This was the back angle of my helmet cam from a previous video I posted. Click the jumping vids tab at the top of the page to see em all. This angle really shows how close I came …. but I had the speed and skill to get out of it. I’ve watched the video probably 100 times and relived those seconds many more. I’m going to be headed back out to Idaho again shortly to continue my progression and I’m excited for the challenges to come.
Jumping off shit with a parachute on your back is really fucking fun but making the decision to do it comes with a lot of weight. Over the past six months I’ve received a lot of support and challenge from my decision to start BASE and I’m sure that will continue.
Making a conscious choice to participate in a sport that is considered to be the most dangerous activity a human being can participate in has a lot of consequences to think about. Family, friends, co-workers, business partners, clients – The list goes on and on of people that would be directly effected if something were to happen me. Taking all that into consideration, my desire to keep going is greater than my desire to stop. I ask myself all the time ‘is it worth it?’ and as long as I keep answering ‘yes’ I am going to continue to do it.
There are those who are close to me that will never support my choice, and others who always will, and the balance of that gives me the ability to look at things objectively and make my decisions from the heart. No matter what path you decide to go in life there will be those who are with you and those who are against you, so at the end of the day you may as well do what you want.
The Law of Lesser Pissers: if you’re given the choice between pissing someone else off or pissing yourself off, choose, them. People come and go, but you’re with you for the whole trip…and it’s your life. – Dr John Demartini Now, I’m not saying that my intention is to hurt, or piss anyone off through my actions BUT I have things that I want to accomplish in my life and I’m not going to let obligation or social idealisms dictate my destiny. I’m going to make my own path and deal with the consequences of my actions as they unfold.
I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to maintain not using my computer or listening to podcasts/music when going to sleep for over 2 weeks now. It’s still only been a couple of weeks and I still have to consciously remind myself to not bring my computer into bed but its getting more and more consistent and will be automatic over time.
I just got back from Amsterdam with my brothers.
The last time we all hung out together was 7 years ago at my going away party in Ireland. All our worlds are completely different now but after an hour with each other it was like we were all 16 again. I didn’t realize how much I miss all of them until we hung out with each other.
We’ve somewhat stayed in touch over the years but it was great to be able to sit down with a beer and reconnect with everyone in person. I made a solid effort to remain present over the 4 days and was constantly reminding myself that it may be another 7 years before I see them all again.
Morgan put together the edit below which has a bunch of tricks from our skating years which is how we all know each other and was again cool to relive some of those moments.
Hoping it won’t be too long till we all reconnect again.
In other news I landed my first standing backflip last week! I’ve been going around for years saying that it was a life goal of mine but I can probably count on two hands the amount of days I actually spent practicing so I was never really committed till recently. Either way I’m psyched to begin learning some more stuff and progressing in that area.
Also got this wall flip. I used to be able to do them years ago but never got one as clean as this one. #alwayslearning
Of course then I wanted to put them both together which turned into A LOT of frustration.
Prob took me an hour to land this over 2 sessions. I got frustrated to the point of quitting but couldn’t stop thinking about it so I went back later in the day.
Be relentless in whatever you are pursuing!
This jump was super scary. Got up at 5 am, went to the school, drove to the spot as the sun was coming up. I was crazy focussed. My mind kept trying to default to thoughts like ‘what the fuck are you doing?’ and things of that nature. I literally started talking to myself out loud (but not loud enough for others to hear) saying over and over again ‘I am in control, everything is fine’ and I was able to win the battle. People always say that the biggest battles you face are between the ears and BASE reminds me of that every time I put on my rig.
Thoughts of death are never very far during all the pre jump preparations but after you exit all that disappears. The feeling of stepping off knowing that you cannot go back is something that is near impossible to describe with words. And when that chute opens its like being reborn. When I look up at the sky it’s like I’m seeing it for the first time, smelling the air, and taking a deep breath. It all feels like it’s new and I have a new appreciation for it all.
I am gradually starting to be able to have that mentality with things outside of BASE. Taking more time to notice and appreciate my surroundings and be truly present which is really cool.
Been gradually getting back into training more and more the past few weeks. I find that I can comfortably do 3-4 days a week but my shoulder gets pretty aggravated if I push it too much. In general things feel really good and I’m in a good place mentally with all of it.
Playing around with Turkish Get Ups here. I love the weird stuff :)
I’m happy to say that I am back in the habit of reading every morning which I fell out of for months. I would almost go so far to say I didn’t’ read a page of a book for almost 3 months. With opening my new gym and starting to BASE jump I had a lot going on in my mind and personal development just got pushed to the side for a while but the fire is burning again.
