When it comes to Action Sports, athletes are accepting huge risk for huge reward.
Athletes like Shaun White have made fortunes from extreme sports, but many have ended up on the complete opposite side of the equation with massive injuries and even death.
One man stands alone on the sideline of the injured, handing out "High Fives" for recovery.
Roy Tuscany who suffered a spinal cord injury while training in 2006 at Mammoth Mountain in California decided to pave a way for the survivors of action sports injuries from traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries and beyond.
In 2009, he founded the High Five Foundation to provide grants and gifts to injured athletes who need financial help during their recoveries. He doesn't stop there, and is a spokesperson for safety and most recently launched a "Helmets are Cool" campaign sponsored by the National Ski Patrol, POC Helmets , Snocru, Squaw Valley, and Alpine Meadows.
The CR Johnson Healing Center is named after famed freeride skier CR Johnson, who was an X-Games champion and well-known skier who pioneered new tricks in and out of the half pipe. He suffered a TBI while filming a ski movie when Kye Peterson landed on CR's head after the two skiers jumped off of the same back country kicker.
Johnson died four years later attempting to revitalize his ski career at his home resort of Squaw Valley, Calif.
Listen to my interview with Roy Tuscany in the player below.
From the hills of western Massachusetts Gillian Gibree heard the call of the ocean. Her high school accomplishments in softball and swimming led her to Cape Cod, where she began a seven-year career as a professional life guard. From there, the conversion to surfing – and eventually stand up paddle boarding – was easy.
Now, Gibree travels the globe as a professional paddle boarder and yoga instructor, motiving others in the art of movement, balance and self discovery.
Gillian has participated four times in the 36 mile Cape Cod Bay Challenge a Stand Up Paddle Board Challenge which takes place this Saturday starting in Plymouth Ma and ending in Wellfleet Ma. Over all a 12 plus hour journey across the Cape Cod Bay to raise money for Christopher's Haven a charity that provides support for both families and cancer patients at Boston’s MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center.
Gibree recently lead a world record attempt in Stand Up Paddle Boarding, where she organized over 250 people to participate in the largest gathering of people doing yoga on Stand Up Paddle Boards in California's Lake Tahoe.
Listen to more about the the Cape Cod Bay Challenge and learn more about Gillian in Edging the Xtreme's interview on Radio BDC:
The Cape Cod Bay Challenge's primary goal is to raise money for a wonderful charitable cause: Christopher’s Haven, a comfortable housing complex and supportive community for families who bring patients to Boston's Mass General Hospital for Children for brain tumors and cancer.
And the Challengers do this by bringing together a group of people who forge new friendships and deep bonds as they physically and mentally challenge themselves through stand-up paddle boarding.
With other four events during the season, organizers brought stand-up paddle boarding to the Charles River this weekend. The four mile race started at the Community Boating Center. In August, athletes will go the distance from Plymouth to Wellfleet in a 34 mile marathon that starts at sunrise.
Edging the Xtreme caught up with cancer survivor Dan Olsen, the founder of Christopher's Haven, and Mike Chase of the Cape Cod Bay Challenge to discuss the growing popularity of stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and how they are supporting a worthy cause.
Three-Pete, Five-Pete and even an Eight-Pete are becoming familiar terms, as multiple athletes strike gold, embodying “rock star” status in the world of X Games.
On top of the heap is skateboarder Bob Burnquist, who captured his twenty-fifth X Games medal this past weekend.
Listen to my segment on RadioBDC:
X Game athletes pleased huge crowds in and around the famed Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany. The range of events featured RallyCross, Enduro, Moto X, Mountain Bike Slope Style, BMX Slope Style, Skate, and the X Game signature Big Air events.
The Women’s Enduro X event races showed the grit of these type of events. Enduro X is a test of strength, balance and fitness, combined with the power of a motocross bike, and it was grueling. Maria Forsberg won her third career X Games gold medal.
New to the X Games this year was Mountain Bike Slope Style, and the gold was won by Canadian Brett Rheeder, who has been known to train and hang out at Highland Mountain Bike Park in New Hampshire.
