'Extreme' use to be cool and it use to be rare but it's not really that way anymore. It use to have an edge to it that just isn't there. I think the reason for these things is that 'extreme' went mainstream on us a long time ago and once anything goes mainstream it loses it's mystique and becomes just normal.
Not that this is a bad thing though, so don't get me wrong. Personally I think people being super active and stretching themselves is awesome, regardless. I've always been healthier, happier and have learned a lot more in the process of doing something truly challenging, taking the journey so to speak, than just observing from the outside and I think this is true for most people....so I think this is a good thing for the well being of people and society.
That having been said, I do appreciate the authentic 'extremes' when I see them. Today I find them mostly in subtly of someone trying something new for the first time. This is the essence of the extreme. The envelop of new horizen.
I remember the first time I chose to do something extreme. Growing up in Virginia we had a rope swing that hung about 25 feet from a thick limb of a giant oak tree in our backyard. Carlin Brundage was this neighborhood kid that used to beat the crap out of me. He was a couple years older and a lot bigger that I was. He liked my sister so he was over all the time. One day he was on the swing and I noticed his fear when it got too high.
I didn't like Carlin so much and I wanted to make a point to him so I climbed the vines growing on the outside of our house onto our roof. Our roof had a southern style hand rail on it and I climbed up onto that as well. All total it was about 15 feet straight off the ground. Once up there I asked Carlin to use the ladder and a garden rake to hand me the rope. His eye's popped out of his head when I asked him. When I jumped and dove by him like a Mustang into Tokyo Harbor he nearly wet his pants...and never bothered me again. I was six years old.
Peace and roll strong