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"He died doing what he loved" Is it always ok?
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Thread: "He died doing what he loved" Is it always ok?

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    Default "He died doing what he loved" Is it always ok?

    The ski industry has lost a few in the last couple weeks. Ryan Hawks of the freeskiing world tour, the gentleman discussed in this article to name two. The death of ski great Shane McConkey about two years ago generated a lot of statements like, "Well at least he died doing what he loved." This article provides some good food for thought. What do you think?

    http://kimkircher.com/2011/03/09/is-...what-you-love/
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    Who are we to judge? It was their life. I think the guy in the article is being a bit possessive and righteous. Maybe just to stroke his own ego. Fact is: he doesn't have a say in the matter. When you die - you die and nobody has a say in it at all. I don't think equating drug deaths to sport deaths is not a fair analogy either. It seems like the writer wrote it to make himself appear good or feel better about something. Whatever it is it's not his call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudman View Post
    Who are we to judge? It was their life. I think the guy in the article is being a bit possessive and righteous. Maybe just to stroke his own ego. Fact is: he doesn't have a say in the matter. When you die - you die and nobody has a say in it at all. I don't think equating drug deaths to sport deaths is not a fair analogy either. It seems like the writer wrote it to make himself appear good or feel better about something. Whatever it is it's not his call.
    I agree entirely. The writer comes off as self-righteous and his heroin addiction analogy is not particularly accurate, seeming to only to consider the psychological side of addiction. There are plenty of cases where it's not a matter of a junkie wanting to get back to the feeling of some mystical first high, it's a matter of someone physiologically addicted to a substance. In the end, the analogy only makes the writer seem that much more self-righteous as he appears to not understand what he's talking about.

    With respect to SVL's actual question, is it ok to die doing what you love... it seems a whole lot better than dying do something you hate. Perhaps as the writer says it's of little comfort to the family of the dead man, but in time that knowledge may help them find some peace.
    "I happen to have perfect situational awareness, Lana. Which cannot be taught, by the way. Like a poet's ... mind for ... to make the perfect words." - Sterling Archer

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    The author is a her. And a ski patroller, who admits in her article that she does not like anyone, (particularly someone she knows) to die on her watch. As she says, she wants to think that she and her team will be able to rescue those in trouble when they get in trouble. But she is speaking honestly and out loud about her views, hoping to get people to talk about something she thinks is important.

    Re: the issue at hand, I agree that we should not necessarily judge those that take risks in pursuit of their sports. In many sports, some risks are unavoidable. I think the tipping point regarding taking on unavoidable risk shifts depending on if you have kids to guide and support, etc. A daredevil single person may take on waves off the north shores of Hawaii that a married father of five might choose not to tackle.

    But in this case, it was not an uncontrollable or unavoidable risk that caused this death. The decedent in this situation was a former ski patroller and snow cat driver who apparently went skiing in the "side country" or in the trees on his own. It is a known rule that you don't go doing that on your own. And as a former patroller, he knew better. He has not been found, and the thought is that he is buried somewhere in a tree well. Many searchers spent a lot of time looking. I don't have a problem accepting risk as part of sport, but I wonder when it is an avoidable risk and you do it anyway, if that is worth it.

    Having said that, I will admit that I skied in the trees off the side of a couple marked runs pretty recently, by myself when I knew better. I knew it was not the best move, but I wanted the powder. Risk is inherent in skiing, mountainbiking, surfing, etc. But it is good to avoid the risks that can be avoided. "Powder fever" often seems to cause folks to make choices that are not great viewed later on from a different perspective. There is a lot of talk of that in backcountry travel classes. Knowing your group, knowing yourself, and knowing when your judgment is good and when it is poor. These recent incidents, and my taking notice of my own choices recently prompted me to think a bit about it.

