Extreme Sports’ Mental Hurdles

For most action sports, getting over the mental hurdle can be the hardest part. For me, that hurdle was the biggest with free-diving. When you’re diving down 60ft+ on one breath of air, it takes very strong mental fortitude to not only convince yourself you can keep going, but that you’ll be able to make it back up. Of course, as soon as you turn around and your lungs start to expand, you realize that you probably could have gone even farther that your target. You’re frustrated and relieved at the same time when you get to the surface, and can’t wait to do it again.

Many extreme sports are like that. You just have to commit to it, knowing that the odds of survival, if you do everything like you’ve planned for, trained for, or read about, it will be okay. Continue reading Extreme Sports’ Mental Hurdles

Most Physically Challenging Extreme Sports

For looking for a workout to accompany their adrenaline rush, I’d recommend ice climbing and rock climbing.

Ethan Ice Climbing in New Zealand

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.

Continue reading Most Physically Challenging Extreme Sports

Top 10 Best Adrenaline Rushes

Following up on my last post about the Top 10 Extreme Sports for Amateur Athletes, I would like to explain how I ranked the Best Adrenaline Rush category.

Skydiving with Tate

Bar none, the best way to raise your adrenaline is to GO FAST! The more you are aware of the sensation, the higher the adrenaline rush, and looking at my list, the top 6, except for ice climbing, are essentially ranked according to top speed achieved in each sport. Of course, there are other things that raise your adrenaline, such as real (or perceived) danger, and that’s where ice climbing gets a boost.

Continue reading Top 10 Best Adrenaline Rushes

Top 10 Extreme Sports for Amateur Athletes

Top 10 Extreme Sports for Amateur Athletes (and even non-Athletes)

This is the first part in a series of posts for my quest to find the best extreme sport. Declaring something as “The Best” is always a subjective decision and ultimately depends on more than one factor. Acknowledging this, I have only ranked sports that I have actually done personally, limited my list to sports that anybody can do with less than a month of preparation, and ranked the same sports in each list.

Each of the following categories will be written about in the upcoming weeks and will address any comments or questions you have. For example, next Monday, I will write a post that explains in detail how I ranked the “Best Adrenaline Rush” and the following week will discuss how I ranked “Most Physically Challenging” and so forth.

Best Adrenaline Rush

What would an extreme sport be without that adrenaline rush?

1. Solo Skydiving

2. Motorcycle Driving

3. Tandem Skydiving

4. Ice Climbing

5. Canyon Swinging

6. Bungee Jumping

7. Free-diving

8. White-water Rafting

9. Scuba-diving

10. Rock Climbing

Most Physically Challenging
Continue reading Top 10 Extreme Sports for Amateur Athletes

The Best Experience I’ve Ever Had

The Best Experiece I've Ever Had - Solo Skydiving

I wrote this post after leading an experience for Everest on August 26th, 2012.

Everst’s Dream Series

About a month ago, I learned about Everest’s awesome Dream Series for people “who believe in living life today, not someday.” I’d like to think I fall into that category, living by my constantly evolving impossible list, and I have had the pleasure of meeting quite a few doers in the last two weeks at different Everest events.

My part in the experience started when I met up with Matt Levene, a friend from my days at BU, to rock climb at Planet Granite in San Francisco. While climbing, our conversation turned to skydiving, something he had thought about doing for awhile, but had never gotten around to following through. “Let’s go this weekend!” I said. He hesitated, and asked me a few questions about it, but ultimately said, “Alright, let’s do it!”

Skydiving with Everest

The next thing I knew, Matt had found 9 other people from the Everest community, excited about the opportunity to jump out of an airplane and plummet 14,000 feet to the ground at over 120mph! You know it’s a great group of go-getters when you can assemble 11 people to go skydiving in less than a week. This was easily the biggest group I’ve taken to the dropzone and I look forward to being a part of the Everest community now and in the future. I’m already taking at least two jumpers back this weekend to do it again!

Skydiving is an amazing experience that is difficult to describe to those who have not experienced it yet. If skydiving is something you’ve considered, but still are unsure about, I’ve listed some of the most common questions I get asked about skydiving below. Hopefully my answers encourage you to go out there and turn that bucket list of things that often fall by the wayside, into a lifestyle, influenced by an impossible list of far reaching, achieveable goals.

Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?

Continue reading The Best Experience I’ve Ever Had

The Impossible List: Inspired by Joel Runyon

I’ve always been one for making lists and recording the things I do. It does a couple things for me, such as keeping me focused on my goals and also letting me look back when I’m working really hard on something that may be challenging at the moment and saying, “Look at what you’ve done already; you’ve got this.”

I’ve made several lists in different places, like my summer checklist, the international goals I had while working abroad during my junior year, and even the worldly travels map I created on Google Maps, detailing my adventures. That’s why when a friend showed me Joel Runyon’s Impossible List, it inspired me to create one of my own. As he explains on his site, “an impossible list is NOT a bucket list” of things to check off before you die, but rather, a constantly expanding list that motivates you to live life to the fullest, accomplishing things over time that at one point or another, seemed impossible.

My “Impossible List” now has it’s own page on this blog and will be updated frequently including links to pictures, blog posts, and video when it is available. I challenge you to make an impossible list of your own; and to let me know what you think of mine!

