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Explorers of the Infinite: The Secret Spiritual Lives of Extreme Athletes-and What They Reveal About Near-Death Experiences, Psychic Communication, and Touching the Beyond Hardcover – May 29, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Maria Coffey is an outdoors journalist whose first book, Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow, was serialized in Outside magazine and awarded the prestigious Jon Whyte Award for Mountain Literature. A native of England, she and her husband run an adventure sea- kayaking business. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher (May 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585426512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585426515
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Demerly on June 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought Maria Coffey's "Explorers of the Infinite" a few days ago and ate it whole. This book is fascinating since it is about the endurance athlete- a group I count myself among- and what drives us. I've been privleged enough to participate in about 250 triathlons, the Marathon des Sables (154 mile desert running race),the Eco-Challenge and the Raid Gauloises and the Jordan Desert Cup 105 mile running race as well as the Antarctic marathon. It is nice to read ideas about what makes a fellow like me "tick".

"Explorers of the Extreme" is perhaps one of the first really credible, readable and entertaining examinations of the endurance athlete's psyche, motives, mindset and even "spirituality". Coffey is apparently not an endurance athlete herself but treats our kind with loving adoration. If you are a marathon runner, triathlete, surfer, cyclist or other "extreme" or endurance sport athlete you'll appreciate the insights and feel some of the pages in Coffey's book become an interesting mirror. This is also a fantastic read for an athlete's spouse who may have questions about why a person would ever subject themselves to the rigors of preparation and participation in endurance/extreme/risk sports.

Coffey explores the extreme athlete mentality from mountaineering to ultra-running to the Tour de France and even more amazing feats like free diving and extreme skydiving. It is refreshing to read a respectful treatment of our sub-species, the endruance/extreme athlete. Other books I've read on the motives and inner realm of us freaks treat us with a sort of detached disdain and label our motives as self-destructive and self grandizing. Coffey sees other inspirations as told to her by the people in the sports themselves.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Searching for the Truth on August 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very interesting book for ANYONE with an adventurous spirit who feels connected with nature.

I have often wondered why I only felt the connection to something bigger than me when out in nature or pushing myself to my limits. This book actually goes into the science & spirituality of it all.

"He advocated going into nature, for an experience of the sacred...to reestablish your contact with the core of things, where it's really at...The way back to the meaning is to go out into the wilderness with an open heart, to feel it as a mystery...something totally outside your ordinary thought patterns. The Holy Other."

In other words, push yourself beyond what you think you are capable of and share the real rawness of the outdoors and there is no doubt you will come back a richer person.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought the Kindle version after hearing Coffey on Oprah's Soul Series. I read it more as a spiritual searcher than as an endurance athlete. The book was comprehensive in its exploration of what drives people to put themselves in the path of great suffering (made me think of the monks who built monasteries on chunks of rock off the coast of Ireland)... why? While the book is full of ghosts and other psychic phenomena, Coffey is even-handed in exploring these. She approaches mysteries with a true spirit of inquiry.

Also, I couldn't put it down. In this snowy season, it did change my attitude about facing the cold as a mini-adventure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Feral Puma on February 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I finished this book a few months ago, and in retrospect I think it is a breath of fresh air in the Spiritual department. Why do extreme athletes risk their lives doing these things? Read to find out, and find out as well all of their very unconventional Mystical experiences they often have while doing these crazy activities. I'll probably read this book at least once more again sometime in my life, if not twice. Definetely recommended to the adventurous soul prone to extreme ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Whitner on October 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Maria Coffey will be on Oprah in a few weeks (November 2008) because of this book - get a copy now and love it as much as I did! She gets right to the heart of what makes those who push physical limits tick, and does it in an incredibly palatable way. I highly recommend this book for extreme and armchair athletes alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an insightful book for those non-adrenaline-seeking types, and an affirmation of what us junkies already know about pushing the limits. Easy to read in sections as it isn't one long story but interesting chapters that nicely segueway from one ot the next.
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By stevo on January 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Coffey, herself, is quite the explorer. She delves deep into the minds and psyche of extreme athletes and explores what few other adventure writers have. Surely Krakauer has written some amazing first hand experiences of such expeditions but Coffey really finds what it is that drives these athletes and the spiritual, religious and out-of-body experiences that come of it. A great read for anyone, regardless if you are an adventurer or not. This is quite an insightful and awe inspiring book.
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