Knowledge transfer networks are only as strong as the team that keep them together. It’s easy to get sucked into the technical side of the industry and find yourself isolated for hours on end in front of a computer terminal, punching away on those keys. Sure we love what we do, but sometimes we forget how to be human. Spending every waking hour in front of a computer screen managing the transfer of information via the networks is what drives us, but at the same time, without a healthy balance we burn out. I recently chatted to Alain Lawson of ITN about a team building exercise he took his entire networking department on. Not just one day, but a 10 day rejuvenation break. The ITN team flew to Cape Town South Africa, where they rested for a week and took part in some adrenaline filled team building activities.
Extreme sports, the latest buzz words that keep popping up, whether you are chilling in a hammock reading your favourite travel magazine, driving down a high way filled with billboards, or flicking through TV channels, you can’t escape it, extreme sports are being advertised everywhere.
It is in your face from morning to night, and before you can help yourself, you are wondering what it would feel like to soar through the air like a bird, or maybe even breathe under water like a fish.
Lucky for us due to great advances in the sporting industry extreme sports are no longer only suited to adrenaline junkies. The safety precautions taken and basically fail proof equipment should encourage even the least adrenalin-junky-esque person to try it out.
Tandem Paragliding being one of the favourites for novices. All you have to do is show up, comfortably dressed, wearing closed shoes conducive to running, and before you know it you will be up in the air with an experienced pilot guiding you over oceans, lakes and mountains while you get to sit back and take photos. What more could you ask for? Skywings is a Cape Town company that specializes in tandem paragliding above Cape Town.
Other than an introduction and run through of what you should expect during your flight, there is no training needed before hand or any specific experience required. Tandem paragliding is truly the gateway to extreme sports. Expect to get hooked. The wonder and thrill of the occasion will leave you wanting more. More freedom, more thrill, more unbelievable experiences, more feeling alive and in awe.
What causes an adrenaline rush you might ask? After all, the rush is what makes thrill seekers return time and time again. Searching for deeper trenches to dive and higher mountains to climb. Adrenaline is in fact a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, situated at the top of the kidneys. This hormone is referred to as a stress hormone and is secreted when the brain preserves a threat, either imaginary or real, and plays an important part the body’s fight-or-flight reaction.
The most extreme sports out there include events such as, Volcano Surfing, Creaking, Cave Diving, and Free Soloing, where and individual will climb up sheer rock faces without any ropes or harnesses for protection. Currently Alex Honnold (aged 31), having started climbing at the age of 11 is currently considered the best of his generation.
Skywings paragliding in Cape Town was the perfect choice for the crew from ITN Networking. Skywings has a solid crew of experienced pilots that each have countless hours of flight time and know the conditions in Cape Town better than anyone. You are never too young or two old to try something new and the list of extreme sports are endless. I can only imagine it getting even longer in the future. How can it not? With people always combining already risky sports, trying to go faster, higher and deeper than those who have gone before. Choose one I say! An oldie but a goody like Inline Skating or something you have never heard of before, like Freestyle Power-risers Stilts, which is basically polo sticks attached to your legs while trying to do the most daring stunts.
I say let’s make 2017 a daring one! Choose an extreme sport, or two if you are daring, add it to your bucket list and incorporate it in your must-do list for this year. Let us challenge ourselves, our fears and our perceived limits. I read an article not too ago, that challenged the idea of “money can’t buy happiness”. It argued that money itself might not be enough to bring happiness, but money can buy experiences and those create happy memories, which in turn do indeed make you happy.
I will argue that the only way to truly understand the fascination with extreme sports is to try it. I am going to push hard for our team to get a well deserved break and adrenaline kickstart like the ITN team did. Let’s Live a Little !