Strong hearted people who aren’t having enough fun just by doing normal sports, go for the extreme, make a sport of it, and get their adrenal gland secrete as many hormones as possible. Those kind of sports remain a simple hobby for some, but for others they become a way of life, or even a source of money.
It is mad to think that people go out there and have fun by risking their lives, or while risking their life. By simply attempting extreme sports we go against our human nature, that is avoiding danger in order to survive. Therefore who are those people that involve themselves in dangerous activities? A study of 15 participants showed that a bungee jumper might for example feel a certain rush of immortality and his may lead to psychological effects that have positive effects for life in general (Isaksen, The Psychology of Extreme sports).
One of these crazy sports is Bike Trials, which is relatively new compared to the many others. It is a sport that has to do with extreme biking. The rider has to mount a specially made bike (it has no sit, and wheels larger than normal), and perform tricks which require both physical and mental strength. Many of the tricks require the rider to maintain the bike at equilibrium on the rear wheel, position from which he can jump forwards over, or on, an obstacle. Trials riding is an extreme real life test of bicycle handling skills over either natural or man-made obstacles.
Despite feeling fear, a mechanism set to protect us if we were to run over something dangerous, many people seem to confront it without showing any problems. Oh but already spoiled the fact that they can actually feel fear, and now I can’t ask you anymore if they feel fear. But I can still ask you “Why do you think that they have no problem in confronting fear?”
The answer lays within our brain, and it is also part of the same defence mechanism. For every single time we feel fear, and manage to survive…, this mechanism repays us with dopamine. Dopamine is the hormone that gives us the sensation of pleasure, so by secreting this hormone the body learns that by continuing to survive, it will be rewarded.
This is why it is natural to hear people saying they are addicted to extreme sports. The next time you hear people saying that one is practicing extreme sports because one is addicted to danger correct them. One is not addicted to danger, but to a biochemical secreted by the body, in the blood, as a result of one’s survival. One is not addicted to danger, but to living.