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Life Death Base updated

by Nick Di Giovanni

I feel less afraid of dying now at fifty years old than I did at twenty. However, I find myself taking less chances now than I did then. I’m not sure why that is. I do hope to wind up on the bottom section of my own LIST in a quiet and dignified manner. My fear now is that dying by parachute, at this stage in my life, would be like stamping “Big Dope” on my forehead before closing the box.

I think by virtue of what we do, and how much we are exposed to it, we feel a bit smug towards death. Early BASE jumpers were warned to make death your friend, or else it would became an all consuming enemy. The average wuffo attends the occasional funeral, a grandfather, an aunt, or an uncle, but in addition to those we jumpers attend services for the many who have passed before their natural time. In a sense this extra exposure, I always thought, makes us tougher, but that’s not true either. At the service for (Tommy’s) Jan Davis, I cried like a freaking baby through the whole thing . . .

In the end I think BASE jumping has as much to do with death as anything else does. And I think the harshest form of demise is when it comes young. When I recall those who died jumping twenty or thirty years ago, in terms of today, I can’t help but feel bad due to what those years would have meant to them in terms of lost loves, lost laughs and lost good times.

No, don’t be afraid of death, it’s a big semi truck heading your way sooner or later anyway. Just do everything you can to avoid stepping directly out in front of that truck too early. Let the wuffos see BASE jumping as a crap shoot when we know it’s a skill. Let them wonder how we risk it all for what they see as nothing. Sometime in the next hundred years, or so, good historians will start to “get it” and ascribe to us a grand title, a declaration that we are the first ones to act on that age old dream of human flight. And we came damn near to getting it right.

So, please, when I’m gone, on my headstone I’d like this written, “It’s cool, I knew this would happen.”

Submitted by Nick Di Giovanni on 2007-06-19 | Last Modified on 2009-08-28

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.  | Votes: 28 | Comments: 5 | Views: 8077

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4 out of 5 stars At fourty something I can relate!
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True true
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5 out of 5 stars As a young wuffo my self (an adorable term for me until I get some experience under my belt), it's articles such as these that I feel reveal the unique and personal perspective to BASE, and enhance my respect for all those who have lived the dream of human flight.
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5 out of 5 stars At 65 and just having made my first 3 BASE jumps, I am struggling to put it into some rational perspective. I loved it and I fear it. But in the larger context of life in general, I think it could be said of all of us in the end “It’s cool, I knew this would happen.”
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Well said.

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