Dancing with nature : rhythm and harmony in extreme sport participation

Brymer, Eric & Gray, Tonia (2009) Dancing with nature : rhythm and harmony in extreme sport participation. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 9(2), pp. 135-149.

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Research on extreme sports has downplayed the importance of the athletes' connection to the natural world. This neglect stems, in part, from the assumption that these activities derive their meaning primarily from risk. The authors' long-term research reveals that the interplay between adventure athletes and the natural world is, in fact, crucial for many participants. This study used hermeneutic and phenomenological analysis of first-hand accounts of these sports and interviews with 15 veteran participants. These included BASE jumpers, big-wave surfers, extreme skiers, waterfall kayakers, extreme mountaineers and solo rope-free climbers. Participants spoke extensively about developing a deep relationship with the natural world akin to an intimate 'dance' between actively engaged partners. Our experience-based analysis has found that extreme sports aficionados do not simply view the natural world as a commodity, a stage for risk taking, or vehicle for self-gratification. On the contrary, for veteran adventure athletes the natural world acts as a facilitator to a deeper, more positive understanding of self and its place in the environment. For some, nature was described as omnipresent and ubiquitous, and a source of innate power and personal meaning. The authors explore how these findings may augment the delivery of more 'ecocentric' programmes in the outdoor adventure field.

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ID Code: 29728
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Extreme Sports, Natural World, Outdoor Education, Health
DOI: 10.1080/14729670903116912
ISSN: 1472-9679
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified (130399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Routledge
Deposited On: 25 Jan 2010 05:07
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 14:40

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