Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Skiing is Dangerous, why do we do it?

This article is about the thrill we feel while skiing in spite of the risks that we know are there. The author, Cynthia MacDonald, lost a friend who decided to ski in the back country one day and never returned. When she was younger, one of her friends hit a patch of ice and was paralyzed. Like the title says: “Why do we do it?” This is the theme that is repeated time and time again in this article. Again and again, Cynthia’s answer is the thrill and adrenaline we feel when we hit that jump or ski in thigh-deep powder. What many people believe nowadays is that we are so much safer while skiing because of the new bindings and hats being exchanged for helmets. Though most don’t realize that this thought process is a misconception. Hats being exchanged for helmets only means that people think that they can be more careless than before. The new bindings don’t help you break less bones but simply change which bones will break when you wipe out. The new, faster chairlifts put more bodies on the hill resulting in more chaos and collisions.

Cynthia writes that she is a bookworm when at school or the office. All that changes when she has on her skis. She becomes a figure of daring and allure. She likes herself much better this way. When she was young, Cynthia and her brother would go watch freestyle events. Not to see who would win, but who would be put in a near-death experience. When you are young, you think that death can never happen to you. But at some point as you mature, you start to realize that death is just around the corner and that one move can put you a couple steps closer. She is now ashamed of how she’d acted back then. There are certain things in life that you can control, though there are also things that you can’t. Death is somewhere in between. You can avoid all the risks if you want, though death will catch up with you eventually. The other option is to live a life with excitement and thrill, a skier’s life, and let life take its course.

I think that this article was a really great read. It was a refreshing, new perspective, though it also made you think about your life and the decisions you make. I think I’d be somewhere between no risks and all thrill. Taking risks, but thinking about their consequences as well. Playing it safe when I know something’s not worth the risk. As I said, this article really makes you think about your life. How death is not impossible. How every decision counts. I would recommend this article not just to skiers, but to everyone I know. You don’t have to be a skier to understand and learn Cynthia MacDonald’s lesson.

Rating: *****

MacDonald, Cynthia. "Skiing Is Dangerous, Why Do We Do It?" Www.explore-mag.com. Winter 2006. Web. 1 Apr. 2011

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