When I heard the news about extreme adventurist Dean Potter’s untimely death, my heart broke into pieces. I have an adventurous spirit. I wouldn’t say that I live dangerously, but I can appreciate those who do. I like to climb mountains and ride roller coasters. I’ve gone sky diving. I will try almost anything once. I’m no Dean Potter but I can relate. Even though I wasn’t a regular follower of his daredevil feats, I knew right away upon hearing this sad news that we will all be at a loss without his incredible stories and zest for life in our futures.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mr. Potter, he was a well-known American free climber and BASE jumper. He was also known to bring his dog Whisper along on his jumps in a backpack (check out the awesome video here!).
BASE is an acronym that stands for buildings, antennas, spans and earth. BASE jumping is an extreme sport or stunt in which a person jumps off a structure or cliff with a parachute or wingsuit. BASE jumping is prohibited in the United States National Parks but illegal jumps continue despite the ban.
Dean Potter and his friend Graham Hunt were killed while attempting a BASE jump and wingsuit flight together from a scenic overhang at Yosemite National Park on May 16, 2015. It is not clear what went wrong with their jump. Potter was 43 years old and Hunt was 29.
Undoubtedly, there will be people who criticize Potter’s risky behavior and his dangerous lifestyle. I say we need people to live this way. In order for us to advance as a society, we need people who are willing to take risks. We need people to lead. We need people to try new things and push the limits. We need people willing to attempt the impossible. We need people like Dean Potter.
Thank you for living your life Mr. Potter. It was amazing.
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