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7 Extreme Summer Activities To Remind You That You’re Alive

7 Extreme Summer Activities To Remind You That You’re Alive

There’s nothing like a little adrenaline rush to bring perspective to your life! Here are 7 things (ok, technically way more than 7) you can do this summer if you’re feeling adventurous, extreme, or just plain out of your mind.

1. I Feel the Need, the Need for Speed!

Whether you’re like Ricky Bobby and just want to go fast, or if you’ve ever wanted to be a race-car driver for a day and try out a high performance Formula One car, there are plenty of driving experience facilities and schools where you can push Porsche, Ferrari, and BMW automobiles to the red line. Of course, if you’re already the proud owner of an exceptionally speedy vehicle, you might try taking it down to the Mojave Mile and push 200 mph in the desert.

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    2. Extreme Distance Under Extreme Circumstance

    Nothing says extreme like running the equivalent of five and a half marathons through a 100 degree desert over a 6 day time span. The Marathon Des Sables in Morocco is one such foot race. It requires competitors to train for years to compete, lest they become casualties in the Sahara heat.

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      For those who aren’t quite as keen on the life-and-death aspect of racing, there’s always the Sopelana Naturist Race in Spain, where you can run a nude 5k at whatever pace you like.

      3. Sharks, Bulls, and Crocodiles, Oh My!

      For those that really want to get extreme with animals, riding an eight-second bull is always a thrill, but running from them instead is even scarier. This is what thousands of people do in Pamplona, Spain every year from the 6th to 14th of July.

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        If The Running of the Bulls isn’t your cup of tea, maybe fishing for bulls is – bull sharks that is. It will sate your appetite for large animal encounters. While there’s nothing quite like shark fishing to make you really appreciate the power of these animals, only the most extreme will swim in a cage with them in the open ocean. Shark-powered surfing would be at the top of the list, if it weren’t fake.

        What’s not fake is the 16 foot long crocodile that you can get face to face with when you enter the Cage of Death in Australia. If you can handle 15 minutes with nothing but a couple of inches of glass between you and these prehistoric beasts, you’ll survive the once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you’re too afraid, well, just don’t let them see your crocodile tears.

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          4. Bugs, Blood, Poison, and Devil’s Water

          Maybe live animal experiences aren’t your thing. Perhaps you prefer them dead and on a plate in front of you. Japanese wasp-filled crackers are just one delicacy to try this summer. While you’re in Asia you might also check out balut, a half-developed bird (usually duck), that is boiled and slurped out of the shell.

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            If you’re feeling really extreme, find somebody that knows how to prepare the dangerous pufferfish, Fugu, considered a dangerous delicacy. You have to have a license to serve this fish, and the only way to obtain it is to prepare and eat it yourself. If you survive, you get your license. If you find yourself fixated with poisonous delicacies, you might try a cobra blood and heart shooter, which is exactly what it sounds like. Because the heart is served still beating, certain animal rights groups deem the practice inhumane.

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              If animals are out of the question for your extreme summer dining experiences, then maybe the world’s spiciest tequila will do the trick for you? Devil’s Water is a seven pepper tequila infusion that includes the spicy habanero pepper. This drink will make you cry if you’re not prepared for it, so make sure to pick out a tequila you enjoy and stock up on tissues to wipe your nose and eyes with.

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                5. There Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

                What’s more extreme that conquering a mountain by climbing to its summit? Climbing five in a row, of course. The Mt. Huashan peaks rise up 7000 feet above the Shaanxi Province in China. They are littered with Taoist temples, and are only accessible by treacherously narrow planks and stairs carved into the cliff face. If you can get over the heights, the range is a beauty to behold.

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                  While you might expect to see Everest on this list, climbing mountains is tough work. Why trek up to the summit when instead you can just skydive past it? Forget expending the effort climbing up and down, just let an airplane and gravity do all the work.

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                    Speaking of gravity, those that prefer keeping their feet firmly planted might want to try Nicaragua’s hottest new activity, volcano surfing (pun absolutely intended). Cerro Negro is an active volcano outside of Leon, Nicaragua. Somehow, that doesn’t stop visitors from hiking and boarding down its slopes!

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                      6. Going Crazy in City Limits

                      The outdoors might not be for everybody trying to get their thrill seeking fix. For those that find comfort among the glass, asphalt, and metal of city skyscrapers, the Edge Walk in Toronto might just be the ticket for a good time. The CN Tower stands 116 storeys above the ground. Participants are encouraged to push their limits and lean back, allowing nothing but the tether to keep them from falling to the street below.

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                        While many enjoy going to the intense Electric Daisy Carnival festival in Las Vegas every summer, few will have the guts to hang suspended off the side of the stratosphere while they spin around for the Insanity Ride. While you get a full view of the Las Vegas lights, the sounds of your own screaming may be slightly distracting.

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                          7. Cool Off In the Ocean

                          There’s nothing like catching a little sun by the pool during the summer, unless that pool is a deep dark tunnel that extends roughly 666 feet into the ocean. Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s deepest known seawater tunnel. The world’s unassisted freediving record holder, William Trubridge, conquered 100 meters of it in 2011.

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                            For those just trying to beat the summer heat, a quick kayaking trip to Antarctica may be in order. Paddling through frigid waters and floating ice might seem like a chore at first, but the unique sights of glaciers and marine life like seals and whales make this experience worth it.

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                              Just Remember…

                              While living life on the edge can be exhilarating and produce unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, nobody wants to begin a summer that they won’t come back from. Even those who plan on a relatively mundane season would do well to brush up on and observe summer safety protocols now and again.

                              That said, don’t let anything stop you from going out and having the summer of your life. Sometimes getting your blood pumping and your adrenaline flowing in the sunshine are just what the doctor ordered to remind you what it is to be alive!

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                              Andrew Heikkila

                              Owner-Operator of Earthlings Entertainmnet

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                              How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                              How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                              Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                              Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                              I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                              You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                              Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                              When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                              I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                              Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                              Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                              Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                              1. The Inner Critic

                              This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                              • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                              • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                              • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                              • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                              He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                              Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                              2. The Worrier

                              This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                              He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                              Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                              3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                              He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                              He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                              He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                              4. The Sleep Depriver

                              This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                              His motivation can be:

                              • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                              • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                              • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                              • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                              How can you control these squatters?

                              How to Master Your Mind

                              You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                              Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                              There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                              • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                              • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                              This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                              The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                              Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                              For the Inner Critic

                              When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                              You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                              For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                              You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                              “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                              If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                              • He riles up the Worrier.
                              • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                              • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                              • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                              • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                              Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                              Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                              For the Worrier

                              Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                              Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                              You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                              • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                              • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                              • Muscles tense

                              Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                              If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                              Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                              “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                              Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                              If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                              Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                              Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                              For example:

                              If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                              “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                              Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                              “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                              Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                              For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                              Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                              The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                              • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                              • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                              • Muscles tension

                              I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                              Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                              Breathe in through your nose:

                              • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                              • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                              • Focus on your belly rising.

                              Breathe out through your nose:

                              • Feel your lungs emptying.
                              • Focus on your belly falling.
                              • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                              Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                              Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                              One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                              Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                              For the Sleep Depriver

                              (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                              I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                              Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                              1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                              2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                              When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                              From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                              For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                              If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                              You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                              • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                              • Shut down your thinking.
                              • Calm your feelings.
                              • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                              Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                              Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                              You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                              Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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