Almost on a daily basis I get the question, “So, you must be an Adrenaline Junkie?”. To which I always reply with a “NO!”.
To understand why, let’s examine the term “Adrenaline Junkie” and compare it with “Adventure Sports Athlete”. In my opinion calling an Adventure Sports Athlete an Adrenaline Junkie is a bit like calling a Herpetologist a Snake Charmer. Same field, different connotations. It is not so much a difference in levels of knowledge, as the snake charmer may have years of experience over the Herpetologist, but more a difference in each individuals motivation for what they do and their intended outcome.
The way I see it an Adrenaline Junkie has the primary aim of experiencing the thrill and rush associated with danger. To achieve this they will constantly push the limits in search of a specific “feeling”. The thrill is the most important aspect, the moment when the Adrenaline spikes and time seems to stop. The primary motivation for doing what they do is this moment of exhilaration.
An Adventure Sports Athlete on the other hand seems to have different motives.
The joy for these individuals seems to be more in the journey, in the learning and fine tuning of their discipline. Their motivation is pushing personal physical and emotional boundaries and learning about themselves as a result. The moment of exhilaration does not come from the Adrenaline spike associated with danger. The reward is the moment of absolute presence and peace that happens when, after months of training, you hit the perfect line or send the perfect pitch. The moment when body, mind, soul and earth dance together in a moment that can only be described as heaven. When man and earth for a brief time truly become one. At this moment there is no Fear. There is no Adrenaline. There is no time. There is no YOU. There is only PEACE.
The Junkie is willing to risk dying.
The Athlete is willing to risk LIVING.