Friday, May 28, 2010

Melt in Your Mouth

The winner of the “Choose You'” giveaway is Carly from Tri-ing My Hardest. She was 85/262 picked at Random.org. Email me!

I had a great revelation yesterday. Sometimes it’s the little breakthroughs that keep us going, right?

I love Clif Bars. I find those hefty turd-like nuggets to be ultimately satisfying. My favorite flavor? White chocolate macadamia nut. Yesterday I left my turd-nugget in the car while at work for a few hours. It was the first 90 something degree day  in a long time. The heat and sun warmed and softened the nugget such that when I got back in the car it was like a just out of the oven cookie and melted in my mouth. Seriously, if you haven’t warmed your Clif Bar lately (that’s not a euphemism, but it would be a great one), you need to get on it. Don’t worry about leaving it in a hot car – that’s what the microwave is for, right?

What I wouldn't recommend? Leaving a small pet or child in a hot car for a few hours while you’re at work. I don’t think it would have the same positive effect.

Here is something that’s been on my mind lately. I’ve always been a risk taker. I jumped off 50’ cliffs into the Aegean while living in Greece, rappelled down a ten story building in college, traipsed through underground caves, did body shots on a fireplace mantel at Kappa Sig. After having kids, this risk-taking took a back seat. After all, I am a mother and can’t be putting myself in precarious situations, right? As of late, that risky nature has returned and I find myself wanting to skydive and do various other things that are inherently more risky than say, fast walking with other moms around the lake.

Here’s the thing. We all know that living is risky. You might die when you drive your car today. You might be running on the beach and get hit by an airplane. The porta potty you are crapping in might get pushed down a hill by some hoodlums. We can’t deny, however, that some behaviors carry a higher risk level than others. These would include, but not be limited to:

  • BASE jumping
  • Bull riding
  • Scuba diving (especially in caves)
  • Mountain climbing
  • Heli skiing

What’s interesting is when you look at the stats related to something like skydiving - your chances of dying in this activity are 1 in 100,000 if you jump once per year. Your chances of dying in a car accident are 1 in 6,000. So, although skydiving appears to be the riskier behavior, because we drive so much and have a comfort level with it that makes it seem safe, it’s actually more hazardous. Just sayin’.

But all that aside, here’s the question. As a parent who is responsible for his/her children and wants to be around to watch them grow into adults, do we have a responsibility to shy away from behaviors labeled “risky”? Would be be a bad parent if we engaged in dicey stuff, or do we keep living fully and in the moment regardless? 

What’s the riskiest thing you’ve ever done?

PS: Misszippy is having a great Somnio jacket giveaway. Check it out HERE.

38 comments:

  1. I don't have children, so I won't answer this one.

    However, did you see the photos of the matador that got gored through the throat the other day? It was horrendous! But I couldn't stop looking at it.

    Here's the link, but DO NOT CLICK ON IT if you are squeamish. You've been warned.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/7760530/Matador-pierced-in-throat-and-tongue-by-bull-recovering-well.html

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  2. bahaha that's EXACTLY how i would describe how a clif bar looks. i just never wanted to say it aloud. thanks for doing it for me :)

    because i'm not a parent i don't really feel qualified to answer your question. but i say, no you don't have to shy away from all risky things. drug use? yes but mountain climbing? no. i think it depends on what the goal is of the activity as well. stuff that challenges a person is good for a kid to see as a role model

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  3. i think risky behaviors are fun. however, no need to be stupid. for example - don't experiment with meth. however, base jump! wth?? it's adrenaline baby!
    i have two kids and they watch me take risk daily by going into homes that may not be safe, however know & understand the purpose.
    life is dicey.

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  4. Yep, I'm a parent of three small kids. I would like to take more "crazy" risks...I just don't have the time or money now :) But as a responsible parent I see nothing wrong with participating in these kinds of activities. It's important for your children to see their parents looking forward to a goal and preparing for the activity correctly. I mean, I would never jump off a cliff without some sort of training or guidance first. I want my children to take risks and chase their dreams and enjoy life! Shouldn't I show them how?

    I think it's more irresponsible the way some parents behave on a daily basis in front of their children; eating lousy, gossiping, lying, etc.

    So for my there are more important issues than risky behavior.

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  5. Well, I'm not a parent... but I can see how a parent might be less inclined to take REALLY risky-risks, putting themselves in unnecessarily dangerous situations.

    I'm not too much of a risk-taker... I inherited my Mom's worrying ways. Hubs and I were supposed to scuba dive on our honeymoon but I had a panic attack reading the waiver and couldn't do it. :/

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  6. i don't know if i've done anything "risky." i've made my fair share of idiotic choices when drinking (when i was younger, of course) but nothing intentionally was risky.

