Logo
    Search

    Why are people drawn to extreme sports? With Eric Brymer, PhD

    enSeptember 20, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Insights from Adventure PsychologyExtreme adventurers are meticulous planners, motivated by fear and personal growth, and demonstrate that everyone has the potential for challenge and growth.

      Extreme adventurers are not necessarily reckless risk-takers, but rather careful planners who prepare extensively for their daring feats. People are drawn to extreme activities for various reasons, from family influences to personal curiosity, and even a love for safety. Psychologists studying extreme adventure find that fear plays a role, but adventurers often channel it differently, using it as motivation rather than letting it hold them back. These insights from adventure psychology can teach us that everyone has the capacity for growth and challenge, regardless of our perceived limitations.

    • Extreme sports driven by personal connection, not adrenalineExtreme sports athletes are meticulous, knowledgeable, and cautious, debunking the myth of fearless risk-takers

      Extreme sports participation is driven by personal fascination and a deep connection to the activity, rather than a desire for adrenaline or a death wish. Extreme sports athletes are meticulous and knowledgeable about their environment and the activity itself, as they often have to rely solely on themselves when things go wrong. They undergo intense training and research to minimize risks and improve their skills. The misconception of extreme sports athletes as fearless risk-takers is debunked, as they exhibit caution and a profound understanding of their capabilities and the conditions they face.

    • Commitment to extreme sports driven by intrinsic motivationsExtreme athletes are deeply committed, span various age groups, and develop resilience and appreciation for life's complexities through their intrinsic motivations and focus on the activity.

      Extreme athletes are deeply committed to their chosen activity due to intrinsic motivations and the knowledge required to navigate their environment. These individuals are not just young and reckless, but span various age groups. Furthermore, engaging in extreme sports can lead to a shift in attitude towards everyday life, making individuals more resilient and less concerned about minor issues. This meticulousness and focus on the activity often extend beyond it, allowing individuals to approach challenges with a new perspective and appreciation for the complexities of life.

    • Experiences beyond the ordinary in extreme sportsExtreme sports provide unique experiences of freedom, heightened sensory perception, and even transcendence, accessible only through high-risk activities. The natural environment plays a crucial role, requiring problem-solving and quick decisions. Outcomes can be fatal.

      Extreme sports offer experiences that go beyond the ordinary, often involving a sense of freedom, heightened sensory perception, and even the feeling of transcendence. These experiences are often only accessible through engaging in activities that carry a high risk of death or serious injury. The natural environment plays a crucial role in extreme sports, as it is free and unregulated, requiring problem-solving and quick decision-making skills. The potential outcomes of extreme sports are significantly different from those of less risky activities, as the most likely outcome if things go wrong is death. Finally, extreme sports are self-directed, making the experience deeply personal and independent. While some may view participants as adrenaline junkies, the allure of extreme sports lies in the unique experiences they offer, which can be difficult to find in more traditional activities.

    • Extreme sports provide transformation and positive outcomesExtreme sports aren't addictive, but offer freedom, thriving, spiritual experiences, and a passion for the environment

      Extreme sports participation is not akin to addiction, but rather a source of transformation and positive outcomes for most individuals. Extreme athletes are driven by the powerful benefits they gain, such as feelings of freedom, thriving, and even spiritual experiences. Additionally, they are often passionate about giving back to the environment and making a positive impact. Unlike professions like being a war correspondent, Navy SEAL, or spy where the activity is a necessary part of their work, extreme sports are generally a leisure activity. These differences indicate that the two are not comparable in terms of addiction.

    • Mental Traits of Extreme Sports Athletes and ProfessionalsExtreme sports athletes and professionals in dangerous fields share mental traits like calmness, presence, and fear management, while preparing meticulously and adapting to unpredictable environments.

      Extreme sports athletes and professionals in dangerous fields, such as spies or Navy SEALs, may share similar mental traits, including a sense of calm and presence in the moment, despite the different requirements and risks involved in their respective fields. Contrary to popular belief, fear is not absent in extreme sports, but rather, athletes need to manage and harness their fear to perform effectively. Both groups prepare meticulously, but ultimately, they must surrender to the unpredictable nature of their environments and adapt to unexpected situations.

    • Fear as a tool for extreme sports athletesFear helps athletes stay focused, pay attention to subtle cues, and make informed decisions in extreme sports, enhancing safety and performance.

