Pushing It

Some men are not truly happy unless they are constantly risking it all, going bigger, sacrificing safety for adventure and adrenalin. Pushing it.  Now even though I happen to fall into this category I never graduated to the level of Dean Potter. Dean is one of those guys who had to go that extra step of doing crazy stuff without safety gear or backups. As you can see in the video he likes to do  stuff like free climb without ropes, walk slack lines, (tight ropes) without a net or safety line and wingsuit in the mountains where none have dared to fly before.  Of course you might say “But Kerry, you do dumb stuff all the time! You jump out of airplanes hundreds of times a year, you like to scud run at treetop level, and you fly single engine planes over the ocean for God’s sake!” While all that might be true I do try to always have a backup or way out when I do dumb stuff. When I jump I have a reserve chute, when I scud run I do it in a plane that I can fly IFR in if the clouds get too low, and when I ferry fly over the ocean I have a tiny rubber raft to climb into if I go down. OK, that last one is kind of stupid. Unfortunately if you push it long enough without a backup sooner or later you run out of luck and all the skill in the world can’t overcome bad luck. Last week Dean Potter ran out of luck, or to put it more correctly he pushed it once too far. Dean and a friend jumped off a 7,500 foot cliff in Yosemite in an attempt to fly their wingsuits into the valley below. But to do this they had to make it through a tricky narrow notch in the rock to make it to the open air below and beyond. Unfortunately they came up just a little short and didn’t make it. Sometimes that’s what happens when you push it.