You’re never too old for an adventure, as the saying goes. But are you ever too young? This article from Total Women’s Cycling popped up in my feed a while ago. It’s about a 5 year old girl who’s cycling the Taff Trail from Brecon to Cardiff this summer. Her Dad owns a kids’ bike shop and her brother cycled up Snowdon age 6. Cool family.
She’s training for the trip, taking place this summer, and is apparently averaging 7mph over a 25 mile distance. That puts many office working adults to shame.
But is it right to get children involved with challenges like this so young?
There seems to be a stream of young rock climbers who die for their sport before they leave school – like Tito Traversa, who died age 12 after falling off a 6b in France. They are prodigies… and then they are gone.
Does a child really have the same sense of danger as an adult? I don’t have any scientific backing to this, but it seems like adults are much more aware of their mortality. A child falls over and seems to bounce back up again. Adults avoid the chance of falling over.
On the other hand, I can hardly talk.
I’m not a pro climber or cyclist, but I was walking in Yosemite at age 2… that is assuming I could walk then. There are definitely pictures of me on the mountains (and making snowteddies). My Mum recently found a photo of me and Dad lying on the floor pointing at a map when I was about 3 – which would explain why I can’t remember learning to navigate.
Many of my outdoor-sy friends were dragged up mountains kicking and screaming as children. (Others went voluntarily.) They were brought up riding bicycles and, in one case, scrambling on Crib Goch in a howling storm.
We all remember these adventures.
For better or worse, they helped to make who we are – or else why would we all still be running, walking, cycling and hanging off rocks?
As the words from Wicked go: “Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better? … I have been changed for good.”
Do you think children can be too young for adventure?