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It's all ball bearings
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Shane McConkey has done his last ski-BASE jump; it didn't go according to plan this time.


http://www.theadventurelife.org/2009/03/skier-shane-mcconkey-killed-in-base-jumping-accident/

He had an enormous influence on the direction of my life.

RIP Shane.






Yeah, we all know that BASE jumping is about as high-risk (of a voluntary activity) as it gets and many would say that it was just a matter of time. I wouldn't disagree. But the fact is that he lived more in a year than I would guess many people live in a lifetime.
 

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Unfortunately, these are the risks our "extreme" athletes accept when the do the stunt that amazes us so much. I saw an interview with a base jumper who was one of the original guys doing it (sorry can't remember his name) he said he was pretty much the last one left alive of the original group and no one who does base jumping doesn't know someone has died. It must be one he$$ of a rush to accept those odds. I feel sorry for his wife and little daughter.
 

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I saw that second video as part of a show on extreme that I watched the other night. The show had a segment on another famous extreme skier. He moved to his family to somewhere in France that was the new mecca of extreme skiing where he died.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Creakyknees said:
Wow... what timing. McConkey was featured in this month's (April) Outside mag article on the brain, neural MRI and guys like Shane:
Huh. I'd be curious to check that full article out.
 

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People with three year old kids shouldn't base jump. Of course I respect him highly as a skier but sometimes people should be less selfish. And yes, risking your life that way when there is a baby at home is selfish. I know I'll be flamed but it's the truth. I wish the best for his family.
 

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lancezneighbor said:
People with three year old kids shouldn't base jump. Of course I respect him highly as a skier but sometimes people should be less selfish. And yes, risking your life that way when there is a baby at home is selfish. I know I'll be flamed but it's the truth. I wish the best for his family.
I'm thinking that way too but the mother knew who he was and what he did.

So it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment, but I definitely do have some conflict with rationalizing it one way or the other...and I'm not sure what I think about it in the end. Shane influenced a LOT of people to live every day like it would be the last day, and he took it upon himself to show us (by way of film) perspectives of this beautiful world that we live in that few people would otherwise have ever been able to witness, or even imagine. Flying like a bird among beautiful mountains is not something a heck of a lot of people get to experience. Although it's stuff that a lot of people dream of. And he brought it to us. We got to experience it too, even if only secondhandedly. It wasn't all a selfish venture.
 

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+1 to everything above. Amazing skier. Sad for the family, especially his daughter.

RIP in the great pow stash in the sky, Shane.
 

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GirchyGirchy said:
Darn right.

Didn't we just have this thread a month or so ago?

Pretty much. I didn't feel like getting flamed tonight so I didn't go into it but living to me is being with my family rather than risking it all.
 

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Wow! I'm speechless. What a unbelievable talent he was. I consider myself fortunate to be able to say i watched him come up in the sport and do things completely unimaginable at one time. As much as people want to call it irresponsible, the responsible part of me is envious of his commitment to being true to what he was all about and what made him "live". RIP Shane.
The opportunity to watch someone who is the absolute best at what he/she does or did, doesn't come along often. I think everyone would be short changeing themselves if they didnt at least watch the clips included in the beginning of this thread not to mention the countless other vids documenting Shanes commitment and talent.
 

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BenWA said:
But the fact is that he lived more in a year than I would guess many people live in a lifetime.
No disrespect to the late Shane McConkey but what exactly does that mean? That he took more risks than most people do and had more adrenalin rushes? That he jumped off of tall structures while others are happy to spend their time birdwatching? To me, "living" is more about experiencing than risk-taking.
 

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Creakyknees said:
Wow... what timing. McConkey was featured in this month's (April) Outside mag article on the brain, neural MRI and guys like Shane:

http://outside-blog.away.com/blog/2009/03/shane-mcconkey-in-his-words.html

Looks like they're hardcopy only at the moment for the brain article.

I haven't yet seen the article, but I watched a show on Science Channel (I think) in which the brains of psychopaths and those with "thrill seeking behavior" were studied in comparison imaging. Thrill seekers included those in extreme sports, and/or very high risk careers such as firefighting and police officers.

Apparently, according to this study, the brain activity was almost indistinguishable between the two groups. The only meaningful dividing factor they could find was a "nature vs. nurture" component, meaning those that had stable, healthy upbringings were in the "thrill seeker" category. Those in the sociopath (not psychopaths, there is a difference) group were subjected to unstable and/or abusive upbringings.

I found this fascinating.

As to the death of this man. I'm really disheartened to hear the news, and I can't imagine the grief of his family. :(
 

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Did a few stories with him...wonder what went wrong.

He did some jumps here in Reno, including skiing off the Silver Legacy casino a year or so ago, and I wrote about some of them. In the Legacy jump, he walked me through the construction of the ramp and showed me how they calculate what they'll need and what will happen. I have some parachute experience (not BASE), and I was impressed with how carefully planned everything was. They didn't just go out there and hurl themselves off the building. Haven't heard specifically what went wrong, but it's hard to imagine he messed up.
When I read about his death, though, the first thing that hit me was "How selfish is THAT?" When he's only risking himself, he can make his own choices. Add a wife and a 3-year-old, though, and it's a lot more complicated. That baby's going to grow up without a father because Shane wanted a rush.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
husonfirst said:
That he jumped off of tall structures while others are happy to spend their time birdwatching? To me, "living" is more about experiencing than risk-taking.
I appreciate your perspective, but why do you separate the two? Why does "experiencing" preclude things that happen to involve high risk?

It's not so much that he took risks, but that he experienced uncharted waters that very few people have been able to experience. I don't know that he did the things he did just for the sake of cheating death....I think there is something to be said for the beauty of being able to soar like a bird and see the world from a completely new perspective.

p.s., I'm not really arguing with you or saying your view doesn't have merit.... just playing the Devil's advocate.
 
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