It's been said many time that these athletes are pushing the limits like never before, and it continues to be true. The X Games now come back to their “home court” (Los Angeles) for the last stop on the world tour August 1 through 4.
The Tough Mudder obstacle course events have become very popular in a relatively short period of time, and they are attracting a wide variety of participants who strive to test themselves in a military style course designed by the British Special Forces.
"But Tough Mudder is more than an event, it’s a way of thinking," explains the event's website. "By running a Tough Mudder challenge, you’ll unlock a true sense of accomplishment, have a great time, and discover a camaraderie with your fellow participants that’s experienced all too rarely these days."
Edging the Xtreme recently caught up with Kelly Ross a mother of two, who holds down a full time job and firmly believes that when you're in your mid-40s, it's never to late to be a "Tough Mudder." She completed the event at Gunstock, NH.
Listen to me chat with Kelly, on Edging the Xtreme:
Boasting over 700,000 participants world-wide, Tough Mudder raises money for the "Wounded Worrier Project" and promotes team work, as the course is nearly impossible to do alone and requires teams to complete many of the obstacles. These events also follow the recent fitness craze beyond aerobics, yoga, weight training and Triathlons. These events promote attitude, fun, and total body fitness – they are not competitions.
The next up-coming Tough Mudder is at Mount Snow Resort in Vermont August 1and 2.
It's a weekend full of mountain biking madness at the 12th annual Pat's Peak Mountain Bike Festival in New Hampshire. The list of competitions alone is covers every aspect of the sport; there are 24 hour, 12 hour and 6 hour competitions for all levels of endurance athletes.
Over the years, Greg Jancaitis has posted some amazing results in this race. Starting in 2009, he finished third in the men's solo 24 hour, and he was the 2010 and 2011 overall winner in the men's 24 hour solo. Then in 2012, he was the winner in the men's 6 hour solo. He also holds the course record at 29:00 in last year's race.
Here is a video interview with Jancaitis from the Shenandoah 100:
Listen to the entire interview with Greg Jancaitis on Edging the Xtreme:
Plus, learn about the entire Mountain Bike Festival at Pat's Peak, which includes the Eastern States Cup (ESC) USA Cycling Regional Championship Downhill Mountain Bike Race Series.
The Series is in its fourth year and includes nine venues with eleven series races, plus the state finals and the series finals. Check out a listing of the ESC schedule, rules and more information.
The X-Country Challenge on Sunday is part of the Northeast Root 66 XC Race Series, a series of cross-country mountain bike races held at different venues throughout New England.
And that is just the beginning of the fun: there's a single speed cycle cross event, plus camping, music and activities at the mountain all weekend.
I met Vasu Sojitra last Friday while he was hiking up to ski Tuckerman Ravine. He was celebrating the end of his college career at UVM with a pack of friends, a typical thing to do on a beautiful spring day in May. Except Vasu only has one leg!
At nine months, Sojitra had his leg amputated, but he's never looked back. He climbs mountains, hikes and skies, and isn't deterred, although he does say he needs to eat more than your average person.
Listen to the most recent installment of Edging the Xtreme to hear more about the amazing backcountry accomplishments of this extraordinary young man.
In mountain biking it takes a rare breed to rise to the top. Last summer at the London Summer Olympics, USA's Georgia Gould had the worst start in her career. Yet when the day was done, she was standing on the podium with a Olympic Bronze Medal.
As a sponsored rider on LUNA Women's Mountain Bike Team, Gould has plenty of motivation to continue to compete on the world stage. As the 2013 World Cup Season kicks off in Germany later in the month, Gould hopes to build on her past success and capture the elusive World Cup Victory, as well as defend her National Title.
In the fall, she’ll turn her attention to racing cyclocross with the aim of defending her 2012 USGP series championship. Georgia lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband Dusty, their 28 bicycles, five chickens, a hive of bees and a garden full of vegetables.
Listen to the entire Georgia Gould interview with Dan Egan on Edging the Xtreme on RadioBDC, above.
