Taking risks: It's called living

When I decided, at age 60, to climb back on a motorcycle and ride the winding roads of Southwestern Virginia on two wheels, friends questioned my sanity.

Some called it nuts. Others said riding a bike at any age is an unnecessary risk.

Sorry. Risk adverse doesn't sell here. Life, when lived fully, is full of risks.

You take a risk when you buy a house and sign on the dotted line for that mortgage, not knowing for sure if you will keep a job that allows you to keep up the payments.

You take a risk when you go out on a date with someone you just met. That person could become the love of your life...or he or she could be a serial killer.

Amy and I took a risk in 2004 when we gave up a good living in Washington and moved to Floyd County, opening a studio at the Jacksonville Center. It didn't work and we closed the studio in 2007 with a lot less money than we had when we started.  We took another risk later that year by trying a new business venture at the Village Green. The jury is still out on whether that risk will pay off or -- once again -- leave our wallets a bit flatter.

Walking across the street is a risk. So is driving to work.

Granted, some risks pose greater threats. I've jumped out of perfectly-good airplanes, driven race cars, climbed rock cliffs and faced life-threatening situations as a journalist.  The limp in my stride and the pain in some joints come from taking a few risks too many.

But living life on the edge increases the appreciation of the life we have. If I go broke tomorrow or die in a motorcycle crash, I will do so a contented man because I lived life fully by taking the chance to enjoy it.

Benjamin Franklin said: "Most people die when they're 23 and aren't buried until they're 70."

The Austin Lounge Lizards said it another way in their song: "That Godforsaken Hellhole I Call Home."

"All my friends are buried there," they sing. "Some of them are dead."

Here's to living: One risk at a time.

When I decided, at age 60, to climb back on a motorcycle and ride the winding roads of Southwestern Virginia on two wheels, friends questioned my sanity.

Some called it nuts. Others said riding a bike at any age is an unnecessary risk.

Sorry. Risk adverse doesn’t sell here. Life, when lived fully, is full of risks.

You take a risk when you buy a house and sign on the dotted line for that mortgage, not knowing for sure if you will keep a job that allows you to keep up the payments.

You take a risk when you go out on a date with someone you just met. That person could become the love of your life…or he or she could be a serial killer.

Amy and I took a risk in 2004 when we gave up a good living in Washington and moved to Floyd County, opening a studio at the Jacksonville Center. It didn’t work and we closed the studio in 2007 with a lot less money than we had when we started.  We took another risk later that year by trying a new business venture at the Village Green. The jury is still out on whether that risk will pay off or — once again — leave our wallets a bit flatter.

Walking across the street is a risk. So is driving to work.

Granted, some risks pose greater threats. I’ve jumped out of perfectly-good airplanes, driven race cars, climbed rock cliffs and faced life-threatening situations as a journalist.  The limp in my stride and the pain in some joints come from taking a few risks too many.

But living life on the edge increases the appreciation of the life we have. If I go broke tomorrow or die in a motorcycle crash, I will do so a contented man because I lived life fully by taking the chance to enjoy it.

Benjamin Franklin said: "Most people die when they’re 23 and aren’t buried until they’re 70."

The Austin Lounge Lizards said it another way in their song: "That Godforsaken Hellhole I Call Home."

"All my friends are buried there," they sing. "Some of them are dead."

Here’s to living: One risk at a time.

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