For looking for a workout to accompany their adrenaline rush, I’d recommend ice climbing and rock climbing.
In addition to being a great rush, ice climbing is one of the more killer work-outs you can do. The effort that it takes to drive the ice pick into the sometimes inverted wall you are climbing with enough force to hold your body, can explode your forearms, especially if you’re not a regular climber. Also, you have a kick into the wall with the crampons on your feet, and removing those, along with the ice picks, after every move takes a fair bit of effort. After climbing up and down 50 feet of ice 6 times in New Zealand, I was spent and slept well the following night.
Rock climbing gives you a similar burn in your forearms and is a great workout as well, but I can climb up and down many more times on a rock wall before I call it day than I did on the glacier.
Free-diving requires a fair bit of training in order to be successful at it, and for that alone, it is the third on the list. Your body is physically capable of holding your breath for much longer than you think, which is more of a mental barrier, but the physical training can be intense.
The remaining sports on the list are not that physically demanding, but you should be in decent shape to do all of them. White-water rafting takes group coordination and some physical exertion. The amount of physical strain from driving a motorcycle depends on your riding style, but it does take some coordination as your are using all for limbs to drive it: 1) right hand for throttle and front brake 2) left hand for clutch 3) right leg for rear brake 4) left leg for shifting gears.
Solo skydiving requires body awareness and technique more than physical strength, and just about anybody could do it with proper training. Scuba-divers can be some of the most pot-belled “athletes” of all the sports I’ve listed that require active participation; especially with the amount of drinking some scuba-divers do to “decompress.” Bungee jumping doesn’t require much skill, just a simple bunny hop or fall forward, and the same goes for canyon swinging. And of course, for tandem skydiving, you don’t have to worry about a thing, since you’ve got someone strapped to your back the whole way down, controlling the whole process. They even jump out of the plane for you!
1. Ice Climbing
2. Rock Climbing
4. White-water rafting
5. Motorcycle driving
6. Solo Skydiving
8. Bungee Jumping
9. Canyon Swinging
10. Tandem Skydiving
As I stated in the first article, all of these rankings are based on my subjective experience and should only be used as a guide when deciding whether to get into a particular sport. If you don’t do your homework and make an uneducated decision, any of these sports can kill you. However, with proper training and awareness of the potential danger, these sports can become some of the most amazing experiences of your life. I only rank sports I have personally done, and I agree that there are other sports that could fall somewhere on this list; I just haven’t done them yet!
Thanks for reading.
Ethan J. DeLano “The EJDe”