Adrenaline Junkies not only flood the scene of Extreme Sports – nowadays, they are everywhere. But what exactly happens in the minds and bodies of these “excitement fiends,” that is so incredibly addictive? What is at the root cause of the ultimate, “natural high?” Let’s find out.
To find out how an adrenaline rush occurs in the body, we need to examine its source- the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are two squishy-looking bundles perched comfortably on the kidneys, like little yellow beanies. But don’t be fooled by their seemingly, “chilled-out,” appearance. These glands are hypersensitive to the perception of sudden fear or excitement and form an important part of the body’s Sympathetic Nervous System, which controls the body’s fight-flight response mechanism.
Very simply, when the brain’s alarm system goes off and flashes red lights to the rest of the organs in the body to warn of imminent danger, the adrenal glands produce a hormone called, Adrenaline; also known as Epinephrine. Picture this: Adrenaline is the little messenger guy who runs from the castle of one organ to the next with the scroll that says, “Prepare for battle!” And that’s exactly what happens. The heart starts pumping at high-speed and dilates the blood vessels, the eye muscles contract, causing the pupils to dilate, while the lungs dilate the air passages in the body. This exhilarating chain-reaction is triggered by a sudden burst of energy caused by one potent neurotransmitter: Adrenaline.
You may be wondering how this manifests in the body. Here’s how: When experiencing an adrenaline rush, a human being’s reflexes operate at their most optimum level, causing what I like to call, “The Batman Effect,” the feeling of invincibility that comes with a heightened sense of awareness and an extreme boost in concentration. This intense reaction is coupled with a dramatic increase in physical performance, brought on by rapid blood flow to the muscles and a sudden boost of oxygen to the lungs.
The term, “adrenaline junkie,” that became popular after its use in the 1991 movie, “Point Break,” describes someone who enjoys dangerous activities, such as Extreme Sports. What is great about Extreme Sports is that the rush of adrenaline is coupled with an increased release of endorphins, which are the body’s, “happy hormones.”
Considering all of this, it is not difficult to understand why the emergence of Extreme Sports appears to be so monumental. Why not? After all, with the popularity of health and wellness in twentieth century lifestyle, Extreme Sports are a way to achieve an ultimate and completely natural, “high.”
Want an extreme adrenaline rush without going the Extreme Sports route? Simply jump into the yard of your neighbour with the Rottweilers and watch as you magically transform into an Olympic free runner in less than five seconds. But please, don’t say you heard this from me.