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Life is Full of Choices, Why Not Go EXTREME? "Extreme sports have boomed since the early '90s" (Petrecca 16). It is hard to believe that such activities as sky diving, snowboarding, bungee jumping, and the up and coming razor scooter have been labeled as so-called "extreme sports". What characteristics must a sport have to labeled extreme? Perhaps it is the lack of safety, or the inability to create specific rules for these sports. Maybe it is the fact that these sports are just recently becoming mainstream so there is no other classification other than extreme sports. In any case, these activities are definitely something new and interesting to sprawl out in the mainstream of sports, which will do nothing except become larger and more popular.

"Man, I shouldn't be here" (McClearn 165). Looking down at the earth from 1,200 meters up, through an open airplane's door, anyone will probably feel the same way.

The thrill and the risk of jumping out of a plane sends shivers down some person's backs, however there are also those who it makes want to live even more. "Some are drawn to the sphincter-wrenching terror of free fall" (McClearn 165). The excitement of jumping out of plane may be enjoyable for the person, but not for the wallet. For the first year of sky diving, a person can expect to pay up to $7000; however the price does decrease as more equipment and experienced is accumulated. The price, although expensive, is worth it, "And the feeling of cheating death is simply priceless" (McClearn 165).

Snowboarding is another activity labeled as an extreme sport. Unlike skydiving, snowboarding is not an individual sport. "White-water rafting, snowboarding and skiing are sports that represent our culture and help us learn how to overcome challenges by working together" (Gurevich 50). It allows you to become closer to people you barely know; spending a day on a mountain with people can be a bonding experience. While answering a question about why he takes his staff skiing and rafting, Dmitry Gurevich told the news reporter that he believed it is an important thing for his staff to spend time outside the workplace. It will help the staff learn to trust each other more, and increase the level of understanding between everyone.

Although there are rules in snowboarding, these rules apply only in competition racing. They are basic rules, which apply to most any other sport. When in competition there is really only one rule, to be sober. When establishing rules for people who just go snowboarding to have fun, there aren't any. If rules would be created, it would nearly be impossible to enforce; it would be like having police officers on ski's to tell you that you are going to fast, or snowboarding recklessly. The element of risk is also present when snowboarding as Shaun Palmer stated in an interview for people magazine. "Michael Jordan just had a basketball. I'm on a bike going down a mountainside. Or on a board flying over 60-foot cliffs" (Lambert 67). To fly over a cliff is another experience by which you are cheating death. If you screw up but jumping an inch too early, death will take its toll, but if you pull it off, you are the one laughing at death.

Another leap to death is bungee jumping, but unlike having a mere piece of cloth to slow you down in the air, you are attached to a gigantic rubber band that bares the difference between you being dead or alive. Although there is nearly no money involved in the sport, people still love doing risking their life just for fun. You must expect that injury can occur just as it did in veteran Carolyn Andersen as she once "cut open her head and needed the seven stitches" (Snowden 236). Like snowboarding and skydiving, there really are no rules. The competitions are very similar to that of diving. While in the air a person performs multiple somersaults, flips, and twists and each participant is judged as to how well they perform. Each time the bungee chord pulls you back up without snapping, you are looking death directly in the eyes and laughing at it.

Skydiving, snowboarding, and bungee jumping each are unique in their own way, yet more similar than one would think. While participating in each of these extreme sports, one must recognize the danger and take the proper precautions. The proper equipment and training is necessary to participate in all three of these sports. The main element to recognize is the risk of death; with one little slip up, people can find themselves falling down and not waking up. Another common factor in these sports is the lack of respect. Many people look at these sports as activities and not "real" sports because they are not mainstream sports, such as basketball, baseball, and football. In a way people look at these sports as if they are abnormal because they are not as popular.

In the past year the new razor scooter has been the biggest thing since gameboy; it is the new craze among children and young teens. It is considered to be the newest of the "extreme sports", however what makes it even worse is that the participants are much younger than those of other "extreme sports". Another problem with this new found sport is that there cannot be any rules established because there is no competition. In the future this sport will eventually either become much larger and popular, or it will just die out. In either case, it is making a huge impact in the year 2000. (Dallas Morning News, 11/3/2000)