Perceptions of risk

Shirley Darlington-Rowat is a hero. 8½ months pregnant, she’s still training hard despite the immense bump that’s conveniently doubling as a weight vest.

Climbing trees and balancing along their boughs when on the verge of giving birth will strike many as reckless.

By that logic, however, she should not travel by car, cook dinner, or breathe London’s air during rush hour.

Like most parkour practitioners, Shirley understands that our perception of risk is often warped by what we have have been conditioned to believe is normal. For example, if cars were invented tomorrow, there is no way that we would accept the cost of thousands of people killed every year, with tens of thousands seriously injured.

With the right preparation and experience, climbing a tree is safer than driving a car.

We should all climb more trees.

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