T Nation

Anyone Else Think They're Invincible?

I tore my hamstring a couple of weeks ago and can’t train legs with weights atm so I have been going out on my racer for rehab/cardio and have started to really enjoy my rides. Anyhow, I happened to show my wife a news article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21716686about about a cycling app (strava) that is being sued for encouraging reckless cycling, which mentioned the case of a guy killed while racing to get on the app’s leaderboard, he crashed into a car at over 40mph.

Moments later, without thinking, I mentioned to my wife that I had hit 42mph going down a hill on my ride that morning. A new PR, I was quite impressed, she, less so.

After an hour or so of frosty, one word answers it dawned on me that she was in fact in a mood with me, when I asked why she said it was because of the speed I said I’d been going. After a lengthy discussion I apologised, said that I hadn’t realised how much she worried and that I wouldn’t ride so fast in future…well I wouldn’t make the mistake of telling her how fast I went next time anyway. She finished by saying, “you think you are invincible…but, you’re not!”

Reflecting later from the comfort of the spare bed (just kidding), I realised that she was right, I do think I’m invincible. I’m no adrenaline junkie at all, in fact I’m quite risk averse, I don’t drive fast and I don’t intentionally put myself in harms way, but I do have this strange belief that if I was in an accident of some kind I would somehow survive and that I would be OK. I know it’s not rational, I know that my skull is no harder than anyone elses and I know I would come off second best in a collision with a lorry, but if I’m honest, I do think this way.

So I was wondering does anyone else feel the same way? and do you think that it comes from a distorted sense of self confidence that comes from being “healthy”? you know, stronger and fitter than average?

EDIT: Could be expanded to “does anyone have any self belief that is clearly not warranted?” if everyone thinks this topic is a pile of shit.

At 27 years old, yes, absolutely. I have a “live fast, die young” type attitude at this point in my life. I don’t think it has anything to do with being in the shape i’m in. I have always been an adrenaline junkie of sorts - fast cars, boats, motorcycles, skydiving, bungee jumping - these are things I seek to do. Since I’m not married, nor do I have kids, It’s much easier for me to justify my risk taking behavior. I constantly like to push everything to the limit, I think it’s just the way a lot of people are wired. If I was into biking I would sure as shit be trying to hit 50 down a hill, but again, no wife or kids to take into consideration.

In terms of being in accidents…I don’t think I’m any more suited to handle them. Pretty sure If i get into a serious accident I’ll just be dead or a vegetable.

So you think flesh and bone beats metal and concrete/tarmac?

Hop on over to the gore websites and see exactly what happens when these things collide at speed. You wont be having an open casket ceremony.

My brother did a lot of stupid shit on his bike and eventually he flew off and the bike landed on his arm after it was twisted on the landing. Pretty much broke it.

[quote]harrypotter wrote:
So you think flesh and bone beats metal and concrete/tarmac?

Hop on over to the gore websites and see exactly what happens when these things collide at speed. You wont be having an open casket ceremony.

My brother did a lot of stupid shit on his bike and eventually he flew off and the bike landed on his arm after it was twisted on the landing. Pretty much broke it.[/quote]

Jesus Debbie donwner…

[quote]harrypotter wrote:
So you think flesh and bone beats metal and concrete/tarmac?

Hop on over to the gore websites and see exactly what happens when these things collide at speed. You wont be having an open casket ceremony.
[/quote]

That’s the point, it’s an irrational belief and I know it. I’m not stupid, I know what would happen if I did have an accident, I’ve seen plenty of that stuff and I’m definitely aware of my own mortality. I guess I just think that it won’t happen in the first place.

I am a ‘the glass is half full kind of person’, so maybe it’s just optimism out of control.

yes

[quote]harrypotter wrote:

My brother did a lot of stupid shit on his bike and eventually he flew off and the bike landed on his arm after it was twisted on the landing. Pretty much broke it.[/quote]

You got any pictures of your arm? We know it was you and not your brother.

Back when I was a heavy drinker somebody I met at a bar bet me thirty pounds and a Guinness that I couldn’t drink a lit sambuca shot with flame still intact. I readily agreed, proceeded to try to drink it, flame caught my lip and my arm jolted, spilt the alcohol all over the bottom half of my face, flame spread across my beard and neck and I spent a good ten seconds looking around and wondering what happened before I tried to slap it out with my bare hands.

Ended up with reasonably bad and prolonged facial blisters all across the bottom of my mouth, had to wear bandages for a week or two while at school and spent the rest of the day bed-ridden to keep it out of direct sunlight. Healed up eventually, luckily no scarring.

Some people might say it went pretty badly, unanimously regarded as stupid. But out of pity and respect I still got my thirty pounds and my pint of Guinness. My attitude towards the whole thing egotistically assured me I’d be fine, even in the close aftermath, and I’d have probably done it again near the time given the odds.

Unbreakable. Great film.

[quote]dmaddox wrote:

[quote]harrypotter wrote:

My brother did a lot of stupid shit on his bike and eventually he flew off and the bike landed on his arm after it was twisted on the landing. Pretty much broke it.[/quote]

You got any pictures of your arm? We know it was you and not your brother.[/quote]

No it wasn’t me but nice try. Never broken anything but I have done lots of stuff that should have.

