Adventure Racing Addiction? Why Some People Get Extreme To Have A Good Time

According to Men’s Fitness, people who love “Mudding” races, obstacle races full of extreme physical challenges, might be suffering from a life identity crisis. 26 participants were interviewed for the study, but the researchers went to “Tough Mudder” brand races in the UK, Australia, and the US.

Mud Races are full of challenging obstacles which require both mental and physical excellence. Not all of the obstacles are good fun and game. Mud races are not like backyard picnic obstacle courses. Instead of hopping in a potato sack, you’re jumping over tires. The stress of running with an egg in a spoon? That’s replaced by crawling under wires which deliver an electroshock if you touch them. Other obstacles can include freezing cold water, plummeting from tens of feet high, and dealing with grueling, animalistic competitors.

“Most people who spoke to the researchers said the challenging event helped them escape the tedium of their everyday lives,” the article writes. Especially, those who have mundane office jobs. Creating meaning in life takes form through adventure for many people. Getting into the elements and having their physical capacities as well as mental capacities pushed to the limit motivates them to get through their work week and many months until an adventurous vacation. “Obstacle racing and other forms of short but intense and painful activities provide a brief but acute reappearance of the body,” the article cites regarding the study. “Better yet, the scrapes and wounds left by the agonizing obstacles help people build a story of a more rewarding life spent discovering the limits of the physical body.”

Addicts and alcoholics live lives which are simultaneously too exciting and rather mundane. Addiction and alcoholism can bring the kind of excitement most people would want to live without and the kind of boring life most kind of people would want to live without. When drugs and alcohol take hold, they can rob someone of their meaning and passion in life. Adventurous activities, even extreme ones, are the way many in recovery find a path to reconnect to themselves. Forced into an experiential situation, they have to reconcile with the elements around them as well as within them. For those brief moments of adrenaline when they catch a wave, hike to the summit, see animals in nature, or reach a threshold in exercise, there is a reminder of who they truly are and what they are truly capable of, clean and sober from drugs and alcohol.


LEAD Recovery Center equips clients with the confidence they need to handle life’s challenges through the use of experiential learning in adventure and nature excursions. For information on our extended care recovery programs, call us today at 1-800-380-0012.