Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dangerous Activities

Do you do anything dangerous?

I'm a mature, sensible adult who was raised to be prudent. Most of my days are spent sitting at a desk, working as a lawyer. And yet...

I engage in two dangerous activities. Both have risks but those risks can be managed safely. When you pay attention to what you're doing, you minimize the risks of danger. In fact, one of the central appeals of these activities to me is how they force me to be present, compel me to pay attention, make me realize I'm alive. Too often we sleepwalk through life. Danger wakes us up.

My two activities are riding a fast motorcycle and wielding a sharp knife in the kitchen. Both are similar -- they can be safely handled with due care, but they can also kill you in an instant if you're not paying attention. I've learned this lesson. Last year, I had a minor accident on the bike when, during a routine emergency-braking situation, I failed to account for poor road condition. (It was February and the road was covered with slippery sand.) Last week, I learned the same lesson in the kitchen. While cooking, my attention lapsed and before I knew it, my $250 Japanese chef's knife had slipped into my finger, cutting deeper than you ever want to go. Oops...

Despite these bad experiences, I still engage in these activities. Danger is a wake-up call to pay attention. We need that in all of our activities.

Do you do anything dangerous?


  1. You and your bike look like good companion! I know about adrenaline , maybe the fish is good for a person! I spend most of my life avoiding risk,
    but ai am immune suppressed ( meds for autoimmune disease ) and I do enjoy city life, and that can be dangerous. when starting on my meds, i asked my doc how to prevent infection. Her answer: avoid people. I don't do that, so I guess that is my risk taking?
    Happy weekend and fourth!
    xx, Elle
    be careful of those knives, and do not use Cutco!

  2. I miss the adrenaline and the rush of going fast. you can't do it here anymore. That is all the police focus on., Less than 13 kilometres per hour (km/h) over the speed limit (usually about 4km over)
    $157 + 1 demerit point. Its not about safety but revenue. Our government makes about 3 Million dollars a day from fines. If we want to speed you need to drive about 2/3 hours away to specific drag strips which people aren't willing to do here. I need to find a hobby that can get my heart racing... You should post some food pics so we can appreciate your talents. :)

  3. My dad LOVE his motorcycle! No matter how many times he has crashed/gotten hurt on it, he doesn't stop haha.

    1. And neither will I! Thanks for contributing, Hayley.

  4. Oh my gosh, I hope your finger is okay! I don't indulge in much derring-do - I don't even have a driver's licence!

  5. Oh dear, Ally, that sounds just awful. I hope that there's no long term damage from this injury and that you'll soon be on the path to recovery - for what it's worth, I think just about every good home cook or chef has done that a time or two, it just comes with the territory of knife yielding.

    ♥ Jessica

  6. Oh no, Ally, hope your finger gets better soon. I'm not really one for danger. I find road cycling scary and dangerous enough and when I did absailing, that felt far too dangerous!x

  7. Yikes, I hope your finger is okay! I've definitely been there--the knife set we got last Christmas was way nicer (aka sharper) than anything I was used to, and I cut myself a few times before getting used to it. Rock climbing/bouldering can definitely be dangerous, but I like it for the same reason you like roaring around on your bike--it forces me to be present and focused. It's almost like a sort of meditation...with a million times more adrenaline coursing through my veins, haha!

  8. Better pay attention, ma'am! No fingers in the soup. :)- I don't really do anything dangerous though I like dangerous things. I would love to bungee jump or sky dive, but my mr. isn't having it. He wasn't keen on the one time we rented mopeds because he was certain I'd kill myself. I'm not THAT clumsy.

  9. I am glad to hear that you are okay! :( I think the most dangerous thing that i do is climb on things. I have always climbed trees, monkey bars, the top of the school roof, on top of things in the kitchen, etc. I still do it.

    One of my friends is in a renfest performance group. They call themselves The Idiots, but I can't remember the name of the actual group. Anywho, the act, they juggle, they juggle with fire, they throw benches at each other, they fire dance, and they fire breathe. It is kind of amazing to watch them practice.

  10. I found your blog post very interesting !, yes sharp knives and me do not mix (lol ) , I hope you are ok after you cut yourself , best wishes to you.

  11. Did you have to get stitches?

    I've gone to chef's school and not paying attention can get you seriously burned, (literally and figuratively).

    I have ridden motocross in the past, but not for years now. I've jumped off of ropes into bottomless pools in Mexico, gone spelunking in Australia, and jumped out of a boat in the middle of the ocean to snorkel. None of those might seem too dangerous to other people, but they pushed me past my fears and were very exciting to me.


  12. Whoa!! Hope you didnt need stitches!! I've done that due to talking on the phone while cutting veggies for dinner :( Sometimes multi-tasking is dangerous!!
    I ride my road bike (triathlon bike) really fast and love going fast downhills. I make up alot of time passing people going down. That said, I know alot of athletes who have had accidents and as a result actually now suffer with head injuries (NOT GOOD) so while I know to slow down I still dont... I also trail run on really steep narrow trails. Ah, can't be too careful in life right??

  13. Oh dear ouch to the knife incident! I agree; danger wakes us up, but we cannot afford to stop watching what we are doing, as it's so easy for things to go wrong. I love motorcycling but I suspect I don't ride as fast around the corners as you do :) I also like trying out other 'dangerous' activities, even if only once. It's fun. It feels good.