Friday, December 7, 2007

Flying with Friday


Recently, my sister-in-law broke a worlds record. Did you catch that? A WORLDS RECORD! My niece gets this worlds record book every year, and every Christmas, I find myself wrapped around her finger as she reads off these amazing, sometimes insane, things to me. So, It occured to me that, next year, my sister-in-law would be in that book.

It all happened over Thanksgiving break; While the rest of us were soaking up a real winter home visit, she was driving down to Florida, to start jumping out of planes with her friends. 'Crazy', I kept thinking to myself, remembering the time(s) I jumped off a bridge, bungee jumping. My stomach still rolls when I think of it. But, my sis-in-law has been doing this for years. She loves it. And she's a pretty big achiever, as well. So, I'm sure, when buzz got around that the world record was nigh, she was destined to be in it. Of course, she's not a newbie to this. They've broken the worlds record before. But this one, this one was big.

One hundred parachuters would link together to form a humongous diamond shape in the sky. A sight to be seen. We'd talked about it with her over the year, leading up to this past November, but mostly, we sorta boo-hooed we wouldn't all be seeing each other for the holiday. I know I, for one, did not quite grasp the concept of what she'd be doing while we were stuffing our faces with turkey and bowling, on safe land.

Luckily, there are another set of people that will film things like other people jumping thousands of feet and falling into the sky. These people wear cameras on their helmets. Gotta give em props. Really. So, thanks to the photographers who capture it all and to the wild, thrill seekers that race thru the sky to thrill US down below, we end up feeling like we're at the competition.

You've really got to watch the video, which was my main motivation for this in the first place. I tried to post it here, to no avail, so it's best to go to the site and watch it. Yes, it's awesome they broke a record, but what's even more awesome is the excitement, fear and freedom you feel from watching the video. I watched this video and got completely teary. Granted, I'm a pretty emotional person, some might even say a pretty big cryer. Anyhoo, it reminded me a bit of a video my brother made when he was running his bungee jumping business. They're not Warren Miller films, by any means, but they get the feeling across. It was frightening, and exciting and breath-taking and I was just happy that everyone made it through. The same way I feel when I watch my brother's old video. And it's less about the actual video than it is about what is actually going on. Catapulting yourself into the sky is giving over control to the universe in a pretty major way. Granted, we take all our human-like precautions...but, come on, man is not invincible.


If we get another go around in this world, I've always wanted to come back as a bird. That doesn't mean seeing this video made me want to jump out of planes or jump off another bridge... but...I did really love paragliding. I love flying--not falling.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Super cool video. Made me think of the video for Boards Of Canada's "Dayvan Cowboy". (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrBZeWjGjl8) The video features footage of Joe Kittinger's record breaking jump from a balloon...on August 16, 1960, Kittinger broke three world records: highest parachute jump (102,800 feet), longest parachute free-fall (4 minutes, 36 seconds) and the first person to exceed the speed of sound without an aircraft (714 mph during free fall). The video is great...BOC's music suits it perfectly. - Tim