How Bad Do You Want It?

On October 14th Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver, daredevil, and BASE jumper achieved his goal. For the high risk, the level of technology and training needed, he wanted success badly. How bad do you want it?

Did You Watch Him Fall Down From the Sky?

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria jumps out from the capsule during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico, USA on October 14, 2012. // Red Bull Stratos / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20121016-00084 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to for further information. //

If you missed the spectacular jump, watch this video:

Did you catch who his sponsor was? Red Bull! Apropos, don’t you think? See more information at the official Red Bull Stratos team website.

For more technical information about the jump, go to

Baumgartner wasn’t the first to try to achieve this record. Joseph Kittinger tried it in 1960. In fact, Kittinger still holds the record for the longest time in free fall (five minutes and 35 seconds).

Lesson Learned

I don’t know about you, but I am terrified of heights.  Put me on a three-foot ladder and I start to shake, make the ladder a five-foot ladder and I’m hyperventilating. I could never do what Felix Baumgartner or Joseph Kittinger did.  But I admire them.  Is that admiration due to jumping out of the balloon capsule higher than anyone else? No. Is it because they fell further and faster than anyone, ever? Uh-uh. Is it because Baumgartner broke the sound barrier with his body?  Nope.

Kittinger was a fighter pilot in Viet Nam and later made extreme altitude parachute jumps for Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories.

Baumgartner did more than 2,500 skydives, seven years of preparation with the Red Bull-sponsored team, two test jumps, and a three-hour ascent in a tiny, pressurized capsule lifted by an ultra-thin helium balloon. All of that for a terrifying nine-minute descent, for speeds up to 833.9 miles per hour, a world record, and tons of scientific data. Data that NASA hopes will lead to improvements in spacesuits and escape plans for future astronauts.

Don’t forget that neither Kittinger nor Baumgartner could have accomplished what they did without the drive and determination of past skydivers, researchers, and scientists who developed the base knowledge and equipment necessary.

For me, reading about these men (and women) puts things into perspective. It takes a lot of hard work to reach for your dreams, to be successful.

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful”

Do you have a goal that you feel may be impossible?

How bad do you want it?


  1. Wow, just looking at the video makes my knees quake. But, Lynette, you put this all into perspective when you reminded us how what appears to be a stunt is actually a) the culmination of a dream and b) an integral part of a long-standing scientific quest to understand. Great post.

  2. It’s mind-boggling what some people will push themselves to do–and then prove to the world that they were right. I’ll keep my goals closer to the ground though. 😉

  3. Inspiring post, Lynette! I’m good with heights, but no stranger to fear. I’ve struggled with water-phobia (as in swimming, deep water, etc.) my whole life. I learned to float for the first time in my late twenties, which showed me, like this post, that anything’s possible.

  4. No free falls for me please. You’re right about posing the question–how bad do you want it? I also don’t like to fly, but I like to travel, so I have to find ways to cope with that fear!

    1. I have learned to deal with heights, when I have to, but I avoid heights whenever possible. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we really want it, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing, Coleen.

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