    Skiing by yourself in uncontrolled side country or off marked, inbounds runs, is not a great choice though.
    Steve Thompson
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    Not wishing to die at all, but I'd rather die doing something I love VS rotting in a hospital bed. For me thats motorcyle racing/stunt riding so it's reasonably high risk. I say reasonably because I've been riding for 30years, so what is a risk for me at my level is more of a risk to someone less experienced.....next is playing music and it seems relatively low risk that I would die doing this, less someone threw a rotten egg at me and I catch Salmonella that would be a bad way to go....

    Speaking of which...bad ways to go.........someone at work recently said to me drowning would have to be THE worst way to go but I've heard it's MEANT (somehow) to be a peaceful way of going. To me, the very worst way to die would be a prolonged death by disease (cancer, leukemia etc) OR being burnt to death.......! Dying on a motorcycle has gotta be better than being burnt to death!

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    I enjoy my activities, many of which have risk. Just good to actually think about the risks as you go, control the ones you can, walk away from the risks you can't accept by some defined standard, and once you have accepted the rest, let go and go for it. If you run around scared all the time, it doesn't help.
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    love is the answer, at least for most of the questions in my heart. . .
    - j. johnson

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    The first thing that came to my mind is - would anybody give a sh** if a guy dies doing a puzzle or planting potatoes, because it is what he loves/loved?

    I have the impression that risky sports are absolutely overhyped and the more risky your moves the more groth your heroic status gains. It's always been this way and it will never change. I keep it like Mike Tyson's coach used to say. There are fighters and dancers. I think the guys who get a rush/kick out of base jumping and putting on a crazy smile, because the adrenalin blocks all their ratio are the fighters. I consider myself a dancer and am totally with what SVL says in the above post ^. Sometimes you have to risk something, don't run around scared all the time, but the risk should not be hazardous to your life!
    Despite of that I can understand those folks who risk their life, like motocross jumpers, base jumpers. It's their way of life and as long as they do not put the lifes of others on risk with their action it's okay.

    To answer the initial question. Death is nobody's friend. Would it make a difference if I died playing the guitar or doing martial arts? I'd rather be in the arms of my loved ones, but this is because I set familiar priorities, always! I personally find the utterance "At least he died doing what he loved" a little inapropriate. Living is always better than being dead. The fact that someone dies doing what he loved doesn't ease the grief.
    "A lot of people in the industry want to blame downloading for the state of the business. But I think if most music wasn't shit to begin with people wouldn't be downloading it for free," - Corey Taylor (Slipknot)

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    A few years ago I was riding sportbikes - large group rides over some of the most insane twisty roads. Very risky - and there were more than a couple of people killed or permanently disabled in the circle. On the bike forums after a fatality, the posts were always the same..."RIP, at least he died doing something he loved"

    After my own wreck (not serious thank God) I really got to thinking what a load of crap "at least he died doing something he loved" is. I'm sure in their final moments (one decapitation, one 15 feet in tree, etc) the last thing on their minds was "at least I went out riding".

    I haven't felt the same about bikes since. I'm not sure if those people would have died at the same if they weren't riding, but probably not.

    I guess we make our decisions about what's really important to us and lie in the bed we make.
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    I agree with Spuds on this one, who are we to judge? When you're dead, you're dead.
    I will say, personally, I'd rather die doing something I love, but I'll still be just as dead.
    The past few years, seeing my mother in a nursing home since her stroke, and subsequent seizures, has made me think differently about lots of things.
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    I had a friend who loved sky diving and one day his chute didn't work. I couldn't say that he died from what he loved doing, I only can say WTF!

    Death is final and nobody enjoy that.
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    I enjoy motorcycling a great deal - started when i was single digits with a 50cc dirt bike. I know I am an excellent rider but that I can be taken out by some ******* at any time. I also have a wife and kid. Does this mean I should not do what brings me such great pleasure? I think not. You only go around once and I believe you should enjoy every minute of the ride. To me it's quality over quantity anyway. I would rather be dead than have to spend x amount of years of my life bed ridden or dependent on care by someone else. My grandfather was right - once you loose the ability to wipe your own *** you have no more quality of life.

