Photo of an extreme sport athlete climbing a mountain. Credit_gregepperson_iStock.
Photo of an extreme sport athlete climbing a mountain. Credit_gregepperson_iStock.

The Psychology of Extreme Sports (Repeat)

Photo Credit: gregepperson/iStock.

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About This Episode

Are you ready to push the limits of human experience, endurance, and sanity? If you’re not, don’t worry, because all you have to do is listen. This week on Playing with Science, our intrepid hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice sit down with adventure journalist Jim Clash, neuroscientist and StarTalk All-Stars host Heather Berlin, and extreme sports psychologist Eric Brymer to investigate the psychology of extreme sport athletes. To start, Jim takes us through some of the extreme things he’s done: reached Mach 2.6 in a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 jet, driven a Bugatti Veyron over 250 mph, learned to skate with Olympic medalist Sasha Cohen, swam at the North Pole without a wetsuit, and climbed the Matterhorn. He also tells about the stupidest thing he’s ever done (Hint: it involves a bull). Discover whether risk-taking can be genetically predisposed or if it’s learned behavior…or both! Find out what makes the difference between a high performance extreme sport athlete and a high performance traditional sport athlete. Explore the concepts of “curiosity in action” and “embodied creativity” at work among thrill-seekers. All that, plus, the transcendent nature of extreme sports, “green sports,” and the positive impact extreme sports can have on a person’s life.  

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