Sometimes You Have To Be Up Really High…

…To realise how small you are.

Truer words have never been spoken, unless you live in complete ignorance you’ll have heard about today’s record breaking 128,000 feet skydive out of a hot air balloon by Austrian mental case Felix Baumgartner.

“Why’s he a mental case?” You may ask, well let’s face it, anyone that thinks about skydiving from space can’t have full control over his faculties surely. Still, I am in awe of this man, what he accomplished on this day is the most significant thing that’s happened in human history since Neil Armstrong’s moon landing.

Some people, people like you and me are made to just live life, take whatever shit comes their way and do their best to overcome it. We’re here to just exist and for the most part we’re happy with that. But then there are people like Felix who wants to test humanities abilities, to find out what we’re really capable of.

I get a bit dizzy climbing a ladder, I remember when I had to wipe the ceilings of the hotel I was working at in the French Alps, my legs were so shaky, I can’t even fathom being 24 miles above ground level. I’d most certainly just kill myself rather than experience falling from that height. Hell, to this day I still don’t jump off the top diving board at the swimming baths!

I watched the video of the jump, it really says something about a man when he comes out with an inspiring quote like the one above, instead of just going “WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING UP HERE?!?! ARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh…..”

Although I’m sure that’d have been more entertaining. Felix set out to break three world records on this day, the first being the highest manned balloon flight, which he succeeded at, the highest skydive, which he obviously managed and the longest free fall which he’d missed by a few seconds. He pulled the chute about a minute early apparently but hey, he’d also broken the record for breaking the sound barrier without assistance of a vehicle, 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

While he dove the screen calculated his speed reaching a peak of 729mph although it later turned out that he actually reached a speed of 834mph. The sound barrier is at around 700mph meaning he was well past that. I wouldn’t have even thought the human body could survive going at those speeds, my head is filled with thoughts of what he must have been thinking, how he felt, could he hear anything after he broke the sound barrier?

Then we saw him spinning uncontrollably through the sky which he likened the effect to swimming without water; he managed to control the spin, pulled his chute and he floated safely to the ground.

His name has forever been cemented into human history and rightfully so; now he is to retire from skydiving altogether reaching the pinnacle moment in his life, now he can enjoy his life of settling down with his girlfriend. You sir have earned it.

You’re not just an inspiration for me, but for all mankind. All this shit we have to deal with in every day life truly means nothing when you’re standing on the edge of space, looking at us from above. It’s moments like this that define humanity and it’s moments like this that’ll never be replicated in our lifetime.

You might be a crazy bastard, but you’re humanities crazy bastard and we’ll still be talking about you centuries after we’re all dead.


Author: 'Ard Pete

Hey everyone, my names Pete, friends call me 'Ard Pete because... well, I'm well 'Ard. Currently in Chesterfield, England, currently working as an I.T. Technical Lead for BT Business and Public Sector; it sounds more glamourous than it is but I'm a dab hand with Microsoft products. I enjoy television, mainly any Star Trek, all of Stargate, Lost, anything Joss Whedon has produced, 24 and House. Favourite music includes; Mumford and Sons, Jason Mraz, Eminem, Chris Cornell, Ludovico Einaudi, Goo Goo Dolls, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars basically a wide variety of anything that's real, I hate dance, trance and anything like that, I don't consider that to be music. Not much of a sports guy, I like Professional Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, I can watch Football but only when I'm forced to watch it. Favourite author is Terry Pratchett, favourite film is Armageddon, favourite comedian is Lee Evans, favourite idiot is Karl Pilkington, favourite game is GTAIII, if there's anything else you wish to know, don't hesitate to ask. I'll more than likely not be busy.

21 thoughts on “Sometimes You Have To Be Up Really High…”

  1. Watched it live, and, even now, can’t believe what I saw. And, to think it was all over in four minutes!! One wonders–what will he do next?

  2. Well written, Pete. Yeah, I would have rather seen you jump, it would have been much more entertaining. Then you could retire and that would make me really happy for you. Maybe we should start thinking of something like that that you could pull off? Haha!
    I’m glad that you wrote about this guy. I’d rather read it from you than anyone else. 🙂

    1. It would have been more entertaining, you’d have just heard crying all the way down, then I’d forget to pull the chute or it’d snap off and there’d just be a massive splat on the floor! So in a way, I would be able to retire, but on the flipside, I’d also be roadkill.

  3. I was a nervous wreck watching him. The minute he jumped out of the capsule I felt dizzy. I have no idea how anyone has the nerve to do something like this, but I’m glad he did and I’m glad he did it safely. There’s something to be said for crazy bastards sometimes, right?

  4. I read it in the papers. My mom would get dizzy just hearing about this. He might be crazy to some, he’s crazy awesome to me. I admire the nerve of guys like Felix, he must love what he did and I envy him a bit for that. What the hell? I envy him a lot.

    1. Oh I envy the guy, I wish I had the courage to made a leap of faith like that, can’t imagine what his girlfriend goes through everytime he does a sky dive! Maybe he’s trying to tell her something haha.

  5. Beautiful post, Pete. Felix is insanely awesome- just watching him drop off the edge makes my stomach sink. The edge of space, Pete, the edge of freaking space. This world wouldn’t be half as interesting without people like him, words actually fail me in describing how much I admire him. You’ve captured my own love and excitement so well 😀

    1. THE EDGE. OF SPACE! Imagine his view, it’s one thing looking at him standing above the globe like Superman but being there, I can’t even fathom it. And I never use the word fathom!

      1. I am applauding your use of the word ‘fathom’ right now, I thought you needed to know that. And I know! You can see the curvature of the earth. I go all dizzy just thinking about it.

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