Maria Coffey explores how extreme sports soothe a spiritual nerve for elite athletes. From alpinists and astronauts to swimmers and sky-divers, Coffey reveals athletes’ addiction to a fear-inspired, single-mindedness that banishes normality and welcomes mystical moments. Or maybe Dean Potter just suffers from a dopamine deficiency? Coffey probes this potentially hokey topic with interviews, hard facts and compassion. Question: it’s easy to appreciate life when you’re about to lose it, but say you’re standing in line at Whole Foods—where’s the bliss in the boring?