Let’s face it. I’m a lucky woman. When not getting paid to ski around, start avalanches with explosives and help injured skiers and snowboarders, I write about it (see, I’m learning to include snowboarders in the discussion, maybe I’m not such a Bad Kim after all.) While researching my new book on risk and action sports, I’ve talked to thrilling athletes, interviewed fascinating scientists and unearthed interesting archives. Yesterday I found this 34-year-old newspaper clipping about skiing and risk, and why it makes us better lovers and well, quite frankly, better people. Of course, this was written before snowboarding, so I’m sure it would apply to them as well. This article was originally published in New London, Connecticut’s Daily The Day January 20th, 1978. It’s a keeper.
This sort of proves it. Skiing is good for you. What Sol Roy Rosenthal didn’t know about back in the 70s was the connection that dopamine played in our reward system. The euphoria experienced by extreme athletes is connected to dopamine, which makes us want to keep coming back to the slopes or the waves or the rock walls and experience it again. But most intriguing in Rosenthal’s research is how he claims taking calculated risks increases our awareness while pinpointing our focus, sort of opening us while honing us in all at once. If seeing the big picture with the ability to focus on the moment doesn’t make us better people, better lovers and better skiers (or snowboarders), than I don’t know what will.