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Shane McConkey - second guessing the stoke - Page 2

post #31 of 54


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

 


 

 

 

Thanks to Bob for saying it so well, and to Cirq for moving this stuff.  I was out hiking and thought how I should have started a new thread, and I didn't make myself clear enough about the sponsors.

 

I get this feeling of gladiator sports watching this stuff.  How much of it is done for the camera?  If the camera and money wasn't there, would they still be doing this?  Are we to share in the blame, for paying to watch such feats?

 

I met Alex Lowe, and had great respect for him.  He was another with that "when, not if" feeling.  I remember when he died leaving a family there was pressure on The North Face to help out his family.  I don't know what financial arrangements were made for him, but I hope his and Shane's kids are looked after.


 

In regards to your second statement here I would have to say definitely yes. People would still be doing this stuff without the camera or the money being there. I have never pushed my limits even close to as far as some of these guys do (i do like skiing fast in trees and dropping some cliffs) but I have friends who do and always have. There has never been a professional camera on them, maybe some gear hookups for shots, but no money. I think that's just their personality, it's who they are, it's what makes them feel truly alive, which be a different thing for different people.

 

post #32 of 54


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

 


 

 

 

...

I met Alex Lowe, and had great respect for him.  He was another with that "when, not if" feeling.  I remember when he died leaving a family there was pressure on The North Face to help out his family.  I don't know what financial arrangements were made for him, but I hope his and Shane's kids are looked after.


 

That gets pretty tricky.  If sponsors want to do something, great, but just off the top of my head Osman was another TNF athlete, at least at one time, too.  If the expectation is that you as a sponsor have a huge contingent liability associated with every sponsored athlete, the net effect is many fewer spnsorships.  IMO sponsors should honor their contracts, and anything else is great but should be viewed as above and beyond, not expected. 

 

As for how much of this stuff is done for the camera, virtually none.  For skiing and riding the camera does pay for access to heli time and terrain for videos, and there is definitely pressure to perform and produce footage, but remember this is a base-jumping fatality.  There's one roughly every month and cameras play a role in very few.  Several other well-known skiers and climbers have bought it that way, do it enough and it will happen, but it wasn't actually how they came to be well-known.

 

post #33 of 54

I've made turns where a mistake would kill me.  I've done some free solo climbing.  In all cases I had no outside pressure.  I can't imagine it any other way.

 

My nightmare scenario is something like this:

 

Several days of weather hold, with you sponsors paying stand-by for pilots etc.  Finally you go to the site, two helicopters, several camera men.  You don't like the conditions and return.

 

Next day, the whole crew flies out again.  How much pressure is there to go?  How many times can you exercise your own judgment and not lose this gig?

post #34 of 54

That's a little different from the current situation anyway, and kind of a binary hypothetical.    Commercial obligations do create pressure, yes.  But look at it this way: there are some freeskiers who have been put over the top financially, and who still do the same things.  (In many cases those individuals are quite calculated and actually I wouldn't view what they're doing as all that risky, but that's a different story.)  For different sports, you can cite instances where pressure rather than conditions affected judgment, but for every instance where the pressure may have been in part external and commercial there are a number where the pressure was internal and psychological.  I've seen guides feel a lot of commercial pressure and not always like their jobs, but that's way different from athletes pursuing the sport as athletes.

 

Wanting or needing to do something, maybe to excess, might not always be the most-balanced thing, either, but that's true for businessmen and women and artists, too. 

post #35 of 54

I always get offended at how these threads stir-up during tragedy. But I guess that's the human process of mourning and grieving. We collectively debate risk so we can justify either A) taking the same risks, or B) not taking them. 

 

I personally never understood how people can take such blatant risks when being fathers. That is... until I read Shane's quote: 

 

"I love my daughter but if I had to quit my passions for her then I would be setting the wrong example for her and I would not be myself anymore."

 

I can't apply my own context to his language, nor can I apply my own tone. That may not even be word-for-word. But if I just read it, I think I can hear what he's saying. Hindsight is always 20/20, so I don't think it is appropriate for anyone here to comment any further, quite frankly. Take the tragedy away from his quote, and you have brilliant fatherly advice. Apply the tragedy, and you have to apply the exact same tragedy to every man who pursues his passions. And that's just not the way it rolls. 

