Behind The Scenes

Hall: Little’s adrenaline rushes

In a recent 7-day period, Jamie Little bungee jumped 800 feet from the top of a Las Vegas hotel and experienced 9 G’s in a flight with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Such is the life of a self-professed “adrenaline junkie.”

Little, a reporter on ESPN’s coverage of NASCAR, IndyCar and the X Games, also has flown with the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, ridden in two small stunt planes and done a parachute jump. She raced motorcycles as a teenager, still enjoys riding dirt bikes and won a celebrity auto race in Long Beach, Calif., a few years ago.

“I was just born a tomboy,” said Little, who started with ESPN in 2002. “I was an only child and that helped my independence and curiosity and I always looked for crazy or fun things to do. I always rode bikes with the boys, and that turned into riding dirt bikes with the boys.

“I guess just having confidence in riding things like motorcycles gave me the confidence in doing things that are adrenaline-packed. I think it’s a mental aspect too, to be able to commit yourself to jumping off a building or jumping out of a plane, there’s a lot of mental strength that you have to have.

“That’s where it all came from. I’m not crazy, I’m not like [action-sport athlete] Travis Pastrana, but I do like adrenaline rushes when I know that it’s safe and I’m in a good environment for it.”

While she’s never gotten motion sickness from the adventures, “I’d be lying if I said I felt right or normal after a trip when you pull 8 or 9 G’s,” she said. “It’s like a hung over feeling, you just don’t feel right, your head is a little fuzzy.

“The funny thing is, after all the training and the flight, and it takes a lot of energy to be able to breathe right when you’re pulling 9 G’s, I was so hungry after my Thunderbirds flight I went straight to In N Out Burger and had a huge cheeseburger, fries and a Coke in like five minutes, and then I felt normal. That was definitely a reward after all the hard work that day.”

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