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Why do people do such dangerous things?

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Anne Diamond | 15:00 UK time, Monday, 17 October 2011

Kayaker in rapids

In the wave of shock and sympathy following the death of Dan Wheldon, the Indycar driver, you can't help but wonder why some enthusiasts indulge in obviiously dangerous sports. I spoke to a Maidenhead man who does a lot of extreme kayaking - and I mean turbo-powered kayaking (yes, there is such a thing) and kayaking over waterfalls. He said, as he falls off a cliff in his little canoe, he often thinks he is going to die. Over the past twenty years, he reckons he has lost on average one friend per year. He said, as he goes over the edge, he twiddles his toes and thinks "that could be the last time I ever do that!" Yet he does it again and again.

And no, he doesn't have a girlfriend or a wife, or indeed much of an ordinary private life at all. We all know why - and so does he. But he still prefers white water kayaking and plummeting into a foamy, turbulent vortex of fear.

Talking of facing your fears - if you have always fancied singing for happiness, and joining a choir, we are still recruiting at the BBC Berkshire Choir. Just pop along any Wednesday or Thursday at 7.30pm. The choir meets at The Open Learning Centre in Bracknell on Wednesdays, and at The Methodist Church in Wokingham on Thursdays. Why not give it a try?!



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