Interview: Gary King – Nutrition & Extreme Sports

3 Aug

Gary King during his race to the North Pole

I have a very special treat for you today; an interview with Gary King.

Gary King is an extreme sports journalist and enthusiast.  His website is the ultimate resource for anybody wanting to get the inside track on all things extreme.  Gary is based in Nottinghamshire and does keynote talks all over the UK to business and educational facilities.

Gary, thanks for doing this interview.  Could you tell us a little about the work that you do?

Hi Katie, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I’m an adventure sport and travel writer and I write for many different publications including The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times. I also have an Extreme Sports website where I routinely blog about a whole host of subjects that raise the heartbeat and tickle the senses. I’m also a public speaker and I regularly talk to all kinds of organisations from primary school kids to business people.

How did you get interested in extreme sports?  You’re clearly someone who loves taking part, not just writing or talking about them?

I’ve always loved extreme sports and I’ve always loved writing. So it was a natural progression for the two to merge. The great thing about adrenaline sports is that once you reach a certain level of experience it becomes far more about fine tuning technique. What I find is that when I’m doing this, whether I’m sky diving or snowboarding, I think about nothing else. It becomes completely absorbing and believe it or not very relaxing.

And – be honest – do some of the things you do scare you, or are you an adrenalin junkie?

It’s very rare that I get scared because most of the things that I do are within a safety envelope. I know it sounds like a bit of a cliché but statistically you’re far more likely to get injured on the way to a drop zone than you are jumping out a plane. I do love that astonishing feeling when I’m in a particularly adrenaline fuelled situation but I equally love the sensation of calm when it’s all over. So, yes, I suppose I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

How important do you find diet to be for your sports performance and recovery?

I have a few basics rules – no transfat, no refined sugar, small meals throughout the day, good breakfast. I’m sensible really and I think that we all intuitively know when we’re over indulging. I have the odd splurge but I do think that it’s really important for my sports performance and recovery.

Do you have to be an elite, extremely fit athlete to get involved with extreme sports?

No, not at all. One of the Adventure Talks that I do basically says that virtually anybody regardless of their athletic ability can take part in extreme sports. It’s all about pushing your personal boundaries and experiencing life to the full. However, fitness and healthy eating are an asset in any walk of life. If you work on those it can only be of benefit in the long run on all levels.

What adventure sports do you have planned for this year?

I’m involved with an extreme and urban sports festival called X In The City.  It is going to be a showcase for all kinds of sports from Parkour to Wakeboarding to Cage Cricket to Martial Arts. That’s keeping me busy at the moment and I’ll be posting blogs over the next couple of months about the various athletes taking part. Other than that I’ll be snowboarding as soon as there is some snow in the Alps and I’ll be surfing throughout the rest of the summer.

And finally, what advice would you give to our readers who have maybe never been involved with extreme sports but are curious?  Where can they go to get more information, and is there a particular sport you’d recommend people get started with?

Just get out there and have a go. There are thousands of excuses why you shouldn’t go and do something and not that many on why you should. My website has loads of information about various sports and loads of links to organisations that will help you do it safely. If you fancy something to get you going then there’s nothing better than a Tandem Skydive.

Remember – Life’s for Living, Not Spectating.

Ok, thanks Gary for taking the time to speak to us!

Wow, what a great interview – kinda makes you want to get up off the settee, hey.  I love Gary’s last quote that life is for living, not spectating… and however you choose to truly live your life, having a healthy body is a great advantage.  So keep making the right diet choices and you’re helping your body support you through each day, whether you’re walking to the office of racing to the North Pole.

What are your thoughts on extreme sports?  How does your diet support your physical activity?  Any extreme sports stories of your own to share?

(I once did a tandem sky dive and can thoroughly second Gary’s recommendation!)

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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