears and experiencing something I was scared to face. It’s also something I think everyone struggles with and I needed to voice my thoughts so I and others wouldn’t forget. I think it was an extremely brave thing you did for your mom and I have great respect for your decision. I’m really glad we’ve gotten back in touch.

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