Episode 42- Benjamin Jordan and taking the Leap

 

Benjamin Jordan made history in 2016 flying a 1,000 km bivvy line solo from Vancouver to Calgary across the Coast Range and Rocky Mountains of  BC and Alberta, an expedition that took 39 days to complete. To some bold pilots maybe an obvious and tempting line, but there were plenty of reasons it had never been flown, which are in part the subject of Benjamin’s new documentary “Strong the Wind Blows“. We sit down with Benjamin to discuss the harrowing journey but also delve into his dark past; losing the love of his life; his work (and set backs) in Malawi; and dealing with depression and how human flight and dreaming of embarking on hard missions has literally saved his life. Benjamin admits he is not an expert pilot and in fact only recently felt like he had the skills to take on such a monumental challenge- how did he find the courage and stamina to forge ahead? How has Ben approached risk? How to tackle personal demons and chase the huge? If life isn’t worth dying for- is it worth living? This is a fun talk with a fantastically interesting and entertaining human. Enjoy!

 

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Strong The Wind Blows – Trailer from Benjamin Jordan on Vimeo.

Show Notes:

  • Benjamin recounts his skateboarding journey across Canada (8,000 KMS!) and raising over a million dollars for Breast Cancer
  • Ben talks about his transition from being a fashion photographer to taking on big missions.
  • Benjamin talks about flying across Canada using a powered paraglider…while not knowing how to power paraglide!
  • Benjamin talks about learning how to fly in New Zealand and how the sport transformed his life.
  • The joy of being a “knob” paraglider
  • Becoming an alcoholic after the skateboarding expedition and dealing with recovery and finding himself again through flying, and discovering humility
  • Ben recounts how sometimes things go pretty poorly on a film project gone bad and the lessons learned, and how the experience led to setting the world record for distance with powered paragliding
  • Benjamin recounts flying over the Georgia Straits. A fantastically dangerous and (stupid?) attempt.
  • Benjamin recounts some terrifically harrowing moments flying across Canada by powered paraglider, and attempting the cross to Newfoundland
  • How to justify such phenomenal risk…and how did depression and lack of love play a factor
  • How to find resolution and finding peace by risking it all
  • Failing, and finding a way forward and understanding mortality
  • Why the destination is necessary but why it sucks- getting to the end is meaningless if you aren’t enjoying the process
  • Benjamin honestly shares a very dark past and being a compulsive thief, and how giving back has been his way to in a sense- pay for his sins and inspire people to be generous
  • Benjamin talks about his adventures in Malawi, the School of Dreams, the Boy Who Flies film and some of the incredible difficulties of those projects
  • Benjamin talks about the XBC project, making the film and the journey- the good, the bad and the wild
  • Mentioned in this episode: Garmin Outdoor, BlueFly Vario, Nick Greece, Matt Beechinor, Erica Dobie, Jeff Shapiro, Will Gadd, Godfrey Masouli, Kevin Lee, the Cloudbase Foundation

 

 

 



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