What do you do if you're a "crazy kid" growing up in Utah? You clip on your skis and go downhill fast -- very fast -- that's what.
"I'd say most of the time I'm basically on the verge of crashing," Ted Ligety -- the "King of Schladming" and arguably the best male skier in the world right now -- told CNN's Human to Hero series.
"The fastest way down is just being -- one little slip up and you are done -- so that's the fastest way to go down. We're riding a fine line most of the time."
Known as "Ted Shred" for his fearless attitude on the piste, Ligety's approach to gravity -- traveling at speeds that even motorists might start to feel nervous about -- has served him well since making his pro debut a decade ago.
"For me I think it's one of the most fun sports out there too because it's such an adrenaline rush -- you're just using gravity," he said.
"We have courses where you reach speeds of 100 mph (160 kph) so it's very unique in those ways."
Securing a stunning hat-trick of titles at this month's world skiing championships in the Austrian resort of Schladming, the 28-year-old from Park City matched a feat last achieved by the legendary Jean-Claude Killly back in 1968.
In doing so he all but singlehandedly hoisted the United States to the top of the medals table in Austria.
Those victories in the super-G, super combined and his specialty giant slalom, where he was defending his 2011 title, showed Ligety's all-round versatility and catapulted him to superstar status.
Not that he is letting his recent success go to his head.
The American has even bigger goals ahead -- trying to overhaul Austrian Marcel Hirscher at the top of this season's overall World Cup standings and then challenging for gold at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
"I still believe the overall (World Cup) title winner is the No. 1 skier in the world," Ligety said.
"I have been having a great season but I'm a little way back in the overall, so to me Marcel Hirscher is the No. 1 in the world.
"I had a really hot couple of weeks and luckily that fell during the world championships. I am hopeful I can continue the success of the worlds into the other events besides giant slalom."
Ligety's no-nonsense approach and relentless quest for improvement means he has swerved the media hullabaloo which accompanies his fellow U.S. teammates such as Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller.
"I'm not doing ski racing to become famous. I do it because I love it and I'm competitive. That's what drives me. My main focus is on ski racing, not the red carpet," he states on his official website.
Vonn's fall in the women's super-G at Schladming, suffering a serious knee injury, brought her season to a premature end, and with Miller still recovering from a knee injury of his own, Ligety might have to start getting used to a more intensive media glare.
Suddenly all the attention is on him, and even he admits that his success was a little unexpected.
"I knew I had very good chances at medals in both the super-G and combined, but to win both was definitely a surprise," he said.
"My main goal for the worlds was to defend my giant slalom title, so winning the super-G and combined added a little extra pressure.
"I was so focused on the giant slalom I didn't realize what I had done until it was over. Though it's still hard to fathom that I won three golds and that it has not been done since Killy in 1968."
There is also the smaller matter of Sochi 2014, where Ligety hopes to add to the Olympic gold he won as a 21-year-old in the super combined at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.
Ligety insists he is "not focused on the Olympics yet" but memories of his earlier success leave a warm glow.