    Don't wrap your head around the numbers...we are all born with an expiration date. No one gets out out alive.
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    As a person who has done his share of higher than average risk sports and activities, back before the "Extreme" hype came along, I see both sides of the issue.
    As long as I'm not risking anyone else's life during my activity, as well as during a possible rescue or body recovery, then all is well.

    However, when some ego driven boneheads climb Mt. McKinley/Denali and get themselves stuck after a blizzard, and the rescue costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, or possibly the crew's life, then I have a problem! When Bucky the skate dood wants to be the next youtube sensation and tries to gap a staircase or ledge and spends the rest of his life in diapers, drooling with little brain function, yet the Medicaid cost to the rest of us tax payers runs over $200,000 per year, then I have a problem!

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_of_G View Post
    With respect to SVL's actual question, is it ok to die doing what you love... it seems a whole lot better than dying do something you hate. Perhaps as the writer says it's of little comfort to the family of the dead man, but in time that knowledge may help them find some peace.
    I'm reminded of a few quotes:

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. - Thoreau

    People spend a third of their lives going places they don't want to go, doing things they don't want to do - Millenium TV series.

    We all should be so lucky as to die doing something we love.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiteman View Post
    Death is final and nobody enjoy that.
    Death is also inevitable. All living things die. Unfortunately as human beings we are cursed with knowing this.

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    I think I'd rather die doing something I hate. Gets me off the hook for the rest of it. Like maybe dropping dead 2 minutes into an IRS audit or a root canal....
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    Didn't read the article, but I'll weigh in anyway. Isn't that what internet forums are all about?

    I don't think it's quite as one-sided as everyone here says. You really do have a responsibility to people in your life, particularly if you have a spouse and kids, but even without that, nobody is an island. It's foolish to think that your actions every day don't influence many people, and I think a lot of people try hard to ignore that whenever they don't want some accountability for how they live their life.

    So yeah, die however you want, but there's still a responsibility everyone has as a person to love and be loved, and an accountability you have to those people. You need to reconcile that, no matter how much of a badass you think you are.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spudman
    Does anyone read the original post?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tunghaichuan View Post
    I'm reminded of a few quotes:

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. - Thoreau

    People spend a third of their lives going places they don't want to go, doing things they don't want to do - Millenium TV series.

    We all should be so lucky as to die doing something we love.
    I had the Throreau quote in mind as well, but then again, it's not unusual for to be thinking about Thoreau.

    Never watched Millenium, but that quote is quite good as well, particularly when you consider most people also spend another third of their lives sleeping.

    Quote Originally Posted by tunghaichuan View Post
    Death is also inevitable. All living things die. Unfortunately as human beings we are cursed with knowing this.
    That's pretty much the "human condition," managing to live our lives without being crippled by the fear/sadness of our impending demise; as Joseph Campbell describes the actions of a bodhisattva, "joyful participation in the sorrows of the temporal world."
    "I happen to have perfect situational awareness, Lana. Which cannot be taught, by the way. Like a poet's ... mind for ... to make the perfect words." - Sterling Archer

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_of_G View Post
    ...as Joseph Campbell describes the actions of a bodhisattva, "joyful participation in the sorrows of the temporal world."
    Now that is a man I wish I met when he was alive. Incredible vision and wisdom. The Bill Moyers sessions were enlightening. I'll leave it at that since we don't need to get into religious/theological discussions here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimi75 View Post
    Living is always better than being dead.
    Not necessarily. There are many who are severely and chronically pained/incapacitated whose only hope for relief is DEATH. Also known as "hell on earth".

    When we went to Germany nearly 3 years ago in a last-ditch attempt to salvage my daughter's life....we all prayed to God; "Please dear Lord, either fix or or take her, please don't leave her like this". We got lucky, she was fixed by a combination of God's grace and the incredibly skillful German doctor and his staff.

    +10 on what OldGuy and Tig said too.

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