Garrett McNamara, who also goes by ‘GMAC,’ is an American professional big wave surfer, and extreme waterman, known for breaking the world record for largest wave ever surfed around the world. He has been a passionate surfer since his family moved from Pittsfield, Mass. to the beaches of Hawaii and he has never looked back. McNamara's professional career spans over two decades around the pacific and beyond.
Don’t let McNamara’s laid-back, surfer persona fool you: as an professional athlete in his mid-forties, an age at which most are thinking of stepping to the sideline, he's ramping it up a notch. His recent world record wave ride in Portugal was on a wave ranging from 90-100 feet in height, and for him it was just another day at work.
That day that was six-plus years in the making. McNamara was tipped off to the wave by an email sent from a small village on the coast of Portugal. A local that wanted to know if the wave, a geographic phenomenon off the coast of Portugal called the North Canyon, was worth riding.
Living with the constant quest of riding the “barrel” or “tube” of the wave, McNamara's adventures include surfing in Alaska on a wave caused by the falling ice of a glacier into the frozen arctic waters. McNamara admits it was "a little crazy, but worth the risk, because the falling ice creates perfect waves."
He credits his survival to planning and fitness along, with his ability to hold his breath. McNamara is currently taking classes so he can surpass his personal best of 4.5 minutes under water.
“You have to survive the beating the wave hands out,” said McNamara, “and sometimes the bottom is a bit rough, like a coral reef, so you really just take a series of breaths whenever you can.”
Over the past 10 years, McNamara has been on a mission to catch the biggest, best waves on the planet, and he has succeeded. He is arguably the most committed ocean explorer in the world. You can put him in any situation in the water and GMAC is not only ready to go, but go hard!
At 17 years old, McNamara entered and placed in the prestigious Hawaiian Triple Crown Series. Along with his brother Liam, McNamara began to attract the attention of major sponsors and signed deals with a number of prominent brands in Japan. The brothers spent the next 10 years on the competition circuit, traveling and becoming fluent in Japanese. It was the realization of a dream come true for both brothers.
McNamara continued to push the limits of pro surfing, and soon he started to get towed into waves on Personal Water Craft or Jet Skis, which enable surfers to chase down and catch giant waves that were thought to be impossible, beyond the reach of surfers paddling with their bare hands.
Predictably, McNamara couldn't leave well enough alone. He is still on a mission to explore the world’s oceans for the best and biggest waves Mother Nature has to offer.
Listen to the complete Garrett McNamara interview on Edging the Xtreme on Radio BDC with Dan Egan. GMAC talks about surviving the white water of his world record ride and compares it to riding on a moving avalanche of snow.
“The past is history and the future is a mystery” says Mr. Fitness, Tony Horton. “Feel good now, work out now and make it a habit.”
More from RadioBDC: Listen to Part 1 of Dan Egan's interview with Tony Horton
Horton, the founder of fitness regimen P90X, takes no excuses for delaying fitness and preaches both nutrition and activity. One of his main themes is “clean up the diet and get off the sugar, the fats, salts and chemicals, processed foods that come from boxes and bags.” If you go to www.beachbody.com and check out his orginal program, titled Power 90,you can see Horton's recipe for weight loss and nutrition.
His new program, 10 Minute Trainer,sounds too good to be true, but as he explains in the second part of the Radio BDC interview, it's just to get people started in forming good habits – so 10 minutes turns into 20 minutes, and it grows from there.
After the success of his first two books, Bring It and Crush It, he is launching his third, out this summer. There seems no end in sight for his fitness empire expansion, which includes a video game, food line, clothing line and sunglasses.
Tony Horton is a motivator and he has built his success on making getting fit both fun and effective. His approach is sometimes corny, and often over-the-top, but the bottom line is: his programs work.
So if you're looking to break free of the winter and looking towards a spring and summer of fun in the sun and feeling better about yourself, start any one of his programs and stick with it.
Just check out his web page www.tonyhortonsworld.com. You’ll be glad you did.
Listen to the part two of the Tony Horton interview on Edging the Xtreme only on RadioBDC: