Exploring Risk: Go Big or Go Home – Look Before You Leap?

I skipped a couple days of NaBloPoMo writing prompts on the topic of risk because I did a spontaneous post on Thursday about a workshop by blogging expert, Michelle Shaeffer; and a post yesterday in honor of International Women’s Day.

I thought I would combine the two writing prompts in this post and address the following ideas about risk:

Discuss your experience with the saying, “go big or go home.”

Do you always look before you leap?

If the expression, “Go big or go home” means to take a chance on being totally vulnerable for something you really want, then the experience that comes to mind is an audition back in my early college days, in the years of 1976-1980.

I have always enjoyed singing–a talent I probably acquired from my Dad–and I even taught myself to sing alto and harmonize. I sang in the church choir and even won a singing competition in a group that included my sisters and a friend. When I got to college (Nyack College in Nyack, New York), I discovered there were a number of singing groups looking for members.

The one that sounded the most interesting was one that would be traveling during spring break, presenting World Missions in Review (WMIR) in conjunction with other members who would be speaking and presenting skits. The 16-voice chorale would include 4 members for each vocal part (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) – and required an audition.

In spite of my nervousness, I really wanted to be a part of the group–and although I literally experienced fear and trembling throughout the audition…I obtained one of the alto positions. That was rewarding enough, along with the experience of traveling and presenting the WMIR program – but I was able to continue as a member of the chorale in additional years. During my junior year, our group actually went to a studio and made a recording; that was a first and only experience!

“Look before you leap” – On this, I’m reminded of my literal leap from the second story window of our apartment, when fire broke out on March 25, 1985. I discussed this experience recently in my post regarding Great Risks-Great Rewards. In that case, I really had no choice, as it was a matter of life and death. I remember having to drop the three children out the window to the waiting policemen–after that, I don’t clearly remember anything until waking up in the hospital, as it turned out, three days later.

Apparently, I fell while trying to climb out the window; eyewitnesses stated that I somersaulted through the air and landed on my head. I nearly died from my injuries, which included a lacerated scalp, skull fracture, and broken neck. By the grace of God –I’m still here and am working on  writing the story, now that enough time has passed that I can write about it without the associated emotional trauma.

How about you? Have you had any experiences that fit one or both of the concepts I’ve discussed?


5 thoughts on “Exploring Risk: Go Big or Go Home – Look Before You Leap?”
  1. Ohmigawsh. What a story!! The photo frightens me just looking at it. I can’t imagine…. I am so glad I popped over here from Ultimate Blog Challenge because it looks like we have a lot in common besides UBC and NaBloPoMo!

    I need to check out your post on International Women’s Day. I (sort of) ranted at a Barnes and Noble (Male) employee, explaining how it all got started. I can’t help myself. I’m passionate!

    Great to “meet” you!
    Julie Jordan Scott recently posted..14 Quotes for you to Live on the Subjects of Risk & Courage

  2. During our first trip to Vegas last summer we combined some fun things with the work trip we were there for, and included what I consider a risky fun thing! My daughter and I decided to zip-line in the downtown area. I was nervous but also excited. Standing on the five story platform in 112 degree heat for almost an hour while we waited our turn was not fun and had me doubting the whole experience and the risk. However, when we were pushed off and went sailing above the people filled street, it was both thrilling and a great experience I got to share with my daughter.
    Vicki recently posted..Nutrition For A Healthy Heart

  3. Wow, K’Lee, you have a powerful post today! The stock trading side of me really looks at many aspects of life from a risk to reward standpoint. I use it as a parent, coach and counselor regularly. I have had amazing opportunities unfold by seizing opportunity despite some risk. I love out-sized reward relative to risk. As a counselor and dad, I often have to point out the tendency in youngsters to do just the opposite. Kids set up for a fall when they take huge risks- often with no real reward. Great topic!!! I am glad you are here to tell your powerful story!

  4. What an amazing story! And I thought I was a survivor. As for “going big” or taking a leap, I guess the two big ones that come to mind for me are going to law school and the Avon Walk. Neither are things that I thought I could ever do. But I did. And I still do (annual Avon Walk). I look forward to learning more about you and your journeys. Thanks for sharing.
    Heather recently posted..Winter’s End

  5. OMG that would have been so scary! It’s one of the things that makes me glad our building is a single story one and that there are multiple exits so that we shouldn’t ever be trapped in a situation like that!

    Not sure if I have ever had a look before you leap situation unless you count meeting my now husband through an online dating website or maybe quitting my job when I was 21 to start a tertiary diploma!
    AMummysLife recently posted..Family visit

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