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  7. I'm going skydiving for the first time sometime this summer for a friend's bachelor party. Just me and a bunch of guys....that's risky enough even without the skydiving.

    I think my husband is proud that I'm even doing it so he persuaded the groom-to-be to include me in the madness. I might regret it...

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  8. The craziest thing I have done is sky diving! I would love to do it again :) I have two small kids and I think your kids need to see you doing some risks sometimes. Now, I would not recommend your spouse doing it at the same time. They do have to have one parent left if anything happens :)

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  9. I am not at all a risk taker...I wasn't one long before I even had kids. I'd saying having 2 kids was the riskiest thing I ever did. :)

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  10. Once my children are of an independent age, I think I'd be willing to take on more risky adventures. Maybe, we could even do them together :)

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  11. Riskiest thing? Warmed my ClifBar -- in FRONT of people, even.

    Actually, I can't decide among running with the bulls in Pamplona, bungee jumping or skydiving.

    Fine...I'm just trying to be cool. Probably doing a high ropes course...or trying rock climbing on a climbing wall. God, I'm boring.

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  12. I know nothing about children, but would think that raising them with a sense of personal responsibility (ie, go ahead and BASE jump but don't blame anyone else if you're hurt) would be the way to go . . .

    Risky things? I've sailed across big oceans in a very little boat. And sat on that little boat in a big ol' hurricane.

    I have ALWAYS wanted to skydive.

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  13. Riskiest thing I ever did? Sang "It's Raining Men" in a biker bar.

    Which explains why I don't have kids.

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  14. I have two children. The riskiest thing I've ever done?: Had two children.

    Parenthood is the limit. Everything else is Baby Stuff! HaHaHa...

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  15. You must have been listening to Slacker and Steve yesterday. I was talking to my husband about this last night. I haven't done any super risky activities but I have put myself in risky situations i.e. walking into Tijuana with girlfriends, hoping a random bus and getting super intoxicated, etc. You know awesome things like that.

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  16. What? You had a 90 degree day yesterday in Colorado? I live in CA and it rained with a high of 64. What is going on here?

    I have noticed that I shy away from the more risky behavior after having kids. I get a lot more nervous on the motorcycle than before...but I'm trying to keep it in check. Maybe when they get older and more self-sufficient I will be less worried, but for now I am a total freak about that stuff. =/

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  17. Before I was a mother, I was in the army and in a airborne division. I had to jump out of airplanes every 3 months to keep my status good. I also did a tandem skydive jump in Hawaii and it was great! I haven't done anything since being a mom.

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  18. I also love warm, gooey Clif bars!

    I agree with the majority. It's good for our kids to see us tackle a challenge/risk. Setting goals and creating a plan to make those goals happen are important skills to learn.

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  19. I've skydived. I have flown in a gyro plane (basically a flying lawn mower) and I have flown a glider plane (one of those non engine things).

    I have also swung from a trapeez (my personal favorite). Cliff dove in Negril Jamaica (sober mind you).

    All of the above is pre-Peanut. Post Peanut just doesn't lend itself to the opportunities it once did unless you count running a 50 mile trail race. Looking back and talking to people, I've been called crazy for doing that. :-)

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  20. I am so NOT a risk taker! It's really sad, actually--I'm a big chicken. And I see it in my son too, which makes me sad--didn't mean to do that to him. So aside from jumping off a cliff into the ocean years ago (and it wasn't all that big of a drop) I am boring!

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  21. i have skydived, scubadived - and let's just say college and post college was a blur.

    i do feel a sense of obligation now that i have kids to NOT engage in risky behavior. however i probably would still indulge in some bungee jumping if i was on vaca

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  22. I don't have kids. But all my friends, since having their kids, have become incredibly boring. The riskiest thing any of them have done since reproducing would be drinking straight from the milk carton.

    I'm telling you. BORING. I miss my friends. :(

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  23. I don't do anything more risky than running farther than I've trained for... I might sky-dive though, given half a chance and I knew it was as safe as can be. I'm all Little Feller has left as far as bio-parents go so it would have to be pretty damned safe.

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  24. I'm a total wuss now. I don't want to do anything.... barely want to leave the house! My kids are still babies!!!

    The riskiest thing I've ever done was probably live my life from age 18-24... can't legally tell you why ;)

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  25. I'm not so much the "risk" as much as it is just plan "frightening" for me. I did some dorko things in college - I'd cringe if I heard my children do the same. So, uh, we'll just leave it at that.

