When was the last time you did something that scares you? Have you taken any risks lately? Would you eat moldy cheese? I've noticed that a lot of us don't go over the edge. We hold to our routine and don't move beyond the fear that holds us. I can't say that I'm an ultra risk taker, but I do enjoy pushing myself. On the other hand, I do know those people who move through life taking risks. I admire those who push the limits. The funny thing I want to point out about these people is they take risk, yet don't suffer any harm.
I think of Zen. Many monks have written that when you do something you should do it with a beginner's mind - no fear. My risk taking friends jump off of cliffs on their telemark skis, they pull wheelies down scary downhill sections or they climb 40-foot boulders with no spotter or crashpad. They do all these activities with a smile and laughter. I do these activities with fear and trepidation written all over my face. They go all out, while I tumble all about.
So, if you have one of these fearless friends, can you identify the common denominator? Is it a smile or just the fact that they don't hesitate? Are they rapid freaks? What makes them go to the level? And, when will I be able to land switch on my cross country bike?