With a day job like professional wrestling, it might not be a surprise that TNA world heavyweight champ "Showtime" Eric Young loves extreme sports — the crazier the better. Outside the ring, the avid sport fisherman hosted "Off the Hook: Extreme Catches" for Animal Planet, which has spawned a spin-off for the channel called "No Limits," in which he travels the country in search of out-there activities to try.
Premiering on May 30, the 10-part series follows Young as he attempts sand-boarding in the Arizona desert, marlin fishing from a kayak in Mexico, ice fishing with a bow and arrow in Alaska, racing ostriches, searching for black widow spiders and highlining —walking a one-inch tightrope between two canyons, with a safety tether but no net. "Most things that are worth doing are stupid," Young proclaims in the first half hour. (Two episodes will air back to back each.)
Young expounds on that proclamation in this interview with MNN.
MNN: How did the show come about?
Eric Young: While working on "Off the Hook: Extreme Catches," we kept hearing about really cool outdoor activities that didn't necessarily incorporate fishing. Since I'm such an adrenaline junkie, I couldn't contain myself and made the case to expand the show to include activities on land. There's still fishing in "No Limits," but we're now definitely delving into a new extreme subculture in this new series.
How do you come up with extreme things to try?
It's a mix of my crazy ideas and the insane stuff my production team finds. I don't know how they do it!
Is there anything you said no to?
There is no limit to my madness. You see what I did there? Seriously, I love to try new things and want to experience everything in life. I've always loved adrenaline and doing crazy stuff. It's the Canadian in me!
Have you had any close calls or injuries?
Never anything too close — lots of small injuries, bumps and bruises. I'm used to it by now. No guts, no glory!
What's the most unforgiving/harshest environment you've dealt with?
Without a doubt, the Bering Sea. It is seriously the worst place on the planet! I joined a cod fishing boat in January and it was probably the most intense shoot I've ever done: Crazy waves, crazy weather, non-stop rocking back and forth. On the deck, you always wear a survival suit, because a wave could wash you in at any time. If you fall in, the key is to stay flat on the water and stay calm. The survival suit will keep you warm and floating for up to an hour, and the bright red color makes you easier to spot in the waves. Without a survival suit, you'd go unconscious from the cold in probably 15 minutes.
What do love about fishing?
Extreme fishing is just another rush I like to experience. You'll see the biggest fish I ever caught on "No Limits" this season. I don't want to give it away.
How do you train for this stuff?
I'm a pro wrestler so I train year-round, even when shooting the show, mainly sports, cardio and weights.
What was your scariest moment?
You'll see that in the premiere episode on Friday. High lining was definitely the scariest.
What was your success to failure ratio for everything you tried?
I'm actually a pretty quick learner so my success rate is pretty high overall. But trust me, I don't always learn so fast!
How does your family feel about your exploits?
My parents love the success of the show. Like all parents, they worry and get nervous, but they've always been super-supportive of my career.
Were you always a daredevil?
I've been nuts for a very long time. I like to have fun and wouldn't change anything about my childhood shenanigans.
Have you learned anything about yourself from these adventures?
I have learned that there is a big, beautiful and amazing world out there. It's loaded with the most creative and wonderful people but you have to get out there and experience it for yourself.
How long do you think you'll continue to do this stuff?
I'm not slowing down anytime soon. I could do this for the rest of my life! I love traveling the world and have so many extreme ideas. Let's go!
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- 7 ultra-green extreme sports
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- The most dangerous sports for kids