First of all, take the time to watch that video. Besides having a great soundtrack, it’s incredibly well-made, so it’s exhilarating and entertaining. These guys are nuts.
The greatest thing about extreme sports is the awesome energy and camaraderie that really seems prevalent in the various areas- watch any documentary or clip of people doing stupid stunts together, and there’s no questioning the friendship that’s there. For many of these athletes, their peers are like their family. This can be a wonderful thing- they work together and feed off each other to push themselves emotionally and physically beyond the capabilities of most mere mortals.
But how far is too far?
I strongly value self-awareness and decision-making; part of being able to accomplish feats akin to what these French guys do is knowing their limits, since simple mistakes are the ones that lead to things like death. So when one of the climbers in the above video goes out on his wire with no safety gear, I’m certain that he knows full-well that he can do it. Yet, how would everyone else there feel if anything went wrong, and they hadn’t stopped him? It’s a very parent-y thing of me to ask, I know.
However, I’d say that the core of that closeness amongst so many extreme athletes is really that ethical dilemma- they have to push themselves, and they have to to watch out for each other. And at any given time, that might mean having to talk your best friend down from an idea that they’re clinging to like their life depended on it.
In the meantime, here’s a video of my dream sport, speedflying: