Extract from the book :
... I noted down each of
my jumps one by one ... I made my 1000th jump in the spring of 2004 and
I stopped this too boring accounting ... most were carried out alone
and in total autonomy …
In my case, regrettably
the accompaniment of a coach does not exist … My only source
of maturity and knowledge is perseverance …
... My pleasure is to
occupy the space offered to me to develop an aesthetic movement of
several linked acrobatics ... I forget the void to replace it with the
volume that surrounds me...
... To dare to be
nonconformist ... the real adventure is not in the conquest of a place
or in the creation of a marginal practice but more in lifestyle choices
and a situation of insecurity towards society or towards my circle of
acquaintances which it provokes ... It is difficult to break away from
life’s beaten track but this is the price of escape and
... New ideas cause
confrontation… I follow a winding route.... Not easy to
understand a passion or defy what is considered as suitable ...
Difficult to explain a feeling as intimate as my sensations ... Is that
why I jump by myself...
in the world
... Overcoming the
obstacles of high risk calculated action is a source of progress ... it
gives me a good full feeling ... I am well aware that with my bungee
figures, I toy with "extreme of the extreme "... I am the only one who
can go back up a bungee cord with clamps...
... In front of me: a
wall of cameras… I do not know how many television channels
are waiting in two rows facing the main entrance, six hours later...
Forgotten the philosophy... Forgotten the artistic spirit: the
essential is the sensational information for TV news at 8 p.m. ...
... All day, I am
entitled to black limousines, to pretty hostesses… I did not
think I would be a guest in so many TV studios ... Tomorrow I will be
back in Harlem...
... I wear a badge
against mines... In New York I had the opportunity to highlight this
armed plague... They indiscriminately kill a soldier, a child or a goat
... A mine kills or injures every thirty minutes somewhere in the world
and all ten pages of this book a new explosion occurs ... The
“ Perp-Walk "and sensationalism have completely blanked out
the subject ...
... Rehearsals and
constant training are how I place myself in situations of psychological
distress similar to those that I have on a monument where mental
conditions are superior to those of my trainings workouts ... finally
by dint of rehearsals D-day becomes easy ...
... Sportsman or artist
... creative by nature, my approach is only artistic ... The artist has
a legitimate desire to be loved and I love it when my passion is
at the Statue of Liberty
four attempts at the Statue of Liberty ... The different security
systems do not work really ...The first two attempts inside the torch
including the second with two backpacks of equipment and my teammate
... Twice I take off from New Jersey... in 2000 and 2001 ...
… Always the
same over and over again: the police Bell 412 with its 1’200
horsepower... The difference is big between us. It is hovering and
observes my landing calmly... I land on this sand like a feather with
my 11 horsepower...
... One of the pilots
gets out and shakes hands to congratulate me! ... I am so surprised ...
He is fascinated by my wooden propeller and amazed that such a small
engine can take me so far...
... A coup
d’etat in Bolivia. Yes, so what? ... Hidden under a transport
cover, I am getting out of this Andes dump by the only road which may
... The first book
written on the bungee jump...
... I pedal on Times
Square to serve customers at the end of Broadway shows and luxury
hotels ... My press-book on my pedicab is more successful than I ever
the first one”. I approach the East river at high
speed… The massive stone piles fly past backwards ... The
upside is in perfect communion with space...
... The water caresses
me, envelops me… In this end of fall my eyes are level with
this tidal mirror. One second later, the bungee pulls me back up
without me getting wet...
commitment places me in the uncomfortable situation of self-challenge
and self-conquest… I do not have the security or
the serenity of the recognised athletes from national federations
… They are exactly in the same quest but are free from the
... My competitive
spirit was working... sport exists only through competition but anyone
can have sports activities...
... I do not believe I
am brave when I jump but I am tenacious in my training... Nothing is
innate in my courage ... If I should be regarded by everyone as a
madman, this should be because of the time spent getting there ... The
exploit is in the strength of my beliefs and I always had the feeling
of being as gifted as a worker! ...
... My third major
source of motivation is creativity ... It is where the biggest reasons
for my motivation are... My acrobatic jumps constantly require this
... I choose to face
difficulties ... to endanger routine in order to dare rightly ... most
people today don’t dare and the principle becomes a cult ...
in life we should all dare to launch from our personal level
... "Risk comes from outside, daring comes from inside "...
... This word is null
and void in my case. Again, professionals of the copy-paste. The
daredevil, attempts, achieves and thinks about it afterwards ...
