Looking for Netflix dance movies, I was directed to a documentary about BMX pioneer, Matt Hoffman. At 14 he came out of nowhere Oklahoma and won competitions that earned him magazine covers and stardom. He was 38, when the film was made, and is now 42. He invented many tricks that other pros imitated, took more air than anyone, and even did stunts that impressed Evil Knieval: like being pulled by a motorcycle to 50 mph, so he could fly up a 24-foot half pipe and rise 26 feet higher! The video above shows that record…and also him crashing a few times in the attempt.

Matt invents amazing  tricks

Matt invents amazing tricks

Watching all his crashes is awful. But most poignant for me is his attitude about his body, which a buddy said he viewed as just another bike part: “If I died with a body that wasn’t completely wrecked, then I’d feel like I completely wasted it.” He also said that he wakes up knowing that each day there is a good chance he will die.

23 surgeries. 100 concussions. 300 stitches. 2 comas. 60 broken bones. You see him doing his own suturing to a pedal gash on his leg, so he doesn’t have to waste time going to the hospital. AND WITHOUT ANESTHESIA! Like Rambo.

So here I am trying to be as healthy as possible, to live as long as possible in good shape. Matt is trying to reach some unprecedented level of physical performance and has no fear about death or injury. His father and wife accept that there is no stopping him. In fact the dad built early half-pipes to support Matt’s passion.

Really confronting. Not just food for thought, but a huge feast to digest.

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