The need to accept risk as a part of everyday life

Dear Guaranty Team:

As you may know, one of my favorite activities is road cycling. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be riding outside on a good day over a good road with good friends. A few weeks ago, one of my friends and cycling companions was involved in a terrible cycle accident, where he broke a bone in his neck, 4 ribs, his collarbone, collapsed a lung and suffered a concussion. He is lucky to be alive.

It really made me think about my commitment to cycling especially since just before that, two cyclists in this area were struck by vehicles, one killed, and one seriously injured. In my cycling career, I am  fortunate that I have not been involved in any accidents, but I have been accosted by drivers, and buzzed intentionally by drivers who seem to resent my presence on the road. I see all that and experience all that, and I wonder if maybe I should give it up and just do something safer.

This brings me back to my cycling friend who had the wreck. I ran into him the other day, and surprisingly, he was walking around, albeit with a neck brace on, and getting ready to do an indoor cycling class. We were chatting for a few minutes before he went downstairs and he talked about getting on his bike again, which surprised me, as I would have thought he of all people would not want to get back out there again. It is a good example for us all about how we deal with fear and how we approach the risks in everyday life. I would not call myself a daredevil, but in my life, I have been a logger, I have been up in a hot air balloon, I have been bungee jumping, I used to whitewater kayak and of course I ride my bike on the road; all activities that can be dangerous, even lethal.

Sometimes I think about those things, think about my friend’s accident, and say, wow, just too many ways to get hurt or killed here, I am going to just stay in my house and never come out and never do anything remotely dangerous again. When I start to think that way, I quickly realize that is not living, and what is the point of that. I also realize that no matter what, you can’t eliminate the risks in life. Sure I could stay home, but I could still get hurt in an earthquake, a fire, or a meteor could come down from the heavens and strike me dead. We need to accept risk as a part of everyday life, it is part of the act of doing and living, no matter in your personal life, your relationships, or here at work. So be careful, don’t be reckless, but live and don’t be afraid to take a chance.

Have a great week everybody.


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