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Dealing With Risk

Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:27 pm
by Adrians
An article from the Peak UK USA team blog
Peak UK Blog wrote:

Dealing with Risk
We all deal with risk in kayaking differently- sometimes we portage, sometimes we run it, and soemtimes we make the wrong decision....Either way, the internal battle between running and not running something can be difficult. How do we make our decisions? Why the heck do we do this thing called kayaking?!

Here are a few of my thoughts on this everpresent issue:

Well, #1 we are in this sport because it's friggin FUN! We do this because of the rush we get from cleaning a line, or the confidence we get from running some scary a$% drop. We do this because of the people we meet along the way, the places we see, and the people we turn in to- adventureres. This past year, someone very close to me had a near-death experience and was at the very last second, saved. His view is a more humble one but he has not lost his passion for the sport. His way of handling the situation involved writing about the experience and discussing what could have been done differently in retrospect (although doing this sometimes leads us to the conclusion that in the moment of chaos, everything is done that should be critique after the fact often leads no where)

However, not all of us can recover from an experience when the sh*& hits the fan as they say- if we survive at all. Sometimes, we realize something about ourselves deep down inside that we never knew. We may choose to leave the sport in pursuit of the dream not yet achieved. Or we may choose to ease up and paddle less and less. Whatever the decision, it is never an easy one.

After having a few near death experiences myself, I have a few thoughts on ways to get back on the water and be comfortable:

1. get back on the water the next day if possible- the more time that goes by, the more uncomfortable you will be when you finally return to the river
2. Discuss the incident with your paddling buddies from that day and family. Evaluate what was done and how the group felt afterwards (maybe you need a new paddling group?)
3. Give yourself a pat on the back for even getting to step 3!
4. Looks at your paddling gear and see if you are missing something very kin? throwbag?
5. Finally, if you continue to paddle, set goals for yourself to help you get more comfortable with uncomfortable situations

I just was thinking about this the other day and wanted to write a bit on it. What are your thoughts? Your experiences? Let us know!

Oh and Merry Christmas from all of us at Peak UK!!!! Stay warm and toasty!!!

-Christina Russell