You can look down at your toes as they edge further off the metal surface, you switch focus to your ankles, padded and tied together tightly. Your heartbeat intensifies and you feel its pulse in every limb and crevice of your body. You feel the wind in your hair, and hear the water splashing 90 meters below you. Your focus sharpens and the petty office stress from earlier on in the day quickly dissipates. Then, you jump.
High-stress activities like dangling below a bridge by your feet or catching a giant wave are scientifically good for your health (granted nothing goes wrong). According to Men’s Health magazine, adrenaline created by a sudden blast of stress sends a torrent of oxygen-rich red blood cells through your body signaling your brain to release painkilling endorphins while boosting your immune system. Lucky for you and your health, there are plenty of extreme activities offered in and around Montreal. This summer, man-up and defy the laws of nature.
Have you just not had the time to head out of town and fulfill that longtime desire to jump out of a plane? Well, gentlemen, the “not enough time” excuse is no longer valid. Only 30 minutes outside of Montreal, Parachutism Nouvelle Air will suit you up and throw you out of an aircraft 4,000m high in the sky. Get three buddies to come along and receive a kind discount (along with some moral support). If jumping tandem isn’t enough, they also offer a PFF training program to get you a solo-skydiver license in no time. 200 Chemin Lebeau, 450-293-8118, from $240.
Lucky for you, living in Montreal puts you a stone’s throw away from North America’s highest bungee jump, the Great Canadian Bungee. Only two hours away from the city center, the professionals at GCB bring you to an amphitheatre of unyielding limestone, 200 feet high, surrounding a 160-foot deep aqua-blue spring-fed lagoon the size of three football fields. The 160-foot rebound of the jump is higher than the entire jump height of any other site in Canada or the US. Prices start around $100, and if you just can’t get enough, any additional jump on the same day is basically half-price. There are plenty of accommodation options at the site to make an adrenalin-pumping weekend out of it. Route 105 Wakefield, 1-877-828-8170.
Yes, you can actually surf in Montreal. The waves lay just behind Habitat 67 on the St. Lawrence River near the bridge to the casino. There are two permanent waves for both beginner and intermediate surfers. If you have your own equipment the water is all yours, but if you are a rookie KSF offers courses, equipment rentals and tons of advice with beginner’s courses from $70. The best part: static waves so you can surf summer or winter. 7770 Boulevard Lasalle, 514-595-SURF.
The best summer activity to do with a large group of friends or colleagues, white-water rafting on the Rouge River, only one hour from Montreal’s city center. Eau Vive Rafting offers all kinds of rafting and kayaking trips ranging between more extreme sport rafting trips to relaxing rides on the Classic Rouge and Family Rafting trips. They even include a campground and equipment rentals, packed lunch for day trips, as well as a buffet dinner and breakfast. 1199 Chemin de la Rivière Rouge, 1-800-567-6881, from $69.
Image courtesy of Tal777.