For those of us who live in the US...
Health Plans are beginning to get a bit invasive about a person's avocations. Some now say they will not cover accidents associated with "hang-gliding, bouldering, ..." I was quite surprised that bouldering was called out, but not skiing.
I gave myself a concussion on one trip, and ended up at the ER for a CAT scan (I take mild anticoagulants, so there is worry about brain bleeds). That incident cost my insurance co. about $4000, so maybe I can see their point. Of course, I've been to the ER more times for situations induced by doctors.
I still remember a rock climbing class I took a ways back. At the end of the day the instructor said, "okay, now comes the most dangerous part of your day". I start thinking, oh crap, what kind of crazy thing are they going to make us do now. Then the instructor says, "It's time to drive home".
Yes, driving is statistically more dangerous than rock climbing. And, I've heard more than once that more people die yearly of medical mistakes during hosptial stays than drunk driving and accidental gun fire.
So, although we SP'ers do practice risk-intensive hobbies (rock climbing, mountain biking, etc.), when it's put into perspective how dangerous is it really? What is really costing the tax payer more?
Anyhow, thanks for the good article.
I'm glad to find out I am a "Type T", something was missing from my life without that moniker attached. LOL
I am going to make everyone who ever called me "crazy" read this article.
I'm in Canada... i should have mentioned that somewhere because here it really is the taxpayer who picks up the tab for rescues & medical expenses.
I use the 'it's more dangerous to drive home' argument too but deep down I know it's not as simple as that. If as many people rock climbed as drive there would be a LOT more climbing accidents. Another argument I'll use is the smoking/drinking/junk food one. Yeah climbing is dangerous but I expect that I'm at lower risk than someone who overindulges in those vices, which, given the current state of obesity rates seems to be the majority of the population.
Anyway... thx for taking the time to read it :)
You could look at that the other way too ... if as many people drove, as climbed, there would be a lot LESS car accidents.
very good point about the smoking/drinking/junk food. It's also probably harder to get a life insurance plan as a climber than it is as an over-40 smoker??
Regardless, I would be a lot more scared on some runout 5.10 climb than I would be behind the wheel :)
As George Carlin said about driving: someone in front of you, who is driving slower, is an idiot; someone in back of you, driving faster, is a maniac.
People's perception of recklessness is often quite ego-centric. My bosses characterized me as "risk-averse", because I liked to analyze actions before I took them. Actually, I am just averse to having other people take risks with my welfare.
Almost every trip I take, someone complains about the recklessness of someone else (usually not present). Often the claim is justified; but often, the complainer has had more accidents than anyone else, caused more rockfall, etc., and seems oblivious to those realities.
"Regardless, I would be a lot more scared on some runout 5.10 climb than I would be behind the wheel :)"
You obviously haven't driven where I live ;)
It has taken me a long time and a lot of D&A treatment and a kidney transplant two realize what was missing in my life. As soon as I got into "risky sports" I found that it filled the void. Other wise Id still be a junkie stealing to feed my addiction and abusing my body. My quality of life if alot better now then it ever was using drugs and drinking and its alot safer for the people around me. Thanks for posting this article hopefully alot of other people read it.
Thanks for sharing your personal experience & perspective. Nice to have something to back up the theory :) I'm glad you got your life on track.
well written article. Thanks for posting.
Yes, since my studies in psychology things haven't changed a lot. I'm only not sure how the heredity thing goes. I'd agree it's biological, also it's hereditary, but saying that probable there are more sensation seekers in Australia, Canada and US is unjustified. It's for example a stereotype that us, Slovenians (2 millions still persisting here in the middle of Europe) are inclined to extreme activities. We are having a lot of first class climbers, Himalayans, and - in agreement what you're saying - we are also on top of Europe's list in alcoholism etc.
Yes, fortunately there's no way to prohibit extreme activities. And also law will not work. Interestingly also here in Slovenia they are preparing a law, which will list down risky activities, which medical insurance will not cover fully (or at the degree it covers other activities). So me, as an ordinary hiker, taking small risks just occasionally and so being far from involved in any extreme activity, will be punished again. Couldn't care less. If my car doesn't get isurance, why I should?
Isn't it interesting how insurance companies don't want to insure climbers but will insure sedentary tras fat consuming people who take their bodies for granted. I wonder if anyone has ever bothered to consider the cumulative health care costs associated with such a life style vs that of a climber. Yeah, sometimes we die but I would expect that in the long run we're cheaper.
Way to go MountaingirlBC! This was a well written and accurate article. Its about time us climbing, skydiving, thrill-seeking junkies got some credit. If people like Teddy Roosevelt were alive today I could see him halfway up some tower getting ready for a base jump, decending into some remote cave system or putting up a first ascent.
thanks :) when i first started writing it I was worried that it was going to be a very hard sell. I wasn't completely convinced of my own position in the beginning. But the more research I did and the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense. There is a role for this type of person in our society. The world would be a very different place without them.
I had the pleasure of working at an outdoor school where Teddy Roosevelt's great-grandson was a student for 4 months. I guarantee now that he is about 22 he is either climbing towers and base jumping or on drugs (hopefully the former) - a thrillseeker to the nth degree. Support for the genetic theory....
Well presented and well written! Thank you!
Thank you for writing such a thorough article that truly dispels many myths in which people who don't partake in "extreme sports" believe. Unfortunately, the intuition of the majority, however illogical it may be, is difficult to combat, even with sound reason and fact-based arguments. Perceptions seem to be more important than reality in the world of politics, which is why information like this article is often contradicted by the "will of the people" and, consequently, by the actions of governments.
Ignorant people should not be allowed to vote. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but unless some seriously thought and research has gone into that opinion, it shouldn't be allowed to influence public policy.
Another thoery revolves around what is called the TypeE personality, it is very similiar to what you described as the Type T personality. I have seen the TypeE Personality at several Mark Victor Hansen events ( the co-creator of The Chicken Soup for the Soul Books) and find it to be a credible theory, but this was the first time I had heard about the Type T personality. They seem to be exact copies of each other. Huh