"There is a kind of athlete groomed for the field of play, the kind who answers to a coach, who endures the rigors of practice for the rewards of an organized competition. For that athlete the games end after eighteen holes, nine innings, four quarters, three sets or two halves.
And then there is the other kind of athlete who chooses to go it alone, away from manicured lawns or parquet courts. Pushing the Limit, a series by The New York Times, chronicles these athletes who confront an opponent that must be mastered, not beaten: A mountain, a ramp, the wind and the waves, a slope, the city streets, a sheet of ice, a track or perhaps no track at all."
- Charles Victor Tucker III, "the harmless and stoned jester of the mountains to some and the scourge of Yosemite National Park to others, is better known as Chongo, a rock climber who wrote books on physics and now sleeps under a tractor-trailer" (see "For Rock Climbing Guru, The Sky Is His Roof");
- Van Wastell, who became the subject of intrigue after his body was found in an alley behind a hotel in Berlin, apparently the victim of a fall (see "A Fearless Skateboarder Lived Fast, But It Did Not Last")
- Ken Harvey, the former Washington Redskins linebacker now at work on a high-concept project he has called SpaceSportilization (see "For Ex-N.F.L. Star, a Dream of Sports In Space");
- Fred Beckey, a climbing legend whose past is the stuff of lore, and whose plans are the stuff of mystery (see "At 85, More Peaks to Conquer and Adventures to Seek"); and
- Todd Palin, husband of Gov. Sarah Palin, and racing partner to Scott Davis, who has won seven championships in the annual Iron Dog contest (see "Racing's Last Fronteir").