Like most people, I suspect, I am normally slightly skeptical of recommendations from colleagues. Not because I dont trust them, but taste in TV shows, movies, or music is such a personal thing. A polite sounds great and quickly forgotten.
But recently, I notice that many of my younger colleagues are fascinated by extreme sports. Not doing them but watching documentaries about them.
So, I watched14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible. Its about a mountaineer who successfully reached the summit of the worlds fourteen 8,000 meter peaks in seven months.
But14 Peakswas overshadowed byThe River Runner, which I am watching now. The algorithm recommended this one to me, after it noticed I had developed a taste for life at the extreme.
The documentary portrays a kayaker who becomes the first person to paddle the four great rivers that drain from the 21,000 ft Mount Kailash in Tibet. This is at the extreme end of the spectrum of the extreme.
Watching these shows reminded me ofTwister the 1996 movie. I remember that made an impression at the time. A work of fictionthat offered a window onto a different kind of extreme activity science at the extreme. Professional storm chasers, Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, pursuing a developing F1 tornado across rural Oklahoma.
So, what is so fascinating about people who choose to live life at the extreme? Putting their lives at risk, doing something extremely dangerous. Not because they must but because they want to. And why do so many people like to watch shows about this kind of experience?
Maybe it is pure escapism. Nothing more. Seeing an exciting world far beyond our mundane daily routines, and from the comfort of our living room.
Dont even think about doing that,was my wifes comment when she noticed me watching the kayaking.
I love the outdoors, but there is no way that I will be climbing dangerous mountains, kayaking through whitewater rapids, or chasing storms myself anytime soon.