2016 like every year has its up's and down's but I can tell you that 2016 for me personally has had some of the biggest highs and some of the most disturbing lows, not everything you see on Facebook is all rainbows and butterflies.
The first part of the year found me 30ibs over weight and really struggling with pain in my ankle so I needed to do something about that so I did... I started working out and over this year I've lost just shy of 30ibs!!! if you follow me on Facebook you will already know this because I've mentioned it a few times; I'm just super proud of my achievement. If you don't follow me on Facebook....why not? you should, help keep my job alive: www.facebook.com/jamieflynnbase
In January I found myself with the G-Form team in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to actually attempt to fulfil one of my biggest goals in Skydiving and BASE jumping. My goal from when I first started jumping was to fly a squirrel suit past the christ the redeemer statue; I came to the conclusion that it was never going to happen... I also know it has been done before but that is not the point. The point of why I wanted to do this, it's because I saw a video years ago and that was one of the things that inspired me. Anyway fuck there I was in Rio trying to attempt just that! Pretty damn cool from a nobody from a small coastal town in England no one has ever heard of... Deal - thats where I grew up! So in one jump I had just completed one of the best jumps in my entire life and I did it with professional cameraman and good friend Sam Hardy.
The year continued and Phil Jaques and myself decided a winter Europe trip was in order so we ended up travelling around Italy, Switzerland and France for a couple of months and really had a blast flying our wing suits together. Then the work started coming in...
The BBC had me do some interviews for a show called Close Calls on Camera that aired on BBC1 about my accident 3 years ago. It was ok, but they did change it up a bit which wasn't ideal but the end piece came out great none the less!
HBO aired the show Strike Back Season 5 that Gary Connery and I did the BASE jumping stunt for; which was Epic... throwing hand grenades and jumping off the building as a exfill plan isn't something I believe the SAS will be doing anytime soon but it was fun and it looked badass too.
Channel 4 commissioned a documentary series that I was lucky enough to be apart of and work very closely with Kill Film productions to help create a BASE jumping series about why it is we do the things we do. Well worth a watch if you're in the UK or have access to the Channel 4 website. I was honoured with a series consultant credit and all 6 episodes were great following Andy Guest, Dan Witchalls, Myself, Ellen Brennan, Ken Taylor, Sam Hardy & Nate Jones and seeing the different views and what each individual gain from jumping. A fantastic series and yes I'm biased!
Scottish Power also wanted some wingsuit action for their latest commercial jumping at night time with LED lights inside the suit, yes I thought they were crazy too but I am so happy how it turned out!
I also had a lot of time to travel and do some Epic BASE jumping events such as the Sri Lanka
a BASE event jumping off the Bank of Ceylon building and the World Trade Centres in Colombo. Teaching the Sri Lankan Army to Skydive, The Wings for Love event in the mountains of Dashanbao in China representing Team GB and Kuala Lumpur Tower BASE event.
2016 like I briefly mentioned has had its most disturbing lows too... After all we are participating in one of the worlds most extreme sports; that doesn't mean we have a death wish or that we are adrenalin junkies, more the fact that we love life and appreciate the things we have. But however amazing this sport is and what it gives to me, it also takes away in equal proportions. This year I have cried a lot due to the fact some of my closest friends have passed.... so why don't I stop? that is a question I've been asked by friends who do not jump or who do not understand why we do this.
Stopping would mean giving up something that I love, and its not just the jumping that I love, I have a separate family spread across this planet. I have met some of my best friends, I've met the most inspirational people who really know how to live life. This family has also taught me to love again, that sounds really gay I know.... But it really has, I'm no longer scared to give my friends a hug and tell them I love them. This has made my life a lot happier. For years I've pushed people away, hid behind my ego and run away from any issues I have; but recently this family has taught me so much more... it aches when one of these amazing people pass away because they are like a brother or sister to me and its heart wrenching. The cliché thing is that they died doing something they loved and thats partially true and if I ever died jumping I wouldn't want anyone to stop. I guess thats the best answer I can come up with to why I won't stop.... well not yet anyway. It also boils down to the risk vs reward. I find myself walking down from jumps a lot more these days. But I still love jumping and I love jumping for me.
2016 I tried to hold back with posting all my content on social media, and doing jumps without cameras to really see if I am doing this for myself or am I just doing this because it is work... I've come to the conclusion that I really do love Skydiving, I really love BASE jumping, I really love flying my wingsuit & travelling and I really love the community so I will not be stopping any time soon...
This year I also decided to get a dog... her name is Bear and if you read my other blogs you will have already heard about her. She is a 2 year old Australian Shepard who is super timid and scared of everything. If you met her when I first got her, you would not recognize her now, she is totally different! She is a really clever dog. She sits, lies down, shakes, plays dead, walks off leash, runs for miles and still comes back and shows me her tits on command! (yes I'm like a kid and taught my dog to show me her tits) I thought it was hilarious. I also taught her to "act like a Crap HAT" which is an inside joke as a paratrooper. In summary in The Parachute Regiment we call everyone who either didn't pass our selection course or any other regiment in the Forces "HATS" which stands for "hideous attitude towards soldiering" this comes from the fact that we pride ourselves in the Paras to push harder, go further, last longer even if we are cold, wet, hungry and tired. Parachute Regiment soldiers are generally better than the rest of the army (but I am biased and would say that but it's true!) so teaching my dog to act like a crap hat was entertaining.... so we go on a walk and when I give her the command to act like a crap hat, she lies down and rolls on to her back and gives up - I think its hilarious anyway...
2016 also led me to sign a few more sponsors that want to support me as I try and make my dreams happen especially when I have big plans for 2017! So G-Form & Hitcase are still working with me very closely. But I am now proud to be working with Urban Fitness Club & Bobs Watches. Urban Fitness Club is a gym to make sure I am fit for the projects I have lined up and they kick my ass all the time and I am getting so much fitter week by week!
I have also signed with Bob's Watches which is the largest and most trusted name in pre-owned luxury watches and jewelry including Rolex, Patek Phillippe, Panerai, Cartier, Tiffany and more. Founded in 1999, Bob's has become the ultimate destination for consumers looking to buy, sell, or trade certified pre-owned Rolex watches, attaining a BBB A+ rating, 5/5 stars in Ekomi, and has been quoted and featured in the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Inc Magazine, Internet Retailer and the OC Register.
So if you have read to this point well done! you should take yesterday off work... joking aside thank you for reading my blog and here is my non Facebook generic year in review video that I have made myself.... please like and share and help me continue to live my dream!