      Extreme sports athletes view fear as a crucial tool for staying focused and paying attention to their environment. Fear serves as a trigger to take things seriously and pay attention to subtle cues that may indicate potential dangers. This heightened awareness can help athletes avoid disasters and make informed decisions in the moment. The exact relationship between fear and the perception of danger is still being researched, but it's clear that fear plays a vital role in extreme sports. Additionally, the popularity of extreme and adventure sports has been on the rise in recent years, with more people engaging in these activities and more coverage in the media.

    • Technology expanding access to outdoor activities and fueling interest in adventure sportsExpertise and skills development are essential for safety and enjoyment in adventure sports, and adventure psychology offers unique insights for coping with uncertainty, risk management, and extreme environments.

      Technology has expanded access to outdoor activities, allowing more people to engage in them and fueling a growing interest in adventure sports. However, it's important to remember that expertise and skills development are still crucial for safety and enjoyment. Adventure psychology, while related to sports psychology, has unique aspects due to the distinct challenges and goals of adventure sports. These include coping with uncertainty, risk management, and the psychological effects of extreme environments. Recognizing adventure psychology as a distinct specialty can help provide the necessary resources and support for those seeking to participate in these activities.

    • Exploring unconstrained environments vs. following rulesAdventure sports offer self-discovery, learning, and unique experiences, but come with higher risks and unpredictable situations compared to traditional sports.

      Adventure sports and traditional sports have significant differences. Unlike sports with clear rules and boundaries, adventure sports involve navigating unconstrained environments and dealing with unpredictable situations. The stakes are also much higher, as mistakes can result in serious consequences. However, even activities that are less extreme, like controlled adventures, can still provide benefits such as self-discovery and learning to read the environment. Ultimately, humans are naturally adventurous beings, and engaging in adventures can help us flourish and thrive, even in our modern sedentary lifestyles. The risks and challenges of adventure sports can be daunting, but they also offer unique rewards and experiences that cannot be found in more controlled environments.

    • Rediscovering the human spirit of adventureExploring new things and experiences can enhance physical and mental well-being, connecting us to our inherent human capabilities.

      Adventure is a fundamental aspect of what it means to be human. It's not about extreme sports or dangerous activities, but rather the curiosity and exploration that drives us to expand our horizons and experience new things. We've seen this throughout history, from early humans exploring new lands to modern societies expanding across the globe. Adventure has been linked to well-being, both physically and mentally, and includes activities that connect us to the natural world. By rediscovering the adventurous spirit within us, we can enhance our health and well-being, as well as reconnect with our inherent human capabilities. The next step is to identify specific aspects of adventure and how they can be utilized to support well-being for people around the world. This could include physical activity, as well as experiences that allow us to push beyond our comfort zones and discover new possibilities.

    • Exploring the benefits of adventure and physical activity in aging wellEmbracing adventure and physical activity, regardless of age, can lead to a more fulfilling and enjoyable life. Breaking societal expectations and discovering new joys can significantly enhance well-being.

      Embracing adventure and physical activity, no matter what age, can significantly enhance one's life. This was a key theme in a UK program by doctor Michael Mosley, who explored the concept of aging well. The show featured inspiring stories of individuals, such as a 79-year-old parachute jumper and a woman who started a local football team, who discovered new joys and benefits from pursuing adventure. It's important to tap into activities that enhance well-being, rather than taking unnecessary risks. The program also highlighted the importance of breaking cultural norms and societal expectations to embrace new experiences. Overall, the message is that adventure and physical activity can lead to a more fulfilling and enjoyable life, regardless of age.

    Recent Episodes from Speaking of Psychology

    The future of brain-computer interfaces, with Nicholas Hatsopoulos, PhD

    The future of brain-computer interfaces, with Nicholas Hatsopoulos, PhD

    A few decades ago, the idea of being able to interact directly with a computer using only your thoughts would have sounded like science fiction. But today researchers and companies are testing brain-computer interfaces that allow patients to move a computer cursor or control a prosthetic limb directly with their thoughts. Nicholas Hatsopoulos, PhD, discusses the future of brain-computer interfaces, how they work, the practical challenges researchers face, and what scientists have learned about the brain as they develop this technology.

