Friday, October 26, 2012

Extreme ways

I was watching Bourne Supremacy the other day.  This song ('Extreme' by Moby) is the theme song and hearing it got me thinking about what the word extreme means today in the context of lifestyle and sports?  I hear it so often nowadays that it's lost some meaning for me and I was thinking about why?  Here's what I came around to.

'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 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

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