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What happens in the minds of free climbers

By Popular Science

Science Studying the brains of daredevils like Alex Honnold. Neuroscientist Jane Joseph was using MRI scans to study thrill-seekers' brains. Then a journalist suggested she look at free-solo climbeRead full story

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  • Louise Sumrell
    Louise Sumrell

    I know the feeling. When you are anticipating doing something dangerous, there is a mounting anxiety that, if you know that you are really going to do it, can become pleasurable. When you do it, and you're hanging out there, your mind, seemingly magically, clears, your senses sharpen, you feel an amazing exihlaration and a 'magical' peace, simultaneously. It is more addictive than anything else that I have done, whatever 'it' may be. 'It' must only be anything that forces you to perform precisely

    I know the feeling. When you are anticipating doing something dangerous, there is a mounting anxiety that, if you know that you are really going to do it, can become pleasurable. When you do it, and you're hanging out there, your mind, seemingly magically, clears, your senses sharpen, you feel an amazing exihlaration and a 'magical' peace, simultaneously. It is more addictive than anything else that I have done, whatever 'it' may be. 'It' must only be anything that forces you to perform precisely, flawlessly, failure meaning certain major trauma or death. The high is greatest when any mistake will result in absolutely certain death.

    In my experience, the episodes must have some separation in time that allows for a measure of 'normalcy' to return. Repeatedly performing these 'stunts', eith too little time between them, will result in a lessening of the hightened awareness. It will become routine, and you will likely die... When a mishap occurs, and you are certain that you will die in the next few seconds, time expands almost infinitely, and a preternatural sense of peace is all you feel. Your soul,(if there is such a thing), lets out a great sigh of relief, contentment, true peace, similar to your first big shot of Dilaudid, when experiencing an acute pancreas attack, but, somehow, much more profound...a big rush of endorphins, I suppose, but, somehow, more.... like I said earlier, addictive...🤪😍😘😇 evolution's response to major physical trauma? Total relaxation increases ones chance if survival and/or somewhat less physical injury. Ok, all seriousness aside, I'm gonna stop now.😍😇

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