Even though I haven’t been reading much the past few months I feel like I have grown a crazy amount mentally. Standing at a cliffs edge and or climbing Antennas really does put a lot of things in perspective and I am loving the journey.
I’ve started to re-read some books I read in the past vs always seeking out new ones. This has given me a rebirth of sorts in my quest for self mastery. Becoming more aware of my behavior, the language I use when speaking to others, and how my brain is working is all stuff that I want to refine more and more over time.
Last year I almost rushed every book I read in an effort to ‘arrive’ at a place of centeredness and balance. This is of course unattainable but the magic is in the pursuit as with everything.
Other goals I am working on at the moment
- not using my computer and or phone in bed. This has been a really hard one but I’m a week deep!
- not brining my phone on dates with my wife or when I walk my dog. This one has been a real challenge also but it’s getting more and more consistent.
- only checking my email twice a day. This one has been a real challenge also but gradually getting more consistent. Being addicted to Facebook, instagram, and email is something I am guilty of and I am committed to breaking free. There is nothing happing in the virtual world that is really that important.
I love all the above platforms but checking my phone obsessively is not something that is improving the quality of my life.
In Susan Jeffer’s book Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway (go buy it now and thank me later) the first Fear Truth as she calls it is: The Fear will never go away as long as I continue to grow. As everything in my life evolves – my marriage, my business, my personal relationships, my personal missions, and whatever else you want to include I am constantly hit with road blocks that are rooted in Fear.
As I progress through the different levels with everything Fear is never far away and the as you get more successful in a particular the fear and risk comes along with it. I’ve mentioned before that my goal used to be to become fearless. This was my quest in confronting things that scared me. Over time (and with the help of the above book – seriously, go buy it) I’ve realized that becoming fearless is impossible. Now, it’s possible to overcome certain fears by repeating the activity enough but if your goal is constant growth and progress (As long as I continue to grow) then you will never fully overcome it as your goals will always evolve and there will be new things to be scared of. I’ve experienced this more than anything else since starting jumping in 2012.
Coming up on two years since I got my license its been a crazy journey and I’ve enjoyed every second of it so far.
Some of the mental hurdles were:
- When driving to the Dropzone to initially learn how to skydive I used to secretly wish that the weather would turn bad so I wouldn’t be able to jump. Funnily enough this happened a few times and I would drive home disappointed.
- On the plane ride up to altitude I literally almost pissed myself a couple times and almost had a panic attack once. Thoughts popping in my head like “Get the fuck off the plane now!”
- Lying awake in bed at night wondering if it was all worth it and why don’t I just stay in bed in the morning and be safe.
- Kissing my wife goodbye in the early am and wondering if that is the last time I will ever see her.
- Shivering in my car before my first balloon jump wondering what the fuck I was doing.
- Standing in the middle of the Bridge in disbelief that I was going to jump off it the next day. – In the back seat of a Navigator listening to AC/DC Hells Bells on the way to jump off my first cliff.
- Looking down a 500′ ladder after climbing up it and secretly hoping that I could just teleport back down to safety. The fear is ever evolving as I continue to grow. Its a strange feeling to try and articulate but in all the above moments of crazy stress it ended up being balanced with crazy inner peace.
A lot of people have asked me why I do it if it scares me so much and I guess I have become addicted to overcoming the fear. I feel like each time I overcome a situation I am terrified of I gain more inner strength and I try to translate that in other areas of my life. Last week I did my first total solo BASE jump which was an amazing/terrifying experience. I got up early, drove to the spot, climbed, and jumped, totally by myself. Talk about an empowering way to start your day! Literally nothing could fuck with me the rest of the day.
All of the normal stresses of daily life simply got wiped clean and I was ready for any situation. The mental battle battle leading up the moment I actually jumped was one of constant back and forth. I literally didn’t know if I was going to do it until about 30secs before I stepped off. My constant internal fight with myself gives me the strength to overcome anything, or least makes me believe I can which is half the battle. Using the above example seems pretty extreme as I am in some regard staring death right in the face with the activities I choose to participate in. Having said that I feel like the concept of facing up to the things that scare you and overcoming them will lead to tremendous growth no matter what it is.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ~Dale Carnegie
It’s easy to just read the above and just nod your head but overcoming the internal voice that is screaming at you to walk away is easier said that done. That’s why you need to read this book! $7 to change your life? Pretty good deal. I know you will thank me later for the recommendation. I’ve been listening to this Ian Brown song since I was 13 or so and have never heard it on the radio or from anyone else. The song is called FEAR and each sentence in the song Spells out the word FEAR from the first letter of each word. Genius! For each a road For everyman a religion Find everybody and rule For everything and rumble Forget everything and remember For everything a reason Forgive everybody and remember