Many people in America work at jobs where they are separated from Nature and other people, sectioned off in cublicles, plugged into a machine, doing work which neither challenges their intellect nor is fulfilling personally. As a result, a separation forms not only between others and from Nature itself, but from themselves, and their purpose in life. A feeling develops that are not living life to the fullest. Much of our interaction these days is "virtual interaction", taking place between us and a screen. We are capable of doing just about anything virtually: shopping, sex, even skiing. Our lack of contact with genuine, hands on experience, however, leaves a nagging feeling of unsatisfaction with the lack of physical control that we possess over our lives, and a fear that life is slipping away, untouched. Extreme sports are an extreme reaction to this dillema - they put one as close to Nature as possible, literally flush with the forces, be it gravitational or otherwise. The urge to push oneself against nature is similar to one of those "every action has an equal and opposite reaction" equations. These sports put one "up against the line", so to speak, testing our will to survive and forcing a connection with nature, with ourselves. There is a paradox here: in placing our life in the hands of natural forces, we take back responsibility and regain control, in a sense, over our existence. We are making a conscious choice to place our lives at risk, and thus taking on the ultimate responsibility, in a sense. Nature may be acting in opposition against us, but, the goal, according to Michael Bane, author of Over the Edge: a regular guy's odessey in Extreme Sports, is really to be i...
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...ogy has set an example by continually outdoing itself and moving at a faster and faster pace - we have to keep up, and in doing so, have made our lives more and more frantic. We must constantly strive after "the most". By the same vein, technology has also sapped some magic out of our lives, some immaterial spirtiualism due to it's heavy base in reality, in laws, in science, and in the concrete. People engaged in extreme sports talk about pushing the body to a degree that you "get into a flow", or a place where "magic" happens. In doing so, they giv e their lives meaning; by reaffirming their mortality, a purpose in life is gained. A degree of control is taken back in the action of putting it all on the line - of risking complete lack of control. This is the other side of the coin of having too many things cushioned, too much home delivery, too many buttons to push.
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