THE TRUTH ABOUT BASE-JUMPING
The jump starts long before the jump itself. Jean Marc Boivin said it best,“the first step when taking a risk is to accept the risk”.
I jump with purpose;I don’t seek jumping for jumping. I get inspired by thoughts and let them drift to obsession, mountains I desire to ski BASE jump or lines I wishto fly.
Goingto the gym to simply get a six pack is thoughtless–appearance vs substance.
The Why helps acceptanceand acceptance leads to commitment. Only then,the steps to yourgoal will come naturally. Skydivinga new wingsuit, BASE-jumpinga new parachute from aforgiving objectsuch as a bridge,arethe only waysto learn your tools. Practice makes perfect, remember?
Do it diligently. I generally establish the top 3 things to practice on each jumpand then addgradually more as I the skills are assimilated. Concentrating on too many things at once leads to decision fatigue and non-existent to poor results at best.
Every training jump becomes a ritual of dedication, a roadmap to fulfillment. Jumping is amplified when purposeful.
Your next jump could be your last...Pay attention...
Getting your gear ready is meditative, the impending Ultimate turns the mundane present into valuable.
Considering it a choreis a flaw, many jumpersdislike packing their parachutes. I truly enjoy getting my gear ready. Concretely, this is when the jump starts.
Just like sharpening edges and waxing skisbefore a race as a kid, the process of preparing your tools helps prepare your mind-selfcare and respect of the craft.
Ultimately, you are looking to maximize your frame of execution because that is the only real way of being. Whatever your craft maybe, living in the center of the frameis pointless,stagnation and mediocrity will ensue. Finding the outer linesof your abilityis where the value resides. Perhaps an allegory for life itself...
The alarm clock reminds you to get upwhen you had finally fallen asleep,spending hours trying to quiet the mind. Visualization of bad scenarios and how to recover kept you up all night.
Searcher of the absolute, the transition from the comfort of your bed to getting thedaystarted is difficult every time. Those restless nights never get easier, but you remind yourself “this is what Idedicated mylife to”–devotion often justifies discomfort.
“I want something good to die for to make it beautiful to live” ~ Queens ofthe Stone Age.
Eating breakfast is difficult but smiling helps lessen thepressure andyour cameraman relax. After all, this is a group effort,the goal is to stick thelanding.
Each jump requires an approach, a hike, or a climb. I used to resent that moment. Impatiently gettingto the topof the cliff or the linemade the journey excruciating.
After 14 years of BASE jumping and ski BASE jumping,this is now amomentto be cherished. It is when everything finds its place. The physical leads to sorting your emotions and your thoughts.
Exhorting yourself and paying attention to what you are doing immediatelyreplaces the Futurebythe Now.
Being present is necessary for proper executionand performance.The past or future are dangerous distractionsin the mountainsand the punishment fornegligence is often gruesome.
To put it simply, effort makes you present and generates assiduity.I wish I could reach this state in dailylife as well...
Unlike skydiving, BASE jumping takes physical effort to access jumps. BASE jumpers just like big mountain skiers become endurance athletes by default.
Exertion channels anxiety and clears the mind. It is a transitional moment from apprehension to pragmatism.
Before you know it, you reach the top -the longer the approach, the more the omnipresence. Immersion leads to acute assessment of your environment; time and effort help connect.
Not too much and not from the wrong direction, the right windturnsunforgiving placesfrom threatening to welcoming. You have paid your dues to get there,and besides exertion you are staying sharp.
The moments right before a jump are ritualistic, a perfect execution starts now. The process is always consistent.
The last gear check helps identify safety issues but also concentrate before visualizing the jump.
As you inspect your gearand put it on, itis the moment to slow down,be intentional, and notrush. Too many friends have died this way... Success is in the vision; survival is in the details.
Sensibly, the countdown before jumping starts nowand the cameraman already received the 10-minutecall.
Do exactly what you envisioned but always be ready to react and adaptbecause aperfect execution often requires a perfect recovery.