Jokke Sommer: The Wingsuiter

Instagram
jokkesommer
Wingsuiter

A professional skydiver and BASE jumper, Jokke Sommer regularly risks death to do what he loves. Discover how staring death in the face on a regular basis impacts his approach to life.

“The first step to success is letting go of negative thoughts and ideas that things are going to go badly.“

Does wing-suiting make everyday life boring by comparison?

When I go out in the mountains, I'm in my own mind; just chilling and super relaxed. I find it more stressful to go to the supermarket because it’s where all the people that are already carrying a lot of stress are.

Shopping is more stressful than jumping off mountains?!

Yeah, there’s high levels of stress in places like that. For me, being on a mountain is normal, plus I have that feeling of being completely free.

Of course, it’s more hardcore to jump off a mountain than to go to the supermarket, but when I’m in the supermarket I’m not as free, so it's an inherently more stressful environment to be in.

'...you don't need to throw yourself off mountains to feel free. Any kind of self-development can be empowering.'

Is it possible to live a ‘free’ life when you have kids and responsibilities like a full-time job?

Yes, it’s a mindset, everything for me is a mindset.

Give us some examples...

You’ve got to be able to let go of negative thoughts and ideas that things are going to go badly or that your external factors are restricting you from doing what you want to do.

You need to take ownership of your situation, find the positives and dare to be different whenever possible. We all have the potential to do whatever we set our minds to.

Why do you think more people don’t live this way?

I think part of it is simply not being able to let go of all the stuff that’s holds so many people back. It's a combination of the fear of the unknown and the ease of blaming external factors for not taking risks.

There’s something amazing about jumping off a mountain in terms of the extreme, physical and dangerous nature of it. With the right training and equipment, everyone should try it at some point in their life!

But you don't need to throw yourself off mountains to feel free. Any kind of self-development can be empowering. Simply take yourself out of your comfort zone – whether that's trying a new sport or signing up for a course to learn something new – to feel truly alive.

What else has being in the mountains taught you?

Global warming is a real concern. I have a glacier outside my house, for example, that used to go all the way down to the highway and now it’s 500m higher up the mountain. That’s happened in just 15 years. Things are moving fast and it’s only going to get more crazy. Once the biodiversity around nature starts to die the plants start to die, and then we die.

So – without wanting to end on too dramatic a note – there's never been a better time to stop making excuses and embrace all the possibilities of life while you still can!

SMALL WINS EVERY DAY /
JOIN OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY NOW