We’ve had an introduction to the world of daredevils recently. We watched firsthand, people taking their passions, and making it happen — in a crazy kind of way.
Like on 60 minutes the other week there was a bit about the Birdmen. This group of guys who put on Wingsuits and jump off cliffs.
Then there was the group of 10 year old boys at the ice rink who shot themselves full force towards the wall. (I think they were practicing the hockey stop.)
The conversation with G went like this as I tried to explain the daredevil…
“So they’re bad?”
“No, they’re not bad.”
“But they’re devils.”
“Right, they’re daredevils. It’s different than the little red guys with the pitchfork.”
It took several rounds of the above before I could get the point across that the devils she was thinking about don’t really exist. These daredevils are people who go to extremes to pursue their passion.
Then we were back to her saying, “So they’re bad?”
I don’t think they’re bad. The boys at the ice rink were kind of rough- one of them did knock G over, but bad?
And the Birdmen, well they’re not bad either. They’re intense. Some have died doing this jump.
I am all for pursuing a passion. But going to an extreme to do it?
They’ve got to be responsible.
What are your thoughts on daredevils?
When I first saw the video of Jeb Corliss cliff jump (if you haven’t seen it here’s the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWfph3iNC-k) I had two thoughts: 1 he is crazy and 2 that is so f-ing cool (and I thought kind of sexy). There’s something to be said for people who seemingly have no fear, but what we don’t see is the progress. I mean, they didn’t just get there one day. They worked towards this extreme. They take all precautions to not die (although, like you say, some do actually die). It also makes me wonder how they live the rest of their lives. Me, I prefer a good book, a little yoga and a cup of tea. But to each their own – so long as their not hurting other people.
Mary Kathryn, I too find the craziness somewhat appealing — it’s beyond balls-y! But is it responsible? I don’t know the lives of these guys who jump like that — do they have families? Because if they do…there may be someone who is hurt by their actions. Thanks so much for your comment and sharing the link.
I appreciate anyone’s ability to make the choices that bring to him or her happiness, even an adrenaline rush, while fully accepting responsibility for these choices and the outcomes. Obviously, something inside each of these daredevils makes it worth it to them. Just because I don’t get it in a personal way, doesn’t mean I don’t get it at all. I do get my feathers ruffled when daredevils drag their children into their escapades. Of course, I’ve been plunking my own children into the motorcar all these years, and that’s just plain dangerous. But, oh, how I can rationalize it! I suspect daredevils can as well.
TT, Thanks for the thought provocation…I was just asking myself a related question today about how far to push myself physically while dancing, especially given my age. As with so many things, don’t you think it’s largely about where one draws the line? And the answer differs from person to person. Remember the Diana Nyad swim this past year that so inspired you and me? I am sure many would not have supported her odyssey. Without people pushing the limit we don’t know how much we can achieve, but there is a point past which–no! I will need to chew on this some more, my friend. xoxo
Awesome post, Tamina! I’m fascinated by daredevils and their ‘have no fear’ attitude. The other day I was re-watching the video of Nik Wallenda’s highwire walk across Niagara Falls and I was wondering what goes through his mind every time he does something like this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka2vnJWQxyo
Circus-like feats always leave me in awe and wishing I had the guts to do them. I have no problem with daredevils as long as they’re responsible. Although this one kind’ve freaked me out! http://www.thestar.com/projects/one_more_jump.html
Thanks for sharing! – Donna
I once did three parachute jumps … I was terrified at first. I discussed this with my trainer and he told me that once the fear goes … don’t jump any more. Without the fear we take chances without consideration for our safely. Sounds like good advice to me.
Ah, yes– Diana Nyad! Thank you for reminding me of this inspiring daredevil. It’s interesting what you say about pushing the limit– I agree it’s here where we face our challenges and grow. But again — at what expense? I think daredevils may often be viewed as a little crazy because of their ability to push the limit well beyond what most people would consider. As for you and your dancing — do you feel like you’re moving to the extreme and you may get hurt? Or is it rather– how far can you go in your expression? Thoughts to ponder, indeed. I love we can ponder these together — thank you, ST!! xoxo
They certainly do make for great entertainment! I think a lot of it for me is the physicality they express–the strength, balance and grace. But I think you’re right in mentioning the guts they have to do it — without that — the physicality is left untapped. Thanks for sharing the link — that tightrope walk looks insane!
Good point, eM, about these daredevils taking the fast track to their happiness. I just wonder if the adrenaline rush becomes an addiction which overrules any sense of responsibility.
Sounds like really good advice, Renée! I remember on the 60 mins program one of the guys said he still gets butterflies before every jump….so there you have it! Oh, and wow to you for doing three parachute jumps! Did you still feel fear after the third?
Well here’s the thing. I did these jumps way back when everyone was doing them for charity. The reason I did the third jump was because I couldn’t remember the first two. I must have blacked out or something like that because I only remember the landings. How is this possible … I have no idea so it would be pointless guessing The third time I stayed awake but sure … fear remains. However, a fourth seemed boring to me so I left it there.
The only thing I’ve done that comes a little close is the trapeze. In one session I jumped from it several times (maybe 6 or 7) and each time I felt fear. I think the difference here is that you’re always moving onto another trick, so there is always something else to try / learn. I’ve never really thought about parachute jumping…it’s interesting to hear your experience. Thank you!
Addiction runs the gamut, doesn’t it?
I’m glad you enjoyed the video! It’s sooo intense! I watched his family perform a tightrope walk at the Canadian National Exhibition back in September. I’m pretty sure I held my breath the entire time!
Exactly what I was thinking. Even if they have no children, there still my be someone out there that worked very hard to make sure they grew up safe and sound. I would lose my mind if my child/spouse/sibling/best friend tried something like that. Still, I’m weirdly mesmerized by watching these sorts of antics. Do they function to inspire us to push ourselves beyond the pale?
the essential thing for me is to ensure no one else is hurt — I think we are free agents when risking our own necks, but shouldn’t impose risk on others.
Agreed. I just wonder how I would feel if my kids were partaking…
I guess it depends on what you’re watching, and how it relates to your life (style). When I watched the men jump off the cliffs–that wasn’t so much an inspiration to make bold moves as it was fascinating and/or crazy to watch. The trapeze artists at the circus…now that inspires me!
I always figured that if they were minors, it was my decision, but after that, it’s their own business… I don’t know if that’s old fashioned or not, but it worked out ok.
of course, how you FEEL about it, well, you’re always gonna worry. 😀
I guess there comes the time when they have to be in charge of their own lives…which makes it even more important– as parents– to help guide them towards making responsible choices. Thanks for sharing here!