Take a moment and think about your life.
Is it all you ever dreamed of?
Do you wake up each morning excited to get out of bed because you have something really awesome to do?
Are you living your dreams and passions?
Now, let’s talk about death.
Death is a scary word. It’s a scary topic. It’s something many people don’t want to acknowledge will ever happen to them or someone they love.
The truth is, we are all going to die. Yes, even you.
In the wake of another friend’s death, the topic, for me, is hard to escape. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dwell on it.
It’s a reality. It’s the opposite of birth.
If you’re born, you will die. It’s a harsh but simple fact.
But what happens in between in the important part.
Even though I have my moments of “insanity”, I know I am lucky to be where I am today.
Thirteen years (exactly April 1st), I met someone who changed my entire existence and introduced me to a new world.
Through him, I have met some truly amazing people – lovers of life.
People who don’t live dull, 9-5 rat race types of lives.
People who are brave, optimistic, generous, caring and full of excitement for life.
People who travel the world seeking beauty, opportunity and FUN.
People who face their fears head on.
People who are keen to look within and strive to be the best they can be.
It’s a relatively small, close-knit community of (mostly) like-minded souls.
Some people outside of the community label them as death seekers and say stuff like, ” they must have a death wish”.
But it’s the complete opposite.
It’s more of a life wish.
Dan Vicary was living a large, excitement-filled life when he was tragically killed in a wing-suit accident on March 29th.
Ludo Woerth, an experienced wing-suit flyer was killed in the same accident and Brian Drake remains in critical condition.
All of these men were highly esteemed leaders in the skydiving/BASEjumping communities.
And of course, everyone is in deep mourning.
But let’s not dwell on death. There’s some important things to be learned here.
I thought of Dan as a bit of a rock star. But, there was more to him than just good looks and cool vibes.
He had drive, passion, optimism, tenacity and a love for life. Qualities that many skydivers and BASEjumpers share.
It’s stuff I wish I had. It’s what I keep searching for.
When I was skydiving, I never felt a strong pull to keep doing it but over the past year, I have been contemplating jumping again. It’s something I can’t say “never again” to.
I’m coming to realise that writing is not enough. It’s not bringing the thrills, butterflies or fervour that I’m seeking.
I want a thrilling, fun time; a life that means something to me.
Isn’t that what we all want? An existence that is satisfying, purposeful and makes us happy?
Why is it so hard for so many people (including myself) to figure this out?
I’ll always remember Dan for his grooviness and achievements in BASEjumping. Man, he had some big dreams and he lived them. And that is very inspiring to me.
Next time you read about the death of an extreme sportsman, don’t shake your head and think, “what a waste”. Think about the crazy fun and bravado that person had for going for it and making the most of their time on this earth.
Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that you need to jump from an aeroplane or cliff to get the most out of life. I just encourage everyone (including myself) to figure out what your passions are and then go after them.