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ERIC Number: EJ870658
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1472-9679
Dancing with Nature: Rhythm and Harmony in Extreme Sport Participation
Brymer, Eric; Gray, Tonia
Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, v9 n2 p135-149 Dec 2009
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.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A