"Excuse me, while I kiss the sky"
If you watch a man safely jump from a plane or any lofty height, you can't help but hear those popular lyrics from Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze," or wonder what the hell the jumper is thinking. Yesterday, a crowd of eager spectators watched National Red Bull Flugtag officially kick off with a remarkable indoor BASE jump courtesy of Red Bull Air Force Skydiver Miles Daisher.
For those that don't know, Red Bull Flugtag is an annual event where competitors with dreams of playing Howard Hughes and the Wright brothers attempt to pilot homemade flying machines for as long as possible. Yesterday's jump off event was organized with the spirit of encouraging local residents to "apply-to-fly" when Red Bull Flugtag flies into their city later this year.
The National Harbor's Gaylord National Hotel was the scene for Daisher's fearless display, which left everyone in attendance spellbound. Then again, it's almost impossible not to be impressed by someone who's completed over 5,100 skydives worldwide and has executed the most BASE jumps in the world. Not to mention Daisher, whose first jump was in 1995, also created two new sports: Skywalking and Rope-swing BASE jumping. Yesterday, he literally took his lengthy resume to a new height—jumping from the top of the hotel's 19-story atrium.
DJ Trayze, who represented D.C. in the Red Bull Thre3Style Regional Qualifier earlier this year, warmed the crowd—and Daisher—up with music while an animated bunch dressed as presidents entertained. For obvious reasons, a mascot version of Abe Lincoln is impossible to ignore—especially when he's Crip Walking.
After a sizable crowd gathered, Daisher ascended to the very top of the atrium for the rare indoor BASE jump. Feeding off of the energy in the building, he took a leap of greatness, flying across the building and over a fountain before skilfully descending upon the Red Bull Flugtag landing pad. He was greeted with a round of applause that was powered by a genuine respect for what he just accomplished; he's probably the only person in the building who would take that jump with a Kool-Aid Man smile on his face.
Daisher, who referred to BASE jumping as "skydiving on steroids," said the "love of the sport" is what motivates him to keep jumping. He genuinely loves being in the air. "I used to spend a lot of time on diving boards when I was a kid and in the gymnasium on trampolines. This is the most air you can catch," he added.
When asked what his last thought was before jumping, a candid Daisher responded "I'm goin' for it!" For a man who seems to have positivity and Red Bull flowing through his veins at all times, that's completely believable. Now that National Red Bull Flugtag is underway, anyone who is interested can brave the air just as Daisher does. Or at least try.
Written by Julian Kimble (@JRK316)