PJ Black shares a frightening BASE jumping story in the Word of Honor series

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring of Honor wrestler PJ Black wrote a “Word of Honor” piece. The following is a snippet from the article, which can be read in full at ROHWrestling.com.

Standing on the ledge of a 55-story building, I can hear my heartbeat. Everything is silent and in slow motion. I don’t think of anything. Being completely present in this moment is all I have. It’s a matter of life, death or serious injury.

It’s sunrise on a beautiful day in June 2017 and I’m about to perform a BASE jump. Two weeks prior, I was on a cliff about to do a jump, but a gut feeling told me not to so I walked down. This time, I had that same feeling but I chose to ignore it.

I stepped off the ledge and didn’t push off as hard as I was taught. I should’ve taken a three- or four-second delay before pulling the pilot chute, the small parachute-like material that pulls the main canopy (parachute) out of the container. I should’ve done everything different on that day.

I didn’t listen to my gut feeling and I got scared. I popped the pilot chute as I jumped. My parachute opened up immediately, but when the body position isn’t perfect, the canopy will extract in a funky way. It opened up, and I was looking at the building.

I was calm and knew exactly what to do because of all my training. I’ve done this over 93 times. People think adrenaline seekers are just yahoos who jump off and out of things to get their fix. BASE jumping is actually a very meticulously planned sport. Sometimes days goes into preparation for one jump.

We check the weather conditions on multiple apps. We check for turbulence at different altitudes. It can be very dangerous, as parachutes are very docile. We constantly check out the movements of nature and try to manifest the safest plan. We also constantly check and modify our gear to match the weather conditions and/or object we’re jumping from.

I had a choice to make: grab the toggles (steering loops fixed to the end of the steering lines of the canopy) or rear risers. Rear risers are where the breaks are stowed. I went for the toggles since I’ve had the quickest response with this method in the past. However, since I didn’t take a long enough delay, I was way too close to the building for this option. When you pop the toggles, the canopy dives forward.

I dove straight into the building.

Powell’s POV: How’s that for a cliffhanger? It’s quite the story and I hope we’ll see more of these wrestler written pieces on the ROH website.

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