A few things happened last week that made me consider the level of risk in my life and whether it was really worth it. Risk can be physical, financial, emotional, geographical. This week’s quote was meant to be a different one, but this one has come to the fore instead.

It’s a bit heavy for a Monday morning, but for me (especially at the moment now I have stepped briefly back into the old) this is when I need the biggest and hardest kick.

If you ask any TT/road racer who their favourite racers are/were, other than Joey Dunlop, they will probably mention David Jefferies somewhere, or DJ as he was known to most. A hugely talented racer who died far too young, and whose death led to many many changes being made to the TT course and the safety procedures involved, which have saved a great number of lives in this most dangerous but most wonderful of sports.

This is one book that I never put away. I flick through it regularly and it’s never far from my eyeline at home.

The words in bold form the inscription on his gravestone. No one is exactly sure who to attribute the words to, and I think it’s better that way. I’ve included the full shebang because, well, you’ll see.

Some of my friends and family risk it every day. From driving instructors to those who cycle or ride a motorbike to work. From taking a job miles away from home, to travelling in supposedly dangerous areas of the planet, to sticking both fingers up at expectations of what a woman is today and how we should conduct ourselves. From re-starting their education to beginning to teach others, from carrying on with normal life in the face of serious illness to going self-employed. Some don’t risk it at all, and I understand why. Others, I have no idea.

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach for another is to risk involvement.

To expose your ideas, your dreams

before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return.

To live is to risk dying.

To believe is to risk despair.

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, becuase the

greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

(The people)/Those who risk nothing, do nothing,

have nothing, are nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow,

but they cannot learn, feel, change,

grow, love, live.

Chained by their attitudes they are slaves;

they have forfeited their freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.


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