How do you fill that void?

How do you fill that void?

They say base jumping is the hardest drug there is, and I think I am starting to understand why. Quitting was not a tough decision for me, but finding back to those strong feelings I had when I jumped is hard. I miss the adrenaline and the butterflies in my stomach. I miss the mountains and I miss pushing myself to this limit. I miss being in a place where I though ‘How on earth did I put myself in this position?’
When giving birth I had more adrenaline and emotions running through me than I could ever dream about having base jumping, but you cannot give birth all the time, and it is F****NG painful too, twice was enough. So, back to reality, what do you do after base jumping? Recently I met a couple here in Norway who stopped base jumping when they had kids, and they struggle with the same thing. Maybe it’s a good thing that kids are so time consuming that every time you get frustrated because you want some of that extreme feeling you get pulled back to reality before you realize it. And it will go on like this for at least 20 more years, and by the time the kids move out I guess I will have gotten used to living a life which is less extreme. Because I will not take up base jumping, I don’t want to take the risk.
I tried riding a motorbike, snowboarding, and flying in the wind tunnel and they all are fun activities which I like to have in my life in order to balance it, BUT it cannot beat base jumping. There is a void, and I do not think I will be able to fill it, and I do think I just have to accept that.

15 responses to “How do you fill that void?

  1. Skip ahead to when your children are older and able to participate in the same activities. I wonder if that will provide some vicarious satisfaction or if you’ll be nervous about their participation. Of course, you want them to have as much fulfillment as you’ve had, no matter what they do. I read somewhere that children are your heart walking around on two legs (or, I suppose, soaring through the air like a flying squirrel). 🙂

    • You are right, I do think it will be great to share the avtivities I love with them, it will add a new dimension. But I do not want them to base jump, it is to dangerous;-)

  2. Wow! When I saw that photo of you base jumping, I felt like calling the suicide hotline! But I read further and learned that you gave up base diving when your kids were born. Smart move! God designed you as you are for a purpose. I’m sure that if you seek Him with all Your heart, mind, and spirit, He will show you how to use your strength, courage, and fearlessness for His glory.

    Your love of backpacking in exotic countries even excites timid little me. I LOVE hiking in the mountains and exploring. Boating is fun too. These are adventurous activities that are good and generally safe. Your children will enjoy camping and backpacking and boating with you as they grow older.

    When my children were young, my husband and I joined a sail club. That meant that we didn’t have to buy a boat. The sail club had two boats. So we could rent one cheap for a week-long vacation. The children loved it! It was like camping, only we were on the boat instead of land.

    Oddly enough, my husband and I began hiking and camping in the mountains AFTER our kids were grown. Sounds crazy, but I never thought about hiking and camping until the children went off to college. In retrospect, I think that all of these activities are good for families. There’s nothing like the great outdoors.

    Bless you, and have a great life (but do be safe). You are precious and precocious.

    • Thank you for your sweet reply:-) I am sure I will find a lot of fulfillment in taking my kids out to do activities. It will be different from what I experienced when base jumping, but it will be good:-) They mean everything to me, and making them happy makes me happy too:-)

  3. I’ve struggled with the same question for the last, uh, 5 or 6 years. What to replace BASE with? Worse yet, in my case i have already replaced the usual BASE with mountain wingsuiting long time ago – can’t even remember when i did a slider-down… anyway, this question has been burning in my mind all this time while i was still jumping. Slowly, the answer is shaping up, though – to the point where i hope i will just stop jumping (we will see this summer! 😉

    The answer lies in a brief moment where we push off the edge and fly. I slowly realized it is this moment that i want to live in again and again… all the endorphine rush highs etc are just minor side dishes to this living in a moment. Same thing samurais would talk about, or just about any eastern philosophy is based on 😉 Anyway, i’ve been doing more and more serious yoga over the last 3 years, and for me personally it begins to bring this “living in a moment” in the ordinary life. Nowhere near perfect yet, but there’s hope 😉 and plenty of happiness, quite unexpectedly. I feel you can find it on many different paths, but they all lead in a roughly the same direction. Buddhism (as a practical path more than religious aspect) leads there, yoga goes there (real yoga, not a stretching class in a local gym 😉 etc etc – you can pick for yourself…. but look at this feeling of being 100% alive and free when you fly away from the cliff, and investigate. This feeling and this moment is with us all the time, but incredibly difficult to dig up – usually we have to be pushed off the edge 😉 Trouble is, when you actually do jump off the edge, your senses adjust to such a scale that nothing external will ever replace it. The only way to feel so intensely alive is to look inside you… and it’s already there, it’s always been there and supposedly always will 😉

    Good luck! You don’t have to “just accept that”. You cannot replace BASE, but you can outgrow BASE 😉

    • Hi Yuri:-) Thanks for taking your time to comment on my post:-) I did not know you were trying to quit too! I have been practicing yoga for many years and yes for me too it is very much the same as base jumping, it is about being 100 % present in the moment. I have had some great moments during yoga practice, and it makes me feel really alive and happy. I do not think quitting base would have been so easy if it wasn’t for my yoga practice. It really balances me:-) I will take your advice and keep digging further inside of me:-) Let me know how you are doing:-)

  4. Anniken, I am sure that Pelle and your kids definitively fill that void until you feel ready to be back in whatsoever extreme sports which might not be so dangerous. And it seems to me that you have already found a new way to experience your soul while practicing Yoga. It must be so much tougher just sitting down and concentrate on the moment and doing nothing compared to jump off a cliff and enjoy it. I´d love to be as strong and able to sit down and just meditate one time. Until then BASE-Jumping will be my very specially way of mediation – which it is very definitively. The moment of the final step/push forward leaves everything far behind and it is just the moment which counts. The jump back to life and sometime as we have learned in the last weeks, months and years unfortunately also to death. You are already able to create the same/similar feeling by practicing Yoga and stay alive which seems therefore a very effective and good way. Take care, Bernhard

    • yes base jumping is a very efficient way of being in the moment, it is harder to do through meditation and yoga:-) But I’ve never been a person who took the easy way out anyway, so I will continue trying:-)

  5. There will be moments, sometimes small, sometimes big that you will go “Here’s why I stopped jumping.” I’m sure you’ve had some already. I’m 40 and my father still gives me a hard time about how he gave up flying to have kids. How he and my mom had seen most of the US from a small plane before my brother and I came along, but he also tells me he wouldn’t have done it differently.

    • Tell your father I know how he feels:-) I do not regret quitting at all, and I do not hold it against my children. I would take the same choice again:-) But I realize that as a parent you need to make sure your life is happy and balanced because your energy and mood affects your children all the time. So for me it is a matter of finding that balance in my new life:-)

    • Hi and thanks:-) We all have our comfort zones:-) Mine for instance does not include the water, that makes me terrified:-)

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