I don’t need a microscope to see where my high jump spikes once sliced my thigh open; the marks from the stitches are still there, and as I run my palms down my left shin I remember what a once-broken tibia feels like. The crackling sounds of worn out ankle-ligaments and a torn meniscus remind me of a time where no pain meant no gain, and ibuprofen was a part of any well-balanced meal.
Even if I don’t do competitive sports anymore, there are some traces of it that will always be a part of me: the physical marks, the memories, and the hunger for adrenalin.
While my enthusiasm for competitive sports was drowned by injuries, I still allow myself to indulge in the pleasures of a good adrenalin-high from time to time.
I do have to restrain myself though, because if I were to let loose my inner adrenalin junkie at all times, you’d probably see me flying out of planes as a skydiver five times a day, and I wouldn’t have gotten much else done.
But as a younger and less responsible human, I was not quite as advanced in this restraining thing. I won’t go into any details, but I’m pretty lucky things went as well as they did.
I actually think track helped tame that side of me; I stopped doing all those irresponsible stunts when I realized how much I disliked crutches, concussions and having to sit out track meets because of it.
My tool for self-restraint is to pretend I don’t even like those extreme things. When people ask me if I’d ever skydive, for example, I usually respond with a plain “no.” Not because I wouldn’t want to do it, but because I wouldn’t want the few minutes of pure excitement to jeopardize what I consider to be my real mission in life.
I don’t believe I was put on this earth to live for the short pleasures of extreme sports. Maybe some people are, but I know that–despite all temptation–it’s not what I was sent here for.
However, when smaller non-life threatening opportunities come my way, I do take them.
Like earlier this week, when my dear childhood-friend, Espen, asked me to join a tree top-park:
I admit it’s probably more “dangerous” than watching TV, but safer than skydiving — so it’s pretty safe.
Note: Espen is a little less good at restraining himself, (skydiving and bungee-jumping are some of his special skills) but I need to make sure I don’t become a wimp, so this was a perfect dose of adventure.
Oh, by the way, the closest to skydiving I’ve allowed myself to go was at Universal Studios in LA:
I’m not sure what was more entertaining; flying in the windtunnel or watching the creepy guy that followed me around attempt to fly in the tunnel after me. He’s not in the video, but all I can say is that he was high on other things than adrenalin… “Tumbling weed” is the only word that comes to mind when I think about his face getting smushed onto the glass walls in between every uncontrolled tumble. Maybe a rag doll in a dryer gives you a proper visual?
Thanks for reading along, and have a wonderful weekend!