Extreme sports are a form of sports that are deemed dangerous, hazardous, and risk-taking. Majority of the people or athletes that participate or compete in these are often called fearless individuals. Athletes and other individuals, who compete or participate in Extreme sports, are at a greater risk of severe injuries or even death than athletes who participate in traditional sports. However, the participation rates for extreme sports has constantly improved over time. Athletes that explore into extreme adventure sports want to experience the fear and adrenaline associated with these sports. According to Tim Woodman of “The Conversation” academic journal, high-risk sportspeople and athletes are hedonistic thrill seekers.
People dealing with fear and stress should give extreme sports a chance to change their lives. Extreme sports helps people overcome their fears and the tension or stress going on in someone’s life. Extreme sports help people forget and relieve the stressful situations in life such as, work, school, and home life. People dealing with stress has found extreme sports to be enthusiastic, fulfilling, exciting, and thrill-seeking. After people take part or engage in extreme sports, it gives people a sense of accomplishment, which makes people feel more confident. People who are actively involved in extreme sports feel pleasurable when competing in these sports because they enjoy the rush and adrenaline of the different emotions they experience during the activity.
The most common emotions associated with extreme sports are fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety are states of feelings where there is a heightened sense of danger or harm to a person physically, mentally, or emotionally. Although several people have expressed fear, concern, and anxiety with these sports, most extreme athletes believe that fear and anxiety is good and beneficial to them emotionally and mentally. Professional slack-liner Heather Larsen believes that “fear is just a reaction from the human brain that the activity you are participating in is not a good idea; for extreme athletes they have to learn from their fears and ask themselves what how bad to they want to accomplish their goals”.
There are four components of extreme sports where fear is beneficial to people and extreme sportspeople. Experience of fear, relationship to fear, managing fear and stress, and fear and self-transformation are the main components of extreme athletes to overcome their fears in extreme sports. Extreme athletes have experienced fear on multiple occasions in their respective sports. Some extreme athletes and sportspeople have experienced fear before they participated in their extreme sport. Many scientists have conducted studies and interviews where fear is intensified before the participation in the sport, however, the fear vanishes while competing in their respective extreme sports.
People who engage in extreme sports start to get a sense of a relationship between extreme sports and their fears. Extreme athletes and sportspeople believe that fear is an essential element to their survival in their perspective extreme sports. Eric Brymer and Robert Schweitzer, extreme BASE jumpers, believe the same notion that “fear is an important healthy emotion that keeps people alive”. Fear causes extreme athletes to take the necessary precautions to prevent major injuries or death.
People who actively engage or compete in extreme sports have to manage their fear and stress levels. Athletes who compete in extreme sports have to control their fear and stress levels in order to avoid from panicking. Panicking can cause an extreme athlete to make bad decisions, which can cause the athlete to get seriously injured. When people control their fears, the dangerous activity is not as terrifying as they expected it to be. Fear is an emotion that can be broken and confronted head on for people to overcome; extreme sports can help people overcome their fears.
Self-transformation is the final component of why fear is beneficial to people and athletes. Participating in extreme or adventure sports can help transform a person’s mind, body, and soul; several extreme sportspeople have expressed how much these sport activities have changed their lives and lifestyles. Extreme sport participants have experienced changes in their feelings and behavior. Extreme sport participants tend to have positive feelings and attitudes towards their lives after exercising in these adventure sports. People that take part in adventure sports have success when they can control their emotions, especially fear. Personal responsibility and accountability are elements of self-transformation that people and athletes must master in order to engage in extreme sports.
Engaging or participating in extreme sports is very helpful and beneficial for people to cope with their fears and stress levels. Extreme sports can help people dissolve the problems and situations in their lives to relieve and cope with stress. Engaging in these dangerous, thrill-seeking activities actually helps people overcome their fears. Also, people tend to gain positive feelings and confidence after these extreme events. However, people have to master the four components of fear in order to compete or participate in extreme and adventure sports.
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Brymer, Eric, Schweitzer, Robert, 2012, Extreme sports are good for your health: A phenomenological understanding of fear and anxiety in extreme sport,
Jarrett, Christian, 2013, It’s about accepting that you’re mortal- Extreme Sports enthusiasts on overcoming fear,
Williams, Andrea, 2017, What Extreme Athletes Can Teach Us About Overcoming Our Fears,
Woodman, Tim, 2015, Extreme athletes gain control through fear – and sometimes pay the price,
Venkatramani, Shweta, 2018, How Adventure Sports helps beat Stress,