When Felix Baumgartner leapt from a floating capsule in the stratosphere, plunging 38.6km to the ground, most of us here on Earth were busy thinking “I could never bring myself to do that.” Turns out Baumgartner almost couldn’t either. But it wasn’t exactly the fall that was freaking him out, it was the suit designed to keep him alive.
In an interview with the BCC, Baumgartner — still undoubtedly a total badass — revealed that while jumping from the stratosphere was a challenge, his suit really gave him the willies. Of course, it was a critical component of the jump, keeping Baumgarnters’ bodily fluids from literally boiling out from inside of him at high pressures, but it still made him uncomfortable. He put it this way to the BBC:
When I skydive, even in winter, I don’t even wear gloves. I want the air floating around my body, I want to feel the speed and the temperature.
…[With the suit on] your movements are totally limited. You can’t breathe that easily. It’s difficult – you don’t feel a damn thing in that suit.
Despite the fact that the pressure suit made him ‘anxious’ — an emotion you don’t often associate with daredevils — Baumgartner obviously overcame his discomfort to achieve the mind-blowing stunt.
The BBC has released a bit of the interview with Baumgartner, ahead of the full documentary slated to come on November 4th. Let the record show that Baumgartner is totally a badass, but that badasses can have (scared) feelings too. [BBC]