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t ... He is not
aware of the danger. He knows no limits and does not calculate ...
Neither my family, nor myself could recognise me in this expression...
complexity of the metallic forms is reassuring as for the ease of
climbing with so many footholds ... After six jumps more or less
unnoticed on October 27, 1991 ... And few years later ...
... Fear is not an end
in itself and I hate that feeling ... I do not supplant my fears of the
void but I keep a vigilant confidence...
... I rarely jump
attached by the feet because the two or three possible figures are very
easy ... The anchor I use is very low at the level of the pubis and
voluntarily places my body in permanent imbalance …
… I am in
confrontation with myself... I assume my suffering and my uncertainties
with the associated lifestyle choices... My moral commitment has
obtained me the benefit of my freedom.... The feat owes more to the
refusal of the established order than the performance
itself… I aspired to discovery… It is difficult
to escape the beaten track of life...
... Simple jump attached
by the waist… I can chain 25 jumps in one hour ... but
"send" a tightened double back flip in the air is another matter...
... The organized bungee
jump illustrates this situation ... The jumper has conquered his fear,
dived into the void: he has dared. He is the bravest in the village or
in the world, but let’s admit that a single jump may be
futile without spirit or consciousness...
... THE sublime point!
... I'm hanging from the Golden Gate ... I stay in weightlessness as if
time had stopped ... inebriated by the scenery, uplifted by the
generosity of the site, I forget my fears and succeed my
figures… I forget the rumbling of the Pacific waves...
... To improve, to say
"I exist" to the world around us, we tackle the conquest of new fields
of expression, new sensations or unpublished bungee jumping figures!...
I have this thirst for knowledge and achievement ... I explore my
... A gun aimed at us
and the other Ranger has a sawn off shot gun ... What worries me the
most, is their nervousness and state of panic… Obviously not
at the best of their self-control, they are nervous, drenched in sweat
and take refuge behind their weapons …
... My jumping shows
continue to excite and anguish because of the height. It is my main
role because these acrobatics might be the same at ground
level… For me height is a guarantee of safety, like in
... The essential is
during my impulses. The success of my run-up to the departure platform
determines the correct carrying out of my movement... Once in space,
any correction is more difficult...
... When I innovate, I
accept the absence of social feedback ... I commit myself, get out of
the usual course and pass above habits... some laws of existence are
made to be contravened…
... I deposit a patent
for the cone and the protection system... Tests are much more
successful than I expected and seventeen years later, the principle of
the cone is still conclusive...
... Journalists are
surprised not discover a furious madman, full of piercing with an
... Among the artificial
vertical lines, this cube, open like a triumphal arch, appeared to me
of an absolute beauty …
... Ladakh is a lunar
spell on the confines of Himalaya ... Caught by immersion syncope
before the girl has been swallowed up by the canyon ... This country is
still my most intense human experience...
... It comes from the
sap of rubber trees… In 1525 the Amazon Indians chew this
gum ... It is the most elastic material known with an absolute stretch
of 700 %...
Nobody comes here ...
... my god, it is rolling again and again… Be
brave… Three more rungs and it will be worse ... I progress
respectfully. The hand. The fingers ... My head is in the flame of
... How can I have the
time to explain that my rotation in the second lift was so slow that I
lost my rhythm? ...
... I have been looking
for someone who is interested in the subject for a long time and am the
instigator of the work... An intern decided to carry out his work on
the medico-physical aspects… Fascinating appearances to
... I memorize my exact
gesture... Mentally evacuate all that is useless... I have a good
mental safety margin at the perspective of a series of public shows...
A rest allows me to get other landmarks but leaves the traces of
physical fatigue for several days...
... Every morning, I get
off the subway to push the door of the WTC… Next to this old
black shoeshine-boy in front of the clothing store for beautiful photo
girls … This morning in Brooklyn, behind my house the air is
filled with brilliant ash. Jeremy cries...
… I train on
my small “personal” viaduct, considering the
Olympics as of major importance … It does not matter. For
the Olympics, the cold of winter is the price to pay …
... The discussion in a
whisper is lively with “our” Paris
fireman”. We laughed above these 115 metres of void : "guys I
know you don’t have a pen ... but do you have a piece of
elastic as an autograph" ... 20 years later we are still friends...
... Without authenticity
or passion, a business cannot succeed sustainably ... My only
qualification: my passion ... To throw myself into the void has never
interested me beyond my first twenty jumps ... my aesthetic approach is
not compatible with one spectacular jump...