    Speaking of Psychology
    enJuly 10, 2024

    How noise pollution harms our health, with Arline Bronzaft, PhD

    How noise pollution harms our health, with Arline Bronzaft, PhD

    From roaring leaf blowers to screeching trains, the world is full of unwelcome noise – and researchers have found that noisy environments can take a real toll on people’s mental and physical health. Arline Bronzaft, PhD, talks about how noise affects health and well-being, how it can harm kids’ learning, why it’s not just a problem in big cities, and the most unusual noise complaints she’s heard in her five decades of advocacy combating noise pollution.

    Speaking of Psychology
    enJune 26, 2024

    Mental health in a warming world, with Kim Meidenbauer, PhD, and Amruta Nori-Sarma, PhD

    Mental health in a warming world, with Kim Meidenbauer, PhD, and Amruta Nori-Sarma, PhD

    Last year -- 2023 -- was the world’s warmest on record, and 2024 could bring another record-shattering summer. Psychologist Kim Meidenbauer, PhD, and public health researcher Amruta Nori-Sarma, PhD, discuss how heat affects people’s mental health, emotions and even cognitive abilities; the link between heat, violence and aggression; who is most vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat; and what policy makers could be doing to mitigate its effects.

    Speaking of Psychology
    enJune 19, 2024

    How to motivate yourself and others, with Wendy Grolnick, PhD, and Frank Worrell, PhD

    How to motivate yourself and others, with Wendy Grolnick, PhD, and Frank Worrell, PhD

    Why can’t I get myself to run that 5K? Why isn’t my child getting better grades? We all have things that we struggle to accomplish – or that we struggle to get someone else to accomplish. Frank Worrell, PhD, and Wendy Grolnick, PhD, co-authors of “Motivation Myth Busters: Science-based Strategies to Boost Motivation in Yourself and Others,” discuss how our misconceptions about motivation get in the way of reaching our goals, why there’s no such thing as an “unmotivated” person, and the merits and drawbacks of strategies like rewards, competition and praise.

    Speaking of Psychology
    enJune 12, 2024

    The benefits of solitude, with Thuy-vy Nguyen, PhD, and Netta Weinstein, PhD

    The benefits of solitude, with Thuy-vy Nguyen, PhD, and Netta Weinstein, PhD

    The average American adult spends up to one-third of their waking hours alone. Psychologists are exploring how those hours spent on our own affect us – including the potential benefits, as well as the challenges, of solitude. Thuy-vy Nguyen, PhD, and Netta Weinstein, PhD, discuss the difference between solitude and loneliness, how solitude affects our emotions and stress levels, why some people crave solitude more than others, and why the stigma against solitude can make us uncomfortable with being alone.

    Speaking of Psychology
    enJune 05, 2024

    Which countries are happiest and why? With Lara Aknin, PhD

    Which countries are happiest and why? With Lara Aknin, PhD

    The 2024 World Happiness Report, which ranks the happiness levels of countries around the world, found that young Americans are less happy than their peers in many other countries. Psychology professor Lara Aknin, PhD, an editor of the report, talks about how the report defines happiness, why young people’s happiness levels may have dropped in the U.S, what drives happiness, and why being generous makes people happy – even when they don’t have much to spare.

    Choosing to be child free, with Jennifer Watling Neal, PhD

    Choosing to be child free, with Jennifer Watling Neal, PhD

    A growing number of adults in the U.S. are choosing not to have children. Jenna Watling Neal, PhD, of Michigan State University, talks about her research that’s found 1 in 5 adults are child free, why people are choosing not to have kids, the stigma child-free adults face, whether people who decide not to have kids early in life usually stick with that choice, and how the prevalence of child-free adults in the U.S. compares with other countries.

    How to cope with political stress this election season, with Brett Q. Ford, PhD, and Kevin Smith, PhD

    How to cope with political stress this election season, with Brett Q. Ford, PhD, and Kevin Smith, PhD

    If the thought of the upcoming election sends your stress level through the roof, you’re not alone. Psychologist Brett Q. Ford, PhD, and political scientist Kevin Smith, PhD, talk about how political stress affects people’s well-being; what high levels of political stress mean for people’s lives, for the U.S. and for democracy; and how to stay politically engaged while still maintaining your mental health.

    For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.

    How Sesame Street teaches kids about emotional well-being, with Rosemarie Truglio, PhD

    How Sesame Street teaches kids about emotional well-being, with Rosemarie Truglio, PhD

    Sesame Street has entertained and educated generations of children. Developmental psychologist Rosemarie Truglio, PhD, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president of curriculum and content, talks about why the show has a new focus on young children’s emotional well-being; how Sesame Street translates complicated concepts into stories that young kids can connect with; the research that underpins all of the content on Sesame Street; and why the Sesame Street characters still resonate with so many adults.

    For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.

    Related Episodes

    Paul Gorton Wingwalking Decision Day

    Paul Gorton Wingwalking Decision Day
    After some time for contemplation it's Wingwalking decision day for Paul Gorton. Will he be taking to the skys on the wings of a plane ? David and Joe feel bad about putting him forward as they are too scared to do it themselves. Paul has his final answer for them. Follow Chatabix on Twitter & Instagram: twitter.com/chatabix1 www.instagram.com/chatabixpodcast/ Patreon for early access to our eps: https://www.patreon.com/chatabix Crunchy fresh tees and hoodies: https://chatabixshop.com/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    Let's Talk About... Fear (Episode 10)

    Let's Talk About... Fear (Episode 10)

    www.letstalkaboutmentalhealth.com.au

    This week on Let’s Talk About Mental Health - Fear. Jeremy talks about what fear is, why it happens and how to work through your fears in order to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Transcript also available at the website (link above).

    Let's Talk About Mental Health is a weekly podcast about good mental health by Australian author and speaker, Jeremy Godwin. It's about much more than just talk; each new episode focuses on practical and simple things that you can do every single day to improve and maintain your mental health and wellbeing. Find out more at www.letstalkaboutmentalhealth.com.au.

    Let's Talk About Mental Health. Because the more we talk about it, the easier it gets.

    Warning: Contains occasional coarse language.

    Lee Haney - 8 Time Mr Olympia - How I Became the Greatest Bodybuilder on the Planet

    Lee Haney - 8 Time Mr Olympia - How I Became the Greatest Bodybuilder on the Planet

    ✅ #BrianForMayor 👉 https://BrianForMayor.London

    💖 MAKE 2021 YOUR BEST YEAR EVER: https://londonreal.tv/2021/

    2021 SUMMIT TICKETS: https://londonreal.tv/summit/

    NEW MASTERCLASS EACH WEEK: http://londonreal.tv/masterclass-yt

    LATEST EPISODE: https://londonreal.link/latest

    Lee Haney is the former American professional bodybuilder and a true icon of the sport, who is widely regarded as one of its greatest champions. Having won a record 8 consecutive Mr Olympia titles, eclipsing even Arnold Schwarzenegger and matched only years after by another former London Real guest Ronnie Coleman, Haney has changed the sport beyond recognition.

    As a young man growing up in South Carolina, he learnt from his father the importance of hard work, humility and the value of always giving his best. He was fascinated by mythical giants such as Hercules and Samson and somewhere lurking in the depths of his young mind was a desire to reach the pinnacle of physical greatness.

    His love affair with bodybuilding began and at the age of 16, he entered his first competition. Victories soon followed and in 1979, a time considered by many to be a golden age of the sport, he won his first contest. Crowned as Teen Mr America, the bodybuilding bug had well and truly set in and a glittering career on the stage quickly followed.

    From 1984 each year until 1991, Lee Haney was crowned IFBB Mr Olympia Champion, in a streak that’s never been seen before or bettered since. His natural size and physicality coupled with impressive genetics saw Haney revolutionise the sport.

    At around 250 lbs but with a 32-inch waist, Lee Haney had quite literally changed the way in which a Champion was measured. It was a defining moment as Haney crossed era’s from the classical smaller aesthetic to the modern larger athletes.

    Lee followed the science, believing it was not necessary to lift big weights to achieve the desired and ultimate physique. His methods were unique and still hold up today. Possibly the greatest testament that can be paid to his approach is the physical wellbeing he still maintains.

    Unlike those that pushed their bodies to breaking point, Haney has not suffered the onset of age and operations. Injuries and irreversible damage so rife within the sport, in fact, it’s something he’s highly critical of, and, for years his methods have been used as he trains the next generation of stars and athletes from other sports.

    Lee Haney has achieved so much and dominated the sport of bodybuilding, all the while maintaining his integrity and a truly humble philosophy. He believes in the power of the mind, in surrounding yourself with good people. Of looking after your family and most importantly setting a good example for those that follow. He is determined to help others, to share his knowledge and experience while promoting a spirituality that has been the backbone to his success.