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October 15, 2012

If someone told me they were going to jump from the edge of space, I'd probably tell them they were wiggity wiggity wiggity wack.  Okay... more than likely I wouldn't bust into Kriss Kross rhymes, but I would definitely look at them like they were crazy.  However, I wouldn't be able to turn away which is exactly what happened yesterday when Felix Baumgartner began his ascent into space carried by an enormous helium balloon.

I still can't believe the courage of this man to climb more than 127,000 feet in the air then watch the tiny porthole of a door slide open and place his feet on the skateboard sized platform only to step off.  Every specific instruction given by Mission Control had us strapped in with Felix along for the ride of his life.  My adrenaline was soaring with each tick of the scale tracking the time and altitude at the top of the screen.  Other than the annoying "Atta boy!" from Mission Control on occasion, the coverage of this record-breaking event was phenomenal.  Even Madison was fascinated.  Yet she seemed more interested in watching from the screen of the desktop computer than the TV...

She kept pointing up as we watched with our jaws on the floor.  I was somewhat of a risk-taker in my younger days (I've been bungee jumping, not anything extreme like sky diving although I really wanted to for a while) and I can't begin to fathom the mindset it takes to achieve this stunt.  Felix broke and set records during his jump, but perhaps the most impressive fact being the first (and only, as of now) person to break the sound barrier without the help of a jet or spaceship... or UFO. 

I may have actually held my breath from the moment Felix was instructed to start depressurizing the cabin until the moment his feet touched the ground and he fell to his knees.  I thought my heart was going to stop when he stepped out onto the ledge.  I found myself clenching my fists, scared to blink and on the verge of losing all bladder control just watching this part of history-in-the-making.

I almost forgot completely that this entire event was orchestrated by Red Bull... so maybe it's not Mac Daddy that makes you jump, jump after all but cases of Red Bull instead.

Image sources:  Picture 1, Picture 2

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