miércoles, 29 de julio de 2015

Talking point: Extreme sports and activities

This week's talking point is risk. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas flow more easily when you meet up with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.

Talk about a time when you had to pluck up courage to deal with a difficult situation.
What's the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
Have you ever done any of these extreme sports? What was it like? What were the dangers involved?
If not, would you like to? Say why.
bungee jumping
scuba diving
highwire walking
mountaineering with ropes
base jumping
whitewater rafting
Some people are addicted to taking risks: why do you think this happens?
Which risk would you never take?
Which of these jobs is the most dangerous, in your opinion? Give your reasons.
firefighter - bomb disposal expert - high-level window cleaner - war journalist - aid volunteer - police officer
You work for a company that has decided to organise a weekend away to develop team-building skills among the staff. Discuss with your partner(s) the risks involved in the activities below, say which ones most/least appeal to you and choose one to do all together:
volcano walking
gorilla watching
show jumping
kite surfing

To illustrate the point you can watch The Nikon short film Why. It is most a very difficult clip to understand, but the sheer beauty of the film is something worth watching, and whatever Dane Jackson, Rebecca Rush and Alex Honnold say about kayaking, mountain-biking and solo climbing is secondary, although I have included the transcript.

Nikon - WHY from Corey Rich on Vimeo.

Nikon Why
Dane Jackson, kayaker:
I think I learned how to kayak long before I’ve learned how to talk and walk, that’s for sure…
Rebecca Rush, mountain biker:
I’m not sure I agree with the quote that it’s all about the journey, because for me it’s all about the competitive aspect, I’m a racer and I love to win.
Alex Honnold, solo climber:
“I wouldn’t say that I try to prove something to people. Or that I’m trying to prove something to myself really… But I’m sure there’s a little bit of both.
Dane Jackson, kayaker:
When I was growing up and we lived in an R.V. and we were always parked by a river ‘cause we would just go, wherever my Dad wanted to kayak. I was born directly in the sport of kayaking.
Rebecca Rush, mountain biker:
I specialize in long distance mountain biking. What it means is that I ride my bike for a really long time and a 10 hour race would be a short race for me. A race or event where I get to sleep in my own bed that night is a sprint…”
Alex Honnold, solo climber:
Basically, soloing is just rock climbing without a rope, without protection. It’s basically the most distilled type of climbing. I think the beauty of soloing is so simple, you just go by yourself, put your shoes in your track bag and you climb it.
Dane Jackson, kayaker:
In my world the only constant thing is that there is no constant. When I’m at a rapid or water fall I may pick my line but it’s never the same, it’s always changing.
Rebecca Rush, mountain biker:
I grew up with suffering skill, my nickname is ‘The queen of pain’. I cannot put my head down, turn the voices inside my head off. It takes hours and days, it kind of strip away all the exterior that kind of find out who you are.
Alex Honnold, solo climber:
Yeah, there’s no real ritual, seriously for someone, I just put on my shoes, I chalk up and I rock climb.
Rebecca Rush, mountain biker:
For me, the definition of ‘the zone’ is when you don’t feel the burning of your legs, you don’t hear your heart race, you’re basically just on autopilot, and everything seems easy.
Alex Honnold, solo climber:
When all of the movement just feels so crisp and precise and perfect. You don’t feel pain in your fingers as much you could really like torque super hard. I mean, you just feel stronger a lot of time.
Dane Jackson, kayaker:
Whenever I’m coming up the lip of a big waterfall, everything else just goes blank and I just focus on what I need to do.
Alex Honnold, solo climber:
It’s a big question ask why I solo. Then part of it is the challenge like the fact that it’s hard, the fact that it demands a lot from you. And part of it it’s just the simplicity of soloing is really appealing too, it’s just you, and the route, and climbing. I don’t think there are that many things in life that require the 100% focus that you get out of soloing. You know, it’s kind of like the most pure form of climbing.
Dane Jackson, kayaker:
One of the main reasons that I kayak is just the awe of finding new beautiful places. It’s a feeling of being somewhere new nobody else has ever been or you’ve never been, and just the beauty of what’s happening around you. I kayak because it allows me to do what I want to do. I’m always afraid at some point, without the fear it wouldn’t be the same. Overcoming the fear is what really makes kayaking amazing.
Rebecca Rush, mountain biker:
If people ask me why I do this over and over again, the best thing I come up is because I have to, I don’t know how to live my life any other way. I do this because I love it and I’m inspired by the places that I go, I feel it’s the need to explore and to be somewhere new, see what’s around the next corner.
Alex Honnold, solo climber:
Yeah, I guess every once in a while you have those moments when you say it’s really magical, this is awesome, you know.
Dane Jackson, kayaker:
Without kayaking, I don’t know where my life would be, definitely it wouldn’t be the same, it just drives my life.
Rebecca Rush, mountain biker:
Tapping in on who I am as a person is something I need to do on a regular basis because you never really get to that place on a normal life, and that’s the point when it’s perfect, it’s nirvana.