Run Thrive Survive

The Psychology Behind Extreme Sports with Chloe Kalo

Extreme sports are also known as alternative athletics, and these sporting events carry a high level of risk associated with them. These activities involve increased speed, height, or physical strain on the participants. Sports psychology is the deep understanding of how psychological aspects of a person influence their physical activities, athletic performance, exercising, and sports habits. The main aim of sports psychology is to understand how sports can assist a person in improving their mental health. 

People who participate in extreme sports are usually misconstrued as ”adrenaline junkies” or as those with a death wish of some sort. However, research has concluded that participating in extreme sports can facilitate experiencing positive psychological events. 

Our guest in this episode is someone we have had before. Her name is Chloe Kalo. She has been on the podcast to discuss Athletic Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Somatic Therapy. Chloe helps her clients improve their physical and mental well-being through sports and physical activities. 

According to Chloe, every client she has ever worked with had their own background story. Many of them that wished to or actively participated in extreme sports had their own stories. Some of them suffered from severe traumatic experiences and had developed PTSD. Severe PTSD can lead to a loss of the connection of the mind and body for a person, which is why extreme sports help them connect the two again. 

The mind and the body are very powerful allies. They are not just connected physically but also emotionally and psychologically. When one is unwell, there is a direct effect on the other. For example, if a person is experiencing any form of stress, the body shows signs of distress, too, such as stomach getting upset. And in the case where the body is experiencing a wound or injury, the mind experiences severe psychological stress. So, both of them are connected, and trauma can drive a wedge between the two. 

When participating in extreme sports, one can feel themselves connecting with the elements of nature around them and to the surrounding environment. It can help a trauma survivor to begin engaging in general activities. Connecting with the elements can help those with PTSD overcome their fears and experience a mindful thrill. Trauma makes people lose their sense of mindfulness, so it is important to micromanage everything. For example, people often forget to focus on the little things such as breathing, and it is important to notice it too. 

In the end, extreme sports can help trauma survivors deal with their grief and trauma better as it can be a great asset to one’s healing journey. Healing starts with one recognizing themselves as a trauma survivor. So extreme sports have many benefits attached to them and should be acknowledged. 

Our guest, Chloe, and the host, Ciara, discuss all this and much more in this episode. It is an honest conversation about trauma, PTSD, and overcoming it using athletic means. If you are interested in extreme sports, then make sure to tune in and listen to the episode.

For a detailed podcast on the topic, make sure to subscribe to us at Apple Music and Spotify @RunThriveSurvive by Ciara Carter. I offer coaching services too and you can reach out to me at or

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