Check yourself before you wreck yourself...



So, I've seen thousands of videos (yes, that many) of people absolutely wrecking themselves trying to do some sort of physical stunt.  Backflip off a roof?  Nope.  Jump over a pool?  Almost.  Jump over a campfire, just as my friend jumps over it from a different direction?  Maybe we should work on the timing for next time.  Chop something in half with a kitana while my friend holds it?  Close, but the chopped object wasn't supposed to be my friend's hand...

As I watch these videos, I've been wondering the same thing you've been wondering:

"Why on earth would you film yourself doing something like that...and failing so miserably at it?"


I think I've finally stumbled on the answer:  It's because they already did it once.  


You see, I've been able to do some pretty amazing things with my body.  Things that I really should have no business doing.  At church camp, we lined up folding chairs (front to back) and tried to jump over them (lengthwise.)  I won the contest with TEN.  Yes, that's right...I cleared ten folding chairs.

I also did the full splits without warming up.  Once.

My point here is that the human body is capable of doing amazing things.  It is also capable of surviving almost catastrophic acts of stupidity...once.  You've seen the video of the skydiver whose parachute didn't open...they bounced.  They broke bones.  But they survived.

Now, to my point.  You can survive many things once.  The problem starts when someone (either you, or a poor friend) notices the thing your poor body just survived and says, "WHOA!!! THAT WAS SO COOL!!!  DO THAT AGAIN!"

It's the DO THAT AGAIN part that we always see on video.

That guy doing the backflip off his roof?  Probably nailed it the first time.  It was spectacular.  Then they got the camera out, and he spent a lot of time trying to recreate exactly what he'd done.  Problem with that methodology is that you can't remember exactly what you've done unless you've trained yourself to do so...any dancer will attest to this.  Just finished the most amazing improvisational solo?  Okay, now do it again...  If you've ever tried this, you know it'll never, ever be the same.  But this is probably what this daredevil is attempting...and that's the attempt we get to see.

What do you think?  Am I on to something here?  Anyone have an instance of this happening to them in the past?