The perils of the pursuit of new extremities, extreme adventure and defying death
In our new monthly series of extreme pioneers, we’re not only dothing our bat suits to legends of adrenaline pursuits; we’re also considering when does mental prowess cross the line into mentally mis-firing. Why do some of these fearless mavericks feel the need to not only surpass but smash the existing records on land, sea or air with such intensity and in some cases regularity?
Adrenaline; A substance released in the body of a person who is feeling a strong emotion, such as excitement, fear, or anger. The adrenaline rush usually occurs when the body senses danger, aka the “fight or flight” moment. Persons who thirst for adrenaline are also known as sensation-seekers or adrenaline junkies.
Where does the line between inspiring and mental misfiring cross? Are we pushing for greatness and human evolution or merely addled adrenaline addicts with a constant need to quench that thirst? Legends of limit quashing, planted in the extreme sport fast lane? Or a neurological nightmare with a brain drain towards the recesses of the insane?
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When does magnificent turn into madness? Is it possible to have one without the other? The world’s most acclaimed geniuses have flirted between the generally perceived normal realms and insanity. Tell us your ultimate hero, a challenge that was doomed from inception and should never have been attempted. What is an extreme sport and what’s dancing with the devil where the risks far outweigh any rewards? Tweet us @onestopbuzzshop https://twitter.com/onestopbuzzshop
Some of the legends of endurance, boundary busting or speedsters screaming to go faster must have had the mental steel of Iron Bru (It almost works) or be one beautiful bottle of inflated craft beer short of a 4-pack. If love is a drug then to these athletes adrenaline is an all you can eat swingers buffet and all their personal human interactions rolled into one.
According to Psychologist Zuckerman, he believes sensation-seeking behaviour is the pursuit of novel and intense experiences without regard for physical, social, legal, or financial risk. He even goes on to define Sensation-seeking as a general personality trait. And like any personality trait, it is more than 50 percent determined by heredity.
Well enough of the science behind the challenge and we’re going back to the 1960s for one of the original speedy speedy speed junkies of our time.
Englishman Donald Campbell. Was at one time simultaneously the holder of both world records for land and water speed. In 1967, on his final attempt to break his own water speed record, Campbell was killed when his jet-powered boat turned nose up and shot 50 feet into the air. He was tanking the high tech boat he’d had designed at more than 300 mph That’s when his boat launched into the air and disintegrated on impact back onto the water, instantly killing Campbell.
For 40 years his body and boat went undiscovered until both were found and recovered for burial in 2002.
The man in charge of radio communications released a digital copy of Campbell’s last words before the boat turned north and the stunt went south. His last words — “The bow is up. I’m going. I’m gone” [source: BBC]. Seemingly Campbell knew he’d danced to long with the devil in his final words and indeed he was going and then he was gone. Gone but not forgotten.
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What drives you to do the extreme sport you do, be it BMX free styling, free diving, wing walking, Parkour or bouldering. Tell us on our Facebook page http://facebook.com/onestopbuzzshop/, Instragram, Snapchat even smoke signal us your phenomenal photos of adrenaline fuelled fearless crusaders, feel free to blow your own trumpet also(so to speak).
Next edition we’ll turn our heads back towards land but stick with that dangerous and sometimes deadly need for speed. Our special focus being king of cool James Dean and one of the finest driving legends even before his untimely death, Ayton Senna.