"On the Edge: Living the Pure Life"
I recently watched the documentary "McConkey" that follows the life and legacy of legendary skier and base jumper Shane McConkey. An adrenaline seeker and extreme sports pioneer, Shane didn't just live life on the edge, he went beyond it.
Base jumping without parachutes, donning squirrel suits and skis, with each successful flight another seemingly impossible, seemingly crazed feat was hatched.
I am sure many said and still say that McConkey had a "death wish", likewise goes for Dan Osman of the climbing world and his free soloing spectacles.
But death wish is an inaccurate expression for what McConkey was doing and accomplishing. Anyone who pushes the boundaries of what is expected is immediately pushed into a category of madness.
However, it's not about death, it's about fear, it's about life in its purest form. The tenacious drive to feel fear and overcome the drop, the jump, the pain that may ensue. Death wishes require little preparation, training, or knowledge. And all of those things were very much a part of McConkey's systematic challenging of the unknown.
Not anyone can survive the way McConkey and other extreme sport icons did. Yes, it takes a lot to make the leap into mid-air, but how did they get to that ledge in the first place?
We are all limitless if we choose to be, some push this theory more than others. We are perpetually in awe of them and their high-flying, high-wire acts, but let's not categorize them as living in a state of madness. Crazy would be doing these things without any understanding, training, or prep.
McConkey was a life seeker, on an endless search of existence at its purest. When do you feel most alive? Is it sipping your morning coffee or standing on the edge of a canyon?
Such great heights are a beautiful thing.
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