First YouTube Video Featured by Redbull!

Wow. The first video I posted to YouTube was more of an experiment than anything. All I wanted was to figure out how Adobe Premier worked, how I should choose target keywords, and how to style my show. It took me about a week to make the first video and I never expected to be featured by RedBull on their RedBull Stratos blog. Granted, I’ve only got about 1,000 views after five months now, but as you can see from this info-graphic, the RedBull blog sent me over 60% of all my views in the first month. Pretty remarkable for a simple experiment. I encourage you to check out the video below and give it a try yourself. It’s easier than you think!


International Travel Goals Jan 4th – August 13th, 2011

I shared this list with my friends on Facebook before I left on my globe-trotting internship tour at the beginning of 2011. Considering the feedback I got there, I decided to share a summary of what I achieved, (and will have to go back for the next time around) here on this blog; I hope you enjoy:

[x] = objective accomplished
[ ] = yet to be accomplished

Descriptions and/or pictures accompany the some of the more exciting achievements.

Below is my itinerary and trip goals. Let me know what you think and if I should add anything onto the list!
I consider everything under main and secondary goals achieveable. Bonus goals are things that have come up unexpctedly and/or have been suggested to me and piqued my interest enough to consider making plans for them.

Trip Dates

4th Jan to April 9th – Australia: Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns
April 2nd to April 7th – New Zealand
10th April to 8th June – India
9th June to 2nd July – U.S.
3rd July to 13th August – Hong Kong/Macau/China
Lots of weekend trips

Main Objectives

[x] Get to Australia (Jan 4th)
First Time Abroad; So Far From Friends
[x] Get to India (Apr 9th)
[x] Get to Hong Kong (July 3rd)
[x] Work for a Private Equity company (Equity Partners)
[x] Work for one of the big four (Ernst & Young – April 12th)
Last Day At Work in India!
[x] Work for a financial consulting firm (FactSet Research Systems)

Secondary Objectives


[x] Scuba-dive
SCUBA-mask Close-up

Continue reading International Travel Goals Jan 4th – August 13th, 2011

Worldly Travels: Australia – Brisbane and Cairns

Brisbane Trip:

So I only spent 4 days up near Brisbane, but considering what I was able to do, it seemed much longer (but went by way to fast). All told, I drove a rented Suzuki GSR-600 400 kms (240 miles) at a top speed of 240kmh (145mph), dove 3 times from 14,000 feet above sea level and 5 times down to 90 feet below sea level. Oh, and I accomplished one of my big goals in life: skydive, drive a motorcycle, and scuba dive within 24 hours. Now to do it all within 10 minutes of each other (i.e. drive a motorcycle out of a plane/off a cliff with modified scuba gear, deploy parachute, land in body of water and dive down).

Brisbane Map

The Brisbane trip started when I landed at the Gold Coast Coolangatta Airport (A). I was technically staying at the Gold Coast for the weekend (B), though I was really only there to sleep. I went up on a Thursday for an operational due diligence meeting with a tech start-up. The private equity company I was working for wanted to know more about them before moving forward with more intensive investment discussions and I made a four day weekend out of it. The founders of the company were pretty cool, gave me a lot of tips on where to visit around Brisbane and Carins, and I actually met up with them later that weekend. After the meeting, I went to get the bike and had it for the rest of the weekend.


My first stop was some skydiving out in Mutdapilly Queensland at the Brisbane branch of Sydney Skydivers. I finished my third, fourth and fifth stage jumps and the instructors there were way more fun than down in Sydney; Greg Bennie and Stephen Cowan are legit. They let me screw around on the second and third jumps of the day, doing some flips and barrel rolls, since I was doing well with all of the technical stuff.

Continue reading Worldly Travels: Australia – Brisbane and Cairns

Worldly Travels: India – Part 1

India Part 1:

I came to India intentionally without any presuppositions or assumptions because I wanted to take in as much as I could without a filter. The only thing I was worried about was the food. I’d had (horrible) Indian food in the states, some bland curry with wet roti, and was expecting to slog along for two months eating as little as possible. Well, my only worry was completely misplaced, and I took in a lot more culture than I could have anticipated. (And now I LOVE India food. I’ll have to use the map below as a guideline for what to try the next time I’m there)

I spent most of my time in Bangalore (A) working in UB City on Vittal Mallya road during the week, while staying in a hotel five minutes away on St. Mark Road. My first impression of India, other than the lax security and the complete disregard for the metal detectors in place at the airport, was my ride from the airport to the hotel. My first Facebook status when I got online that day was:

“So, in India, if you see a sign on the side of the road that says “No Stopping” or “No Parking” what that actually means is “Park Here”. Also, don’t let the general flow of traffic on the left side of the road hold you back, go the other direction if you feel like it. Lanes are more, well, not even guidelines. And the horn: liberal use encouraged.”

India Travels

The traffic never got any better, but by now I understand the method to the madness and surprisingly avoided seeing or being involved in an accident. And that’s despite accomplishing this task on my travel checklist “Drive a car and/or motorcycle in India (and survive).” Well here I am, alive, writing this post, and as you can see below, I drove a:

Kawasaki Ninja 250r

Kawasaki Ninja 250r in India

Continue reading Worldly Travels: India – Part 1