I am so happy the summer season is here. Warm weather, longer days of sunshine, bbq, and time at the neighborhood pool with the kids. I often think about the concept of inherent risk. What is an inherent risk? It is a risk associated with specific activities that people should know and understand inherently with participation in that activity. For example, the inherent risk in participating in Parkour is that you may become injured when jumping, climbing, and rolling at fast speeds through urban and natural environments. You may break a bone or sprain an ankle… but it almost goes without saying that there is a substantial possibility this could happen as opposed to simply walking through the neighborhood.
Why do I bring this up? Well, even when there is an inherent risk in an activity, there are some things you can do to ‘lessen’ the chance of incident and/or injury from occurring. Here are some of my top five tips:
- Engage in proper training and skill development: Seek guidance from experienced instructors or professionals who can teach you the proper techniques and safety measures.
- Use appropriate safety gear: Depending on the activity, wear appropriate safety gear such as helmets, knee and elbow pads, harnesses, life jackets, protective clothing, etc.
- Know your limits: Understand your own abilities and limitations! Do not attempt activities that are beyond your skill level or physical capabilities. Pushing yourself too far can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. I cannot stress this enough and over the years ignored this tip and had to learn the hard way. Ugh.
- Assess the environment: Thoroughly assess the environment and be aware of potential hazards or dangers. Familiarize yourself with the terrain, water conditions, weather forecasts, and any specific risks associated with the activity.
- Stay focused and mindful: Maintain focus and concentration during high-risk activities. Avoid distractions and stay present in the moment. Being mindful of your surroundings and actions can help prevent accidents.
Bottom line, remember that high-risk activities carry inherent dangers, and no amount of preparation can completely eliminate the risks. It’s important to make informed decisions, prioritize safety, and continuously assess and manage risks throughout the experience. Have fun!