Anyone who knows me will say that I’m a pretty laid-back person. Some would say I’m so laid-back you can actually see the soles of my shoes as I’m walking.
In direct contrast to this, my interests (and some of my jobs!) have always involved extreme levels of intensity.
For the most part, I get involved in an activity and it totally consumes me. I don’t mind not being the best at what I do – but I will put every part of my soul into finding out just how well I can do something! Then, I’ll move onto the next thing…
Even from when I was an early teen, I found that I got a very intense rush from writing poems and stories. The experience was almost like being sick – scribbling out the words all at once and then sitting back feeling relief. Calm.
The band came next. Playing the bass or taking on vocal duties for a band is pretty extreme – but the buzz you get from stepping onto a stage in front of people can completely overwhelm some people. I found I thrived on it!
And not just folk music, of course – my choice was thrash, death metal, grindcore – anything fast and loud!
I never had a massive interest in sports at school until I got to do things my way.
None of the pansy-assed school soccer or rugby – I got out there and joined a full kit US Football team, and let my psychosis carry me through!
People say US Football is all stop-starty – but I bet they’ve never played it. In the time the ball isn’t actually moving, before that whistle blows, the anticipation is immense.
You’re about to smash your way through people who will try to seriously injure you – and everyone is wearing bloody armour so they can hit each other even harder! If you think THAT is ‘a bit boring’ then you’re a -ing idiot!
Next came the clubbing days. Not seals – the music type. Hard as bastardy techno and trance… Dancing like a loon through the night to it…
Each thing seeemd to be getting more extreme – more intense.
Then I bought a motorbike – not for a rush, but just to get me to work.
If only I would have known years before… I still say my bike is the best thing I’ve ever bought in my life.
I guess looking back it’s no surprise I’d get into sportsbikes, where I can experience 1000hp per tonne blasting me to 60mph in under 3 seconds, and stupid lean angles as I scrape my knees on the tarmac at over 100mph!
Not many would have pegged me for getting a cruiser motorcycle and plodding around on it just for the image! Give me the foetal position at 190mph any day!
Most of these previous things apart from bikes have fallen by the wayside now. I do still demonstrate martial arts in almost every aspect of my life (and a lot of those activities above!), but I think even that peaked a few years back when I was sparring with friends for hours every single night preparing for a no holds barred tournament. Now I still learn new techniques, but hardly do any proper training – so you can bet I’m weak and slow compared to how I was.
The bike thing is still going strong, and earlier this week I had this arrive on my doorstep:
That’s my car racing license!
For the last few months I’ve been totally immersing myself in the Skip Barber race manual learning ungodly amounts of stuff about race car physics and techniques, so the intensity for driving racing cars has already hit me.
Just wait until I slide myself into that single seater for the first time, and we’ll see what kind of rush I get from this one.
The way I see it – if you’re not constantly chasing that rush, you’re doing it wrong!