Are You Ever Too Young For An Adventure?

Emily Woodhouse Comment and Opinion, Living Adventurously

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?