COLUMBUS, Ohio -

New studies show that women are less happy now than they were 40 years ago and as women get older, they also get sadder.  Some women are determined to make sure they don’t fall into these same numbers.  They are ladies who wanted more out of the typical girl’s night out.  These women stepped outside their comfort zone to discover more about themselves, and when they did they learned to love who they are.

It’s an exciting morning for a group of five women: they are going to try something outside the box.

“My family said, 'Kathy, try and be the first one out and get it over and done with',’” Kathy Guth said.

These women are going to jump out of a plane from an altitude of 10,000 feet, together.  They are members of a group called the Ladies Explorer Club.

“I didn’t want to wait for a cancer diagnosis to start living my life,” said Michelle Rapp, founder and explorer-in-chief.

Members of the group say the adventures they take are a kind of therapy.

“[These women will] stand by you,” member Alisha Hunter said. “If one is scared, they’ll be like ‘hey, I’m scared too, but I’m going to do it.’”

“My husband had passed away of cancer, and so it was like a year and a half and I needed to get back out,” member Cindy Smith explained.

“Put yourself a little bit out on that ledge and you’ll find out what you can do.  You’ll be surprised,” Guth said.

Apart from skydiving, the women have ridden in hot air balloons, repelled through Hocking Hills State Park, even tried dog sledding.

“Whether you go through the fear, around the fear, under, over; it doesn’t matter.  As long as you get through to the end goal, you’re going to be successful,” Rapp said.

There club is free to join and adventures range from $85 to $500, which includes travel, lodging, and food.  There are currently more than 300 members in the Ladies Explorer club, and Rapp’s long term goal is to start franchise clubs in cities across the country.

Additional Information:

There is no exact definition of extreme sports, but they can be described as any activity that's on the fringe of the mainstream and can be incredibly grueling and dangerous. Extreme sports have gained popularity in the past few decades, partly because people want to continue to push themselves after exceeding past expectations and goals. Another contributor to the extreme sports craze may be the adrenaline rush these activities create, which gives the feeling of a natural high from dopamine being released in the brain. Although extreme sports can be exciting, people have died due to mistakes and accidents. It is important for people participating in these activities to know their own physical limits, pay close attention to what they are doing, and be aware of the risks. (Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130424-tough-mudder-death-extreme-endurance-sports-risk-safety/)

Extreme Sports: What is considered extreme can differ between individuals, but certain activities are commonly categorized as extreme sports. Some of these activities include:

  • Base Jumping – This is where a person jumps off a high fixed point and parachutes down to the ground. The parachutes are designed to open more quickly and at lower air speeds than normal parachutes.
  • Bungee Jumping – In a bungee jump, people leap off of a tall structure connected to a large elastic cord. Once they reach the end of the free fall, the band then rebounds causing the person to fly back up.
  • Skydiving – Skydiving is when a person jumps from some sort of aircraft (typically an airplane), opens a parachute, and glides the rest of the way to the ground. Although this seems extremely dangerous, there is less than one fatality per 150,000 thousand jumps.
  • White Water River Boarding – This is a fairly new sport in which a person maneuvers down white water rapids on a buoyant board with handles and fins to keep them away from rocks. (Source: www.outdoor-sport-leisure.net/extreme-sports.htm)