Extreme sports are the very expression that immediately summons visions of reckless, heart-stopping, and death-defying pursuits. Many “normal” people, such as those who practice team sports, see these athletes as rebellious unnecessary risk takers, but these enthusiasts see those people as ones who have not yet lived and had experienced the bursting thrills of life. These extreme sports athletes have better personal values, are more in touch with nature, and are better-rounded than their surrounding peers who are less independent in the team sports community. What still puzzles many of us is why these athletes strive to push the limits to these drastic extents and what kind of satisfaction could they be getting out of putting their bodies and minds through these life-threatening endeavors.
The desire to physically test one’s self dates back farther than we can imagine, but today’s modern version of this test would be extreme sports. Many of these extreme sports we have today, such as skateboarding or BMX, were founded in America’s subculture communities. They have even been banned in multiple areas for being too dangerous. In many of these sports, individual heroes emerged and set a trend toward mainstream entertainment, putting extreme sports on the map for good. Once seen as an outlawed sport, snowboarding was banned from many ski resorts when it was first gaining popularity and now we have it in the Olympics of all places. If we look at the history of today’s extreme sports, we might determine that the extreme sports of the future will soon emerge among our youth as they seek still another form of self-expression and challenge (History of Extreme Sports, 2007).
Extreme sports enthusiasts have goals just like other athletes, but their main goal is not to beat the other person or other team, but to conquer themselves, their fears, and their own personal levels of gratification. Through the history of time, man has pushed the levels of what can physically be done. It is in our human nature to do so. “Mountains were climbed simply for the reason that they were there. They are done simply to prove that they can be done. Many of the sports considered Extreme Sports are non-competitive. At least, they are non-competitive from the idea of competing against other players. However, they are competitive from the point of view of pitting yourself against a sometimes hostile environment or seemly impossible obstacle. There are some who have parlayed their skill at Extreme Sports into money through media exposure and the increased attention given to events such as the X-games. Yet, it is certainly not a search for money or fame that motivates the majority of Extreme Sports participants. If you look at some of the Extreme Sports, or with activities that closely resemble them, you will see that they are really just activities that have been around for a long time taken to a higher level. Examples of Extreme Sports of the past include surfing which was invented by the ancient inhabitants of Hawaii and mountain climbing. These activities were done just for the joy and the thrill that was provided and not for fame or fortune. The Olympic ideal of higher, faster, and stronger is part of human nature. It is the fact that humans not only welcome challenge, but will sometimes purposely seek it out that explains why people do Extreme Sports. While it is true that not everyone sees the thrill of jumping out of a plane or hurtling off the side of a mountain in exactly the same way, there are always those willing to step up and give it a try” (Why Do People Do Extreme Sports?, 2007).
At a young age, children start experiencing the competitiveness of sports. Teams start keeping score and coaches might begin to judge an individual’s...