Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ueli Gegenschatz soars in a wingsuit – Ueli Gegenschatz

Rating: ****

Setting goals, planning ahead and following your dreams…that is what Ueli Gegenschatz does. He reveals through his TED Talk discussion and video how having a strong mind and body can help you accomplish goals you have set.

In the TED Talk discussion I chose, Ulei tells us about his experiences and how he evolved from paragliding to regular skydiving and eventually to the leading edge sport of wingsuit jumping. With each new sport he tried, he gained valuable experience in technique and safety. Wingsuit flying is done by wearing a special suit and using your body to apply tension on the suit to make you fly. The fall is much slower than regular skydiving. In wingsuit jumping, the rate of fall is about 45mph and a forward speed of 110mph. By applying tension on the suit, you can control the rate of your fall and the direction of flight. With all of the knowledge he gained from each flight sport, Ueli started base jumping. Base jumping is free falling from fixed objects, such as tall mountains, buildings, towers, etc. Eventually he stared doing tricks like jumping from the top of a hot air balloon and jumping from a moving truck.

Ueli’s experience teaches us how important it is to take things step by step and practice hard to develop strong skills to achieve your goals. I believe this is true for just about everything we do in life. In my own experiences, I have found that each winter season my snowboarding ability improves with practice and sometimes more instruction. When I was younger, I found I had a lot of trouble learning to kayak. As I practiced more and set goals for myself, I found it much easier to control my kayak out on the lake. By staying fit and maintaining an active lifestyle, I have found it easier to take on new challenges.

Wingsuit flying might not be for everyone, but if you are adventurous enough to try it, wingsuit flying gives humans the felling they have sought for years – the feeling and ability to fly like a bird.

TED Talk. Ueli Gegenschatz soars in a wingsuit, April 2009.

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