Ever since man discovered he has the ability to jump shit, he has constantly pushed the known boundaries of “Shit I can Jump”, and redefined crazy into an art-form, an art-form which has since been recognised as and developed into an “extreme sport”, then incorporated into the mainstream of sports, leisure and recreation. If only to scare the spectators and those foolish enough to try it for themselves.
Give a man an axe and he will turn chopping through logs into a game. Give a man a fishing rod and he will turn catching dinner into drinking beer and talking shit with his mates. Give a man a set of skis, a helicopter and a parachute, he will drop onto a mountain and thrust his courage into the face of “sanity and rationale”, while urging gravity to swallow him whole and teach him a lesson in mortality. Humans have a way of taking the normal and adding a twist of madness to the gooey caramel centre that is a relatively safe and practical life. Today, we are pretty much looking at insanity disguised as thrills and chills to bring awareness to the amount of lunacy passed off as ‘Balls” to rediscover what it really means to be afraid.
Downhill Mountain Biking
‘Took a wrong turn somewhere….’
Enter the humble bicycle, a two-wheeled contraption of modest means and uses. Re-imagined as something less reminiscent of a dream, and more in tune with the potential danger every man craves. It’s my understanding that one day someone woke up and decided “You know what? Fuck it. This riding a bike normally is too tame for me, what I really need is an inaccessible area to conquer and turn into a goal for those with a death wish.” The above pic is of Scottish Mountain biker Danny Macaskill in an appropriately named “Isles of Skye”. While some people consider riding over the curb with shopping on the handlebars a daring feat of human bravery, some people take it to another next level and replace the curb with a 40ft leap over running water, while barrelling between trees on a track littered with pine-needles. A level that is quite possibly “Over 9000”.
Enter the forest with me. See the dirt track winding through the trees next to the river? Yeah? Alright, keep an eye on it. See how it goes around the corner on that tight angle then you hit that jump? If you hit that jump with the angle too wide, you’ll grace the trees with a friendly full face kiss and the chipped teeth to match. And as much as I like waving my dick in Death’s face, I didn’t want to make it too easy for him, so I swapped the bike with a skateboard and enjoyed just as many injuries that I could get from riding a bike with no regard for myself, discovering all the ways a growing lad can feel intense pain. It’s what they call “Living the Dream”. So besides riding a bike, what else can we turn into a death defying feat? Skiing. That’s what.
- Heli Skiing
Death for breakfast? I’ll be needing seconds… Image sourced fromhere
Soft snows, warm fires and toasted marshmallows on a stick. The aforementioned are the keystones to a good winter break, and a necessary ingredient needed to get the stones up to jump from a helicopter, onto a fucking mountain. Maybe a little whiskey couldn’t hurt the “stones” factor either. Man isn’t content with skiing down gentle slopes with the family on a frosty morn, he is more inclined to free himself from the burden of domestic life by gambling with nature and pushing the boundaries of sanity even further by spitting in the face of death while he plummets a short drop onto a mountain top. But wait, there’s more.
Not being happy with surviving the jump onto the mountain, our insane counterparts have taken it upon themselves to take the humble sport of skiing to a height that borders on the absurd. Heights of 1000-1500m vertical start you off slow. If you really want to crank it up, then you can find a rogue pilot who will let you jump onto a snow topped cap, free fall/ski/base jump to the slopes below and meet you at the bottom, and if you’re lucky, it will be in one piece. But that’s if regular old skiing is too tame for you. Don’t take my word for it, google or youtube some ordinary insane ski jumps and then decide if you can handle it.
- Ice Swimming.
Russian Y.M.C.A. (Note the heat retaining Speedo).
Russia. Fucking Russia. Here in Australia, we generally don’t have frozen pits of water waiting to engulf those of us dumb enough to attract the attention of hypothermia by stripping down for a leisurely dip in the “ACL Ice Bucket Challenge Pool of Despair”. We have more conventional means of letting nature wipe us out on a daily basis. Drop Bears for one. The rest of the country’s wildlife for another. Take your pick, but most prefer swimming on a hot day, unlike our European brethren who scoff in the face of relaxation and peace. To these gentle folk if it can’t kill you, it’s not fun. And in Russia, there is certainly fun to be had.
Winter. Freezing lakes and momentary sunshine. What more could you want? What’s that? A dip in a frozen lake? Sounds fun. Good luck with that. All it takes is 10 minutes for the symptoms of hypothermia to set in. And a few more after that before the victim rolls into unconsciousness as the body tries to maintain a stable core temperature. But we are forgetting the Russians are insane. If they aren’t punching on with bears, they dipping their nuts in freezing pits of water and calling it a refreshing swim. Lunatics. So the next time you decide to do something crazy, think about how Europe gets it done and see if you have what it takes. Thanks for reading folks. Farm out