Being hit by a car was one of them.

[quote]FarmerBrett wrote:

[quote]harrypotter wrote:
So you think flesh and bone beats metal and concrete/tarmac?

Hop on over to the gore websites and see exactly what happens when these things collide at speed. You wont be having an open casket ceremony.
[/quote]

That’s the point, it’s an irrational belief and I know it. I’m not stupid, I know what would happen if I did have an accident, I’ve seen plenty of that stuff and I’m definitely aware of my own mortality. I guess I just think that it won’t happen in the first place.

I am a ‘the glass is half full kind of person’, so maybe it’s just optimism out of control.[/quote]

Are you kind of guy to ride motorcycles for the buzz with a disregard or ignorance for those who love you and rely on you?

My dad and my neighbour have known 5 guys who lived for bikes, 4 of them were killed in accidents and one quit due to motorcycles being dangerous and just not worth the risk.

I think you’re the kind of guy who thinks he lives on the edge but is just one turn from being hit by a car.

Go shoe a horse man, it’ll change your mentality.

[quote]harrypotter wrote:

[quote]FarmerBrett wrote:

[quote]harrypotter wrote:
So you think flesh and bone beats metal and concrete/tarmac?

Hop on over to the gore websites and see exactly what happens when these things collide at speed. You wont be having an open casket ceremony.
[/quote]

That’s the point, it’s an irrational belief and I know it. I’m not stupid, I know what would happen if I did have an accident, I’ve seen plenty of that stuff and I’m definitely aware of my own mortality. I guess I just think that it won’t happen in the first place.

I am a ‘the glass is half full kind of person’, so maybe it’s just optimism out of control.[/quote]

Are you kind of guy to ride motorcycles for the buzz with a disregard or ignorance for those who love you and rely on you?

My dad and my neighbour have known 5 guys who lived for bikes, 4 of them were killed in accidents and one quit due to motorcycles being dangerous and just not worth the risk.

I think you’re the kind of guy who thinks he lives on the edge but is just one turn from being hit by a car.[/quote]

Firstly it’s a bicycle not a motorbike and I’m exactly the opposite of the guy you’re describing, I don’t live my life on the edge at all and wouldn’t claim to or want to. If you read my first post you’d see I said I’m not an adrenaline junkie at all and I DON’T take risks. I ride my bike very carefully. I am not reckless in the slightest.

I just have this strange idea that I’ll be alright, it doesn’t mean I test it out.

No weirder I think than all the hundreds of thousands of talent less people who delude themselves in to believing that they could win the X factor or American Idol.

[quote]harrypotter wrote:

[quote]FarmerBrett wrote:

[quote]harrypotter wrote:
So you think flesh and bone beats metal and concrete/tarmac?

Hop on over to the gore websites and see exactly what happens when these things collide at speed. You wont be having an open casket ceremony.
[/quote]

That’s the point, it’s an irrational belief and I know it. I’m not stupid, I know what would happen if I did have an accident, I’ve seen plenty of that stuff and I’m definitely aware of my own mortality. I guess I just think that it won’t happen in the first place.

I am a ‘the glass is half full kind of person’, so maybe it’s just optimism out of control.[/quote]

Are you kind of guy to ride motorcycles for the buzz with a disregard or ignorance for those who love you and rely on you?

My dad and my neighbour have known 5 guys who lived for bikes, 4 of them were killed in accidents and one quit due to motorcycles being dangerous and just not worth the risk.

I think you’re the kind of guy who thinks he lives on the edge but is just one turn from being hit by a car.[/quote]

In my line of work we refer to motorcycles as donorcycles. you ride them long enough, chances are you will be donating organs.

[quote]FarmerBrett wrote:

[quote]harrypotter wrote:

[quote]FarmerBrett wrote:

[quote]harrypotter wrote:
So you think flesh and bone beats metal and concrete/tarmac?

Hop on over to the gore websites and see exactly what happens when these things collide at speed. You wont be having an open casket ceremony.
[/quote]

That’s the point, it’s an irrational belief and I know it. I’m not stupid, I know what would happen if I did have an accident, I’ve seen plenty of that stuff and I’m definitely aware of my own mortality. I guess I just think that it won’t happen in the first place.

I am a ‘the glass is half full kind of person’, so maybe it’s just optimism out of control.[/quote]

Are you kind of guy to ride motorcycles for the buzz with a disregard or ignorance for those who love you and rely on you?

My dad and my neighbour have known 5 guys who lived for bikes, 4 of them were killed in accidents and one quit due to motorcycles being dangerous and just not worth the risk.

I think you’re the kind of guy who thinks he lives on the edge but is just one turn from being hit by a car.[/quote]

Firstly it’s a bicycle not a motorbike and I’m exactly the opposite of the guy you’re describing, I don’t live my life on the edge at all and wouldn’t claim to or want to. If you read my first post you’d see I said I’m not an adrenaline junkie at all and I DON’T take risks. I ride my bike very carefully. I am not reckless in the slightest.

