Occasionally people think that others who participate in dangerous activities are "risk seeking" people. That is just not the case. Yes, the element of risk adds a certain seriousness to the activity. It provides more focus and concentration and double and triple checking of systems before taking the plunge. There is a thrill to doing something where the consequences mean you might never be able to do what you do now, but that's not why we do these things.
Do you know the sense of accomplishment you have after you go on a run? If you do, good. It is the feeling that you just did something productive, a flood of endorphins into your head. Climbing something is the same. The more physical it is, the steeper, the longer, the more challenging, the more rewarding it is. In a sense it is the same as a fulfilling career project. Yet there is a physical component to it. When the mental and physical challenges combine the reward is greater than only one or the other. That's what many of these pursuits are, mental and physical challenges and make our hearts race, our muscles ache, and our minds exhausted. I'm an engineer, I would pick that over running if you gave me the choice of using my brain versus using my legs. Yet while I have the capability to use my entire body, I must. To let any aspect of my blessings fade away is a waste. Risk is not something we must run from, it is something to acknowledge, mitigate against, and continue the pursuit of changing the world. By making the impossible become the ordinary, you can now fly across the Atlantic in seven hours. People used to spend weeks sailing across it, with so much risk.
It's a passion. It shows us what is inside us. It shows us the beauty in the world. It shows us what is possible and what might be possible. It's an addiction. What is possible? Impossible is nothing.