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What Motivates Extreme Athletes to Take Huge Risks?

https://www.thecut.com/2015/05/what-motivates-extreme-athletes.html

thecut.com

What Motivates Extreme Athletes to Take Huge Risks?
Last weekend, famed extreme athlete Dean Potter, along with fellow climber Graham Hunt, died in a BASE jumping accident as the pair attempted a wingsuit jump off Taft Point, an overlook that towers over Yosemite Valley. And on Monday, a YouTube video surfaced of a 73-year-old BASE jumper named James E.

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“My vision is sharper, and I’m more sensitive to sounds, my sense of balance and the beauty all around me. … Something sparkles in my mind, and then nothing else in life matters.”

 - Dean Potter, climber.

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“The activity itself enables experiences that are beyond the everyday. People talk about their senses being alive, about being able to see things much more clearly. It gives them a glimpse of what it means to be human as in the capacities they have that we don’t tap into in everyday life.”

 - Eric Brymer, psychologist, on the effects of extreme-sports

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Extreme Sports Athletes

Extreme Sports Athletes

Many extreme athletes are careful and thoughtful planners, and avoid thrill-seekers when possible.

Most research that links extreme-sports to thrill-seeking, hedonism, and a taste for risk, was done using young subjects, who tend to be impulsive and poor decision-makers regardless.

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Extreme Sports And Mindfulness

Extreme Sports And Mindfulness

What attracts many to become extreme sports athletes is something akin to the flowlike state provided by mindful meditation, one in which you’re so in the moment that everything else drops away.

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Extreme Sports And Fear

Extreme Sports And Fear

People assume that extreme sports athletes have no fear, but fear is an important part of the experience. Fear makes them more alert to potential threats and mistakes and, when the conditions aren’t right, it often leads them to give up an attempt.

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Life-Changing Power Of Extreme Sports

Those who practice life-threatening extreme sports do it to have an experience that is life-changing, to feel alive and have an almost transcendental sensorial clarity.

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Smile ≠ happy

Smile ≠  happy

Those who smile often are thought of as more likeable, competent, approachable, friendly and attractive.

Of 19 different types of smile, only six occur when we’re having a good time...

Duchenne smile

Duchenne was interested in the mechanics of facial expressions, including how the muscles of the face contract to produce a smile.

The Duchenne‘ smile is long and intense, though it involves the contraction of just two muscles. First the zygomatic major, which resides in the cheek, tugs at the corners of the mouth, then the orbicularis oculi, which surrounds the eye, pulls up the cheeks, leading to the characteristic ‘twinkling eyes’.

Fear smile

“When bonobo chimpanzees are afraid they’ll expose their teeth and draw their lips back so that their gums are exposed,” says Zanna Clay, a primatologist at the University of Birmingham.

In babies, a broad grin can either mean they’re happy or distressed and studies have shown that men tend to smile more around those considered to be higher status.

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