I just have this strange idea that I’ll be alright, it doesn’t mean I test it out.

No weirder I think than all the hundreds of thousands of talent less people who delude themselves in to believing that they could win the X factor or American Idol.[/quote]

Yeah, I hear next season Professor X is going to be a judge on the X factor. Shit is about to get real.

On Topic: I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie even though I am very cautious at my approach. I rock climb, have been skydiving, snowboard and other things like that. I know my limits and don’t tend to push them when doing something dangerous. I am only 24 though, so there is some feeling of invincibility.

[quote]harrypotter wrote:

[quote]FarmerBrett wrote:

[quote]harrypotter wrote:
So you think flesh and bone beats metal and concrete/tarmac?

Hop on over to the gore websites and see exactly what happens when these things collide at speed. You wont be having an open casket ceremony.
[/quote]

That’s the point, it’s an irrational belief and I know it. I’m not stupid, I know what would happen if I did have an accident, I’ve seen plenty of that stuff and I’m definitely aware of my own mortality. I guess I just think that it won’t happen in the first place.

I am a ‘the glass is half full kind of person’, so maybe it’s just optimism out of control.[/quote]

Are you kind of guy to ride motorcycles for the buzz with a disregard or ignorance for those who love you and rely on you?

My dad and my neighbour have known 5 guys who lived for bikes, 4 of them were killed in accidents and one quit due to motorcycles being dangerous and just not worth the risk.

I think you’re the kind of guy who thinks he lives on the edge but is just one turn from being hit by a car.[/quote]

Motorcycles aren’t dangerous. It is the drivers around the motorcycles that are.

Sureee, there are people who go 200kph on those things, wipe out and die, I get that. The same thing could be said about people doing that in cars. Cars are just safer than motorcycles but motorcycles themselves are not inherently dangerous.

I’m sure that’s what you meant (seriously).

Edit: on topic - OP I hear where you’re coming from. I have the same mentality (to a degree). It’s like believing you’ll win the lottery even though…well… you’ll never win the lottery.

Anyone Else Think They’re Invincible?

Yes, until I started having 2 & 3 day hangovers.

Everyone thinks they are invincible until it happens to them, I am sure the people that had gotten killed or injured had the same attitude, of course others not so much… A belief doesn’t make you any less prone to anything… Hell you may think you are invincible and even be diagnosed with a terminal illness or a serious disease, thats another thing I find alot of people think well… not gonna happen to me… I used to think like that, but as long as you stop and be aware before you do things then you can keep yourself much safer.

I can’t remember ever thinking I was invincible. Maybe because I spent a large part of my childhood sick with one thing or another.

(I never had cancer or leaky heart valves or anything bad enough to get a fund named after me. But I had an overly-sensitive digestive system; an overly-sensitive respiratory system; and I was a lot better at catching viruses than catching baseballs.)

[quote]Rico Suave wrote:

[quote]harrypotter wrote:

[quote]FarmerBrett wrote:

[quote]harrypotter wrote:
So you think flesh and bone beats metal and concrete/tarmac?

Hop on over to the gore websites and see exactly what happens when these things collide at speed. You wont be having an open casket ceremony.
[/quote]

That’s the point, it’s an irrational belief and I know it. I’m not stupid, I know what would happen if I did have an accident, I’ve seen plenty of that stuff and I’m definitely aware of my own mortality. I guess I just think that it won’t happen in the first place.

I am a ‘the glass is half full kind of person’, so maybe it’s just optimism out of control.[/quote]

Are you kind of guy to ride motorcycles for the buzz with a disregard or ignorance for those who love you and rely on you?

My dad and my neighbour have known 5 guys who lived for bikes, 4 of them were killed in accidents and one quit due to motorcycles being dangerous and just not worth the risk.

I think you’re the kind of guy who thinks he lives on the edge but is just one turn from being hit by a car.[/quote]

Motorcycles aren’t dangerous. It is the drivers around the motorcycles that are.

Sureee, there are people who go 200kph on those things, wipe out and die, I get that. The same thing could be said about people doing that in cars. Cars are just safer than motorcycles but motorcycles themselves are not inherently dangerous.

I’m sure that’s what you meant (seriously).

Edit: on topic - OP I hear where you’re coming from. I have the same mentality (to a degree). It’s like believing you’ll win the lottery even though…well… you’ll never win the lottery. [/quote]

Continuing the derail…

Motorcycles are not inherently dangerous. They are as safe as any other vehicle - when they are parked. It is only when you choose to ride a motorcycle that it becomes dangerous. 25-30x as lethal as any other vehicle give or take, and almost half of those fatalities result from single vehicle crashes. So maybe it’s not inherently dangerous when compared to, say, explosive ordinance disposal but it is significantly more risky than, say, knitting (or driving any other civilian motor vehicle on earth).

Don’t get me wrong, I love motorcycles. However riding is an inherently elevated risk activity. Deep down that’s part of the appeal, sense of freedom, and the price of freedom is risk. Let’s not kid ourselves.