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  26. I've been skydiving and it was pretty awesome. However, once was good enough. I also don't think SCUBA is the most risky thing you could do. Sure you could get the bends or drown or get eaten by a shark, but those chances are super super slim. I know lots of parents who SCUBA and don't worry about it being risky. (I do live in Florida after all!) In any event you are right to worry about it. My dad was struck while on a motorcycle and some might think that was risky but I would never have told him not to b/c it's what he loved. It's also just as risky to cross the street, as you mentioned. So essentially I'm saying, I have no idea.

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  27. I love Clif bars, too. There's just something about them. I might try warming one up one of these days.

    I don't really have an opinion on your question. I don't have kids and I'm really risk averse by nature, but it's a really interesting question. I'm enjoying the comments!

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  28. Our society is based on risk-taking. "Do I" or "Don't I?" is risk-taking in its simplest form. As kids, we do things without fear of making a mistake, or being wrong, or being reprimanded. Those same gut instincts guide us to make choices - and, hopefully, the right ones - as we get older.
    But there are stupid risks and safe risks. Walking a tightrope without any training or experience is a stupid risk but doing it with a background in gymnastics or a PH.D. in tight-rope walking makes it safer. We have to make it clear that decision-making goes hand in hand with taking risks. It is that decision-making process that distiguishes humans from beasts.

    Wow, that was a handful of words. Hope it makes sense.

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  29. The world needs FAR more euphemisms and innuendos.

    You gotta live life - that is the way I look at it. Although, I don't have kiddos - yet.

    I had a crotch rocket (innuendo?) in HS and drove it ~140 mph. That ranks right up there with the most risky things I've done.

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  30. I don't have any kids...but I have been skydiving. Ever since that experience I have been inspired to do all the things I never thought possible. In that respect, it may make you a better parent by showing your kids that anything is possible and it is important to take risks in life.

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  31. I say live it up, skydive! I want too! Life is too short!!! Also shoot me an email, I have a super cute running skirt I got and maybe wore once. It's practically brand new and for some reason I think of you when I see it! Anyways if ur not interested and think I'm a big freak im cool with it but I thought i'd see before I ditched it to someone that wouldn't love it!

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  32. I think I am about to do the riskiest thing, swim 1.2 miles in my half iron in august. seriously, i could easily drawn!

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  33. I am not a risk taker. It just isn't me. Part of it may be that many "risks" involve heights, which I am not a fan of. I think it is important to live in the moment though and enjoy life. I think finding the balance is the key.

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  34. The riskiest thing I've ever done is to sit in the car with my learner-driver sons. Serious adrenalin rush (and not in a good way)

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  35. Just because you have children doesn't mean you give up the things you love to do. You do have to be more careful but, like you said, would you give up driving as a responsiblity to your child because it carries a great risk than sky diving. No.
    My riskiest things are too embarrassing to reveal and done in my college years - before my desire for healthier living kicked in.

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  36. Wait, I CAN'T do dumb sh*t when these kids get here? Damn. No one told me that.

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  37. Riskiest thing(s) I've ever done:

    #1. Gotten married.
    #2. Had a baby.
    #3. Got into road cycling.
    #4. Became a follower of this blog. :oP

    I don't tend to shy away from "risky" behaviour with her, but I certainly don't tell her to run into the middle of the street, or let her fair for herself while I go out shopping at the mall for 5 hours, or to light up a joint and puff away. (none of which would happen anyways because I'd rather stab myself than shop at the mall and pot is for stoners). I think they have to live and learn, but of course you want to protect you chile from being hurt at all costs. It's just natural as a parent:o)

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  38. You make the correct point about driving being risky. It's the most risky thing that most North American's do, including those that do all those things on the list you gave.

    But you hit a hot button. There are no car accidents. There are only collisions. Only a vanishingly small percentage are NOT preventable. Most are due to driver inattention (at best), incompetence (most often), or outright stupidity (distressingly often).

    Love Clif's bars, but it had never occurred to try them hot. When I cut them up and stick them into a baggie in my bento box, they get all sticky and hard to dig out again, and that's in our moderate summer temps. I'll have to try the microwave thing.

    I'm a child free adult, so my opinions should be taken with a grain of salt. Young children should be allowed to take all sorts of risks in the name of learning about the world. After all, it's easy to produce more of them, and there hasn't been much time invested in them. As they get older their risk taking should decline as they get smarter about mitigating risk. Parents need to be careful about risk till their kids are old enough to take care of themselves, which should be some time in the early teens, but in our molly-coddling degenerate society this has been gratuitously delayed, sometimes till mid 30's.

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