Ok, maybe eccentric wasn't the best word or the word you would use to describe it but maybe by the end of this page you’ll hopefully understand my infatuation with this fascinating journey, that it has lead me on thus far. Chances are slim to none but that’s cool. Life would be boring if we were all the same.
B.A.S.E is an acronym for Bridge, Antenna, Span (like a bridge), Earth(cliff or mountain). These are the fixed objects one can jump off with a parachute or wingsuit. Yes you still wear a parachute with a wingsuit. The suit just makes you fly instead of falling straight down. But thats almost entirely another sport. More on that in the future.
I’m sitting here with a ring finger that they barely saved, apparently, but they managed to sew the tip; and glue the nail back on. Also I have two titanium plates in my right ankle. (My buddy Famous B jokingly said now my enzuquiri will be a finish just like Lex Lugars elbow!) Now this is my second bad injury in the past 12 months of being in the sport and every single person that knows me asks the exact same question… “You’re done jumping now, right?” Look at it this way, every sport has its injuries. If you're an athlete and you get hurt would you stop playing that sport? If you had a friend who died in a car crash would you stop driving your car? Now we can argue back and forth for days on this and I know what most of you are thinking. You need to drive your car to get from point A to point B. Well lets just say I need to jump from fixed objects to get my soul from point A to point B. Not many will understand that analogy but I’ll have to write another blog about that which I’ll probably do at a later time. Since I have so much time cause it might be 3 to 5 months before I can walk again. Then the hard part starts….. rehab.
Now let me get to some in depth explanation. Every single jumper I've met do this for a different reason. I’ve met some very interesting people on my journey. People from all walks of life. People from many many different countries and cultures. I know you think that we are all just yahoos who's looking for a quick adrenaline spike but thats not entirely accurate. Only a few thousand people on this planet will ever get to experience this. I’ve met pilots, Doctors, surgeons, MD’s, hippies, gamers, coders, athletes from like 20 different sports, models, actors, bankers, hedge fund managers, photographers, CEO’s, an astronaut and a rocket scientist amongst other who all share this exhilarating experience with each other. Don't get me wrong there are also a few space cowboys here and there but they are also good people bonded for life by this sport.
Base jumping to me is an attitude towards life. People might think I have a death wish but thats so wrong it actually hurts my soul when I think about it. I love life. I love my life. Sure I chase after it hard but thats what inspires me. Thats what I do to make every second on this planet memorable. Not many people would agree but thats ok. We are all different and thats another thing that makes this life so beautiful. Embrace who you are. Don't run from it. If your friends can’t except that then they are not really your friends to begin with.
For me personally I love the whole culture of it. I love the planning of a jump. I love the true and genuine people in the sport. I love it when I'm standing on the edge, looking down and my mind is totally free and clear. Not a single thought. I don't think of the future. I don't think of anything that happened in the past. All I'm focused on, is this jump. Being present is the most powerful tool I think to humanity. Yet not enough people live in the now. That is why people meditate. So in a way you can say that jumping is like a forced meditation to me. Then the jump happens and everything happens in slow motion. Nothing on planet earth can compare to this. Pure bliss. Living in the moment. Life doesn't get any better than this. The parachute opens with an echoing thunderous sound. I grab the steering toggles and maneuver my way to my planned landing spot.
Still being very aware of my surroundings and weather conditions. Then I stick the landing and the most liberating feeling flushes through my whole nervous system. All that planning and training and missioning and fear and anxiety and another whole list of emotions at once and it all paid off and brought me to this point in my life and all I want to do is yell “WOOOOOOO” and “LET’S DO THAT AGAIN” !!!!!!
And every jump gets better and better. Sometimes things don't go according to plan and how you deal with that situation either makes or breaks you. Sometimes the risk isn't worth the reward or I just have a bad feeling or the weather isn't playing along and I walk away from a jump. I’ve done this over two dozen times.
I have lost so many friends to this sport but this year alone I've lost more friends to cancer and other diseases. None of them died happy. Thats why I don't feel bad doing the things I love. Even though some of the things I choose to do could potentially kill me. At least I’ll die happy. I have also lost multiple friends who got hit by cars on their motorcycles and bicycles. The most recent guy got hit by a car while riding his bicycle. He was a world champion Moto GP rider. We were the same age. My point is death can come at any time no matter what you do. This might be selfish of me but I’d rather do things in life that I enjoy. I know the risk might be a bit higher with the stuff I choose to do but thats how I want to live my life. Although my wrestling character lives his life with reckless abandon I can assure you thats not me. Every risk I take is very calculated and I definitely know the consequences of every step I take.
Its not fair to my close friends and family and the grief I've put my girlfriend through. But she more than anybody knows the joy this brings to my life. I really hope that this is just another phase and that it will pass. It’s the same feeling I had about wrestling and that was 25 years ago that I decided to start this journey of being an entertainer. Its also very different because jumping is just a hobby. I knew from the age of 9 that professional wrestling was going to pay my bills someday. I didn't know what hobbies I’d have. Never thought I’d have hobbies to be honest. But I’m at a point in my career where I can do my job without even thinking about it. I can work a match with my eyes closed without much planning. Maybe I needed something to challenge me again. I think I’ve found it. But it also broke me. Now I can’t do my hobby or my job. What a dilemma! At least now that I'm broken I can focus on other things in life. I do have other interests too ya know. Stuff that will just bore you. I still wake up in the middle of the night and watch base jumping videos. Only a very few people on this planet will understand and share that feeling and passion with me. And that to me is priceless…