Take the Dive – Cliff Divers

Cliff-DiverAnother metaphor for life. I read we have between 30,000 and 75,000 thoughts per day, and 80% of them are random thoughts. Nonsensical musing and pondering. This really puts into perspective all the negative thoughts we have that can ruin our day. Best to think positive, avoiding worry.

Cliff-Diver-at-SunsetThis got me thinking on taking risk. You never will know your true potential if you always stay within your comfort zone. I myself would never cliff dive, but you can consider life is a series of calculated uncertainties anyway. Risk does not always mean peril.

Diver-SplashI remembered something the other day that I learned in college biology, spurred by an article I read by National Geographic called The Mystery of Risk. It discusses how the combination of adrenaline and dopamine determines our ability to take risk. Dopamine helps elicit a sense of satisfaction when we accomplish tasks. It helps make us move forward and explore. It drives us toward risk. The higher risk we take, the larger the hit of dopamine.

We all don’t jump off cliffs or drop from a plane, but not all of us have the same amount of dopamine either. There are molecules on the surface of our nerve cells called autoreceptors and they control how much dopamine we make which controls our inclination to take risk.

Cliff-Diver-Lighting-the-TorchI have always been a risk taker, but I did not always put myself in extreme peril. These guys diving are risk takers, thrill seekers or adrenaline junkies. Sure they perform a show each day at the Sheraton Hotel, but they dive off higher cliffs around the island too. I cannot fathom diving into waves hitting huge rocks. Just a bit beyond what I would have ever tried when younger. But I would have learned to dive below the surface when younger. Now, no way.

In the linked article, photographer and deep-sea diver Paul Nicklen was interviewed. I saw him here in Buffalo in 2014, at Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall. If you ever get to see one of his presentations, do so. He is a great photographer and extreme risk taker. He must be flowing and filled with dopamine.

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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15 Responses to Take the Dive – Cliff Divers

  1. Awesome 🙂 check out my blog when you get the chance 🙂

  2. A.M.B. says:

    That’s very interesting! I’m a risk-averse person (to my own detriment). Great pictures, as always.

  3. David says:

    I could help but wonder if one of these guys, when a kid, got in trouble and told his mom he did it because all his friends were doing it and she asked: “well if all your friends jumped off cliff would you do it too”?

  4. Fascinating but also reminds me of the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull and pushing the boundaries of our consciousness. I have become more risk aware since having children! And never thought about it when I was young!

  5. alesiablogs says:

    One life to live. Live it to the fullest. Not always done by me. Trying to make up for lost time! Why did you take like off?

  6. Oh, man, it looks like that person is flying! And it looks like the jumpers are going to hit the rocks. It’s very cool to see, but I don’t think I could ever do it.

  7. Wow that is amazing….when I was younger, I loved jumping off the 10 ft dive even though i was afraid of heights….the risk was worth it and now i know why!

  8. swo8 says:

    Every time they jump off that cliff and come up in the water unharmed, it becomes less risky and yet the thrill would still be there. They are probably young kids too. Risk isn’t considered fully by the young.
    Leslie

  9. Great photos! As for cliff diving – not for me.

  10. debsgarden says:

    Marvelous photos! I am an occasional risk taker; I love white water rafting and flying in a glider plane. Cliff diving: NO WAY. I do think we should push ourselves beyond our perceived limits. That is how we continue growing and living, rather than just existing. Great post!

  11. I did some cliff diving in the South of France when I was a teenager. I can only look back now and think how stupid that was. And how freaked my mother was! Now, I still like to push my comfort zone so that I am learning and growing but think I’m smarter about it.

  12. Annette says:

    Wow, I’m impressed but this is not for me…love your pics as always 🙂

  13. Lisa - Ontario says:

    Great post. When I was younger we would jump off a dam, you needed to know where to land because there were many rocks at the bottom. I force myself out of my comfort zone to be an example for my girls. Last week I played hockey for the first (and probably last) time against my daughter’s team. There was only one other mother. Women don’t tend to put themselves out there.

  14. Maria F. says:

    Very interesting, I think I have that in me, but it’s seasonal, it’s not all the time.

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