If you read the large print at the top, you know I’m back. My apologies to all those who missed reading my columns. Those of you who didn’t... why were you reading them in the first place? Stop now. I took a break for a while, because I just didn’t have the kind of time I needed to write a halfway decent column. Shooting schedule was hectic, followed immediately by my engagement, so I figured rather than write something I wasn’t happy with, I’d take some time off. And now I’m back.
Spent the last couple of weeks shooting in Queenstown, New Zealand. Beautiful place. The big thing to do there is adventure sports. Bungy jumping, whitewater rafting, skydiving, mountain biking... it’s endless. I’d made up my mind before I even got there that I was going to skydive. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and on the last day, I did. I jumped out of a plane at 15,000 feet, and fell for 60 seconds at a speed of 200 km/h before my instructor pulled the chute. Why did I do that? One would assume I’m an adrenaline junkie, that I like the danger of it. And one would be wrong.
The night before my jump, someone asked me why I wanted to do it. I’d never really thought about it before, it was just something I knew I wanted to do. So I thought for a minute, and it came to me; I wanted to do this, because to me, it is representative of what makes human beings great. From the dawn of our era, we have always been driven by a need to go further, climb higher, do more than we should be able to. To stretch our limits. We can’t fly, but we wanted to. So we built machines that would help us. We can’t breathe underwater, but we wanted to. We found a way to do that too. Why do we climb the highest mountains, or venture deeper into uncharted places that noone has ever been before? It’s that human spirit of discovery, the desire to explore. It’s beautiful.
I am a certified SCUBA diver, and I couldn’t begin to tell you how amazing it is to be underwater, swimming with thousands of fish, getting to be a part of their world. That’s why I wanted to jump out of a plane. Not for the adrenaline rush, or the feeling of danger. But so that I could feel something that I shouldn’t be able to feel. What it feels like to fly.