“Adding Death into The Equation”
By: Doug Ammons
This Article shows the other side of white water kayaking. It doesn’t gloat about the exhilarating high you get from conquering a fall everyone said you couldn’t, or defeating the odds and venturing down a menacing set of rapids. It talk about the real dangers of white water paddling, and why you should really think twice about what your doing, because it could be the last remaining thing you do in your life.
Doug Ammons had a friend who drowned on a kayaking trip. He got caught on a log, doing a tricky run and drowned right then and there in his kayak. When a mutual friend of theirs was speaking at the funeral about the deceased, he talked about how he was a man that enjoyed kayaking to an extreme, and always had so much fun on the water. He really celebrated his paddling career even though it ended at the young age of 22. Doug’s friend thought he did well explaining his friend and his life, until later several members of his family approached him in tears. They were upset by the fact that he wouldn’t come to the conclusion that his paddling this dangerous rapid was a dumb idea. They asked him how it was justifiable for someone to do something for fun, and suffer the unfortunate consequences of death is okay. But all he could respond with was the silly cliché “At least he died doing something he loved.” because he was at a loss for words.
The point Doug Ammons is trying to get across is to not resort to clichés. People use clichés because they are “Thoughtless denials whose purpose is to save us from facing the disconnect between what we want to believe and the death that is staring at us.” (Par. 7, lines 2-5). He wants people to understand what they are doing, and why they are doing it. He wants people to ask themselves if they are willing to die for their sport? Because that could be their unfortunate outcome. He wants people to understand the dangers involved with the activity they are doing, so that they don't result in blaming everyone, and everything but themselves, and resulting to clichés after suffering the after math of their decision. If you accept the challenge and danger, you have to either own up to saying, "I took a risk, and this was the consequence," or not doing it at all, because if you have to result to that form of denial, was it really worth it in the first place? probably not. So think twice about what you are doing, and think ahead of the risks you are taking, and understand the potential dangers that you may have to overcome.
This article was extremely well written, although it was grim it gave a much needed reality check, to myself and everyone else that read it. It showed your "danger line" when one should stop pushing it, because it is at a dangerous point. I give this article ***** and I think everyone should read, no matter what sport they're doing.
By: Brie Champagne