Sunday, February 05, 2006

Extreme Sports

A post by Melissa

This past weekend we took our Jr.High group Tubing up in Barrie. The kids were pumped and I know it'd be a good day - I'd been tubing before. However upon arrival at Snow Valley Tubing Park I realized that I hadn't even been 'this tubing' before! They've got lifts that pull you in your tube up the mountain and then a guy who pushes you down a massive hill that you waited in line for 10mins to get on. Lying in the tube you can't even see the rest of the hill, let alone the bottom due to the insane drop you just paid $20 to race down. But it is FUN!

Extreme sports have become quite popular in our culture...even my younger brothers who had never done anything down a snowy hill but ride on magic carpets until they were 20 are now risking their lives (or at least spines) doing crazy snowboarding tricks like the pros. While these kind of activities are better for young people than delinquency and video games - whatever happened to being able to spend hours in the yard building a snow fort? Kids aren't satisfied with slower paced activities anymore - or are they?(I don't have any of my own :) ) Everything it seems is getting bigger and better, and harder and faster and definitely more dangerous - though I hear more fun. Our culture sure seems to like testing the limits. From everything we've talked about on this blog - T.V., magazines, music, movies, technology - to in this case our bodies and courage. Maybe we're over stimulated, maybe it takes more now to excite us, maybe we just like to have fun. In any case I'm glad some of the really little kids at the Tubing park were wearing helmets...


Blogger Calvin said...

Extreme sports are a whole lot of fun. They seem to always be about testing the limits. The first time you get that adrenaline rush you know you're in trouble because that is when the need for speed began. Every year Canada's Wonderland spends millions and millions of dollars creating new rides that are higher, faster, and scarier. Why? Well, people have the need for speed. It is ann addiction. A good or a bad thing I'm not sure. I always thought extreme sports were a good thing because it keeps people out of trouble. I mean that they are occupying there time with a certain sport instead of doing many other less productive things. I'm sure it could be argued that sketers, for example, are not known to have the most positive lifestyles either.

12:11 a.m., February 06, 2006  
Blogger Jamie Woods said...

I blame television for the increase in speed related activities. What are the popular shows that are out there. 90% of them require very little attention span because they're moving to the next scene before the last one is completely finished registering in one's brain.

Now, as for crazy acts of adrenalin rush it doesn't take TV to stimulate this concept it just requires too much testosterone in one's body. ;-)

10:55 a.m., February 06, 2006  
Blogger blair said...

Jamie might be on to something. The speed at which we process material is changing and perhaps that is related to why we need 'extreme' activities.

It might also be because we are so out of touch with that we need to experience danger to know that we are alive. Mountain climbers, the really good ones, have written about the fact that they never feel fully alive unless they are staring in the face. To some extent we all likely fit on a spectrum where we must experience risk to know that what we have is worth it. At times we are comfronted by things beyond our control, say cancer, where the risk is too high. At others, we place ourselves in 'danger' on snow hills to feel the risk and danger. High percieved risk and low actual risk is the kind of sport that kids like. One problem is that when it is high perceived risk and high actual risk, they won't recognize it because there has been an incongruence in their lives up to that point.

4:50 p.m., March 12, 2006  

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