... I discovered the
existence of the "perp walk" to satisfy an exhilarating journalistic
production and jobless crossover ... This is the staging of an arrest
orchestrated by the police ... a shame for democracy...
... The bungee as we
know is a very respectable ride but which does not concern me
anymore… What is essential to me is to occupy the space
offered to me, to be able to create an aesthetic gesture ... when I
practice an acrobatic jump I am an athlete completely actor of my
approach… Between the previous category and acrobatics, the
step is very high...
eternal voyeuristic question about police and ill come after so much
sweat ... They cannot speak for themselves and often the conversation
becomes particularly interesting on the theme of training
…The personal curiosity of the police about my training is
interesting but will never be official and stays behind the scenes! ...
I am finally on good terms with this authority ...
... He gets
up, takes the Daily News ... on the front page: "Next target for
terrorists" with a nice picture of… the Statue of Liberty!
... The air is weak and
the sail does not respond … This second time I am exactly on
target in the horizontal and vertical axis of the railing of the Torch.
There is not a breath of wind in New York Bay! ... I have nothing in
the commands in this sudden empty bubble... "Damn ... a bit of wind,
please" ... I must decide, it flies fast...
... There is no
provocation from me of the authorities!... The subject does not
... For eleven years, I
used potholing techniques... we apply them to the working world... I
abseil on hostile cliffs, on facades of buildings, in wells ... The
hardest: smoky toxic incineration silos or the voluntary collapse of a
rocky scale of several tons for a funicular...
... My two
best and faithful friends in this area?: the void and 16 years of
experience ... Here, there is no danger, everything is clear,
comprehensive and nothing invokes misunderstanding ... hanging from my
elastic, I play with space but do not remain for hours contrary to a
routine working situation…
... Slowly move my arms
behind my back and hips to quickly bring them back at same time ... Go
up, forward, forward, knees-ees... My back is in 100 metres of void and
my head sticks to my thighs to increase the acceleration...
of sports training and rehearsal is essential… a sequence of
figures with a winch to go back up dictate another conception of
jumping… once my bungee rope is installed, I stay attached
for almost two hours for about ten jumps …
... Mountain safety was
part of my role as a ski instructor ... However each
customer’s psychology had a considerable and unpredictable
dimension in off-piste...
… The more
the accident is serious and the more the commitment necessary to help
the wounded person interests me … I like to rescue people in
mountains … these acts are particularly gratifying
... The search for this
lack of gravity is my greatest pleasure ... My feelings are very
similar to those found in scuba-diving ... I will give everything to go
... Acrobatic bungee
jumping belongs to precise psychomotor sports. My self confidence, a
focused attention and a progress in the perfection of my
figures… From the end of the 80s, I chose not to
commercialise my jumps but to create a sport that unfortunately is
still very confidential...
... How many times have
I been afraid in sixteen years of jumping, not of throwing myself into
the void but of not succeeding a movement or not achieving it ... ... I
hate the anxiety of the artist… In these cases, I want to
run away ... I have only one solution: stop to imagining myself in the
event and go for it into the void...
of liberty / Third attempts
... I am pulling in
altitude at a prodigious speed. What power of elevation! In an instant,
the old lady disappears under my thighs... I find myself at 450 metres
from the ground... I am alone above New York bay... the choppers are
still not here…
To each his own job. I
know nothing about this job ... Despite the nuance of meaning in
English, a stupid term used by interviewers that have never interviewed
but use copy-paste ... I promise, I will look up the definition in the
I chained eleven
somersaults during one jump and today nothing is going
right… I feel I never have my tiptoes tense and it takes too
many seconds to group my body …
... The moment of truth
always lays me bare and we cannot cheat with ourselves... The bungee is
cruel because of that ... This is not a individual medicine but a
single violent encounter with your intimate perceptions ... On my
platform as big as four packs of cigarettes, it is impossible to tell
yourself lies, and difficult to brag to your entourage...
... The blessed release
of unbalance ... I think that all people doing something outstanding
are big lunatics and this abnormality fascinates the world as much as
it makes it move forward…
... It is not easy to
undertake but not to try, is a mistake ... "Only the unknown frightens
men”... Undertaking: what a beautiful word whose meaning is
so far from the current spirit of protection and assistance...
... The series of
figures and the use of an electric winch allows me to go back up after
each jump ... this technique dictates another concept of jumping with a
new notion of sports training...
... Around Ground Zero,
I know all the streets of south NY ... and the view points needed by
these visitors for meditation...