 

Keep it real, readers. 

post #36 of 54

If my comments offend any friends or family of Shane, I apologize in advance.  It is not my intent, but I have read through these threads and feel moved to comment.

 

First, Shane's quote:

 

"I love my daughter but if I had to quit my passions for her then I would be setting the wrong example for her and I would not be myself anymore."

 

I would agrue that love means sacrificing ones self for another.  We often have to sacrifice our passions for those we love.  I think he did what he wanted to do, rather than what was the best for his family.  As far as calculated chances and comparing freeskiing to driving, it is a BS argument.  With all the deaths over the past years, it is not a matter of if, but seems to be a matter of when.  I highly doubt that any of the dead skiers families do not wish that their fathers chose a safer career.  Nor do I think they embrace the idea that dying living is better than living a normal life.  To me,it is sad that someone thinks the thrill of tempting death is greater than the thrill and joy of fatherhood.

 

Financially, it seemed as if Shane career was more than skiing.  I understand that he designed skis, and hopefully he set aside money for his family in the case he died.  If not, I fail to see how one cannot say he was irresponsible.

 

To shift gears, I think it is also a commentary on society.  We love to see people tempt death.  Be it auto racing or extreme skiing.  Why is it necessary to huck a 150 foot cliff, or watch someone do so to enjoy sliding around on snow?  I think we are in some way to blame, in the sense that we support the ski movie industry and thus encourage the risk taking. 

 

I remember the video in which Paul Ruff said "dying ain't no way to make a living."   Within in a year or two, he died on a mountain.  I hope that the other married with kids extreme skiers start thinking about their responsibilty to their families and tame down the risks they take. 

post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post

 

Shane's quote: 

 

"I love my daughter but if I had to quit my passions for her then I would be setting the wrong example for her and I would not be myself anymore."

 


 

 

This struck a chord with me.  Life will kill you even if you don't ski BASE, and too many people wait for death to come while they sleep in their beds IMHO.  Shane made a huge impact on the world, and skiing will be forever changed because of the impact he had.  Yes, we should give to his family.  Why?  Because they stood behind a man that put his own life on the line to push the envelope and supported him in changing the world we live and ski in for the better.  A man that cheated death more times than 90% of the members here combined.  A man who couldn't have stopped doing what he did if he wanted to.  A man who ate, slept and breathed stoke and inspired me and countless others to chase the dream, no matter how crazy others may think it is.  Does anyone want to picture a world where Shane McConkey couldn't ski and BASE???  To me that would be a sad, sad world.        

 

Not doing what makes you feel alive is the equivalent of suicide, even if doing it may kill you. 

 

The man is a legend.  Anyone else that thinks they should voice their opinions and question his behavior and the way he lived his life should stop flapping their gums.  If you want to live a safe life behind your picket fence with Marcia, little johnny and a basket full of fluffy puppies, fine.  But DO NOT discount the life of a legend because his love for adventure and skiing eventually cost him his life.  He has captured my psyche on so many occasions and in so many films- I'd be working the next day and all I could think of was a huge huck or BASE he did...  And it made me chase my passion and want to be a better skier.  You can FEEL his dedication and immersion just by watching him.  It's infectious.  So IMHO until you have made even one person feel like that, STFU you LIFE JONGS!  Thank the man, mourn his loss and do what you can to help those he's left behind, don't question him.  That's like saying Dale Earnhardt just shouldn't have been racing and Doug Coombs should have just gone snowshoeing.

 

And to those who said "I never saw one of his ski movies", I just feel bad for you.   

 

Bushwacker, please post your old sig line where it talked about the freedom to throw yourself off cliffs and bury yourself in avalanches in the persuit of life, I feel it is very appropriate here. 

 

Thank you, Shane for all you've done.  You will never know how much it means to me. 

post #38 of 54


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post

  

I would argue that love means sacrificing ones self for another.  We often have to sacrifice our passions for those we love.  I think he did what he wanted to do, rather than what was the best for his family.   . . . .  I hope that the other married with kids extreme skiers start thinking about their responsibilty to their families and tame down the risks they take. 

 I fully agree with Fischermh and am happy to sacrifice for my children.  Fortunately my career works in their favor as far as paying bills and being home most of the time.  But it takes all kinds of people to make the world, including risk takers.  Many people pursue the career they love, and still want to have a family, in spite of not being able to make much money or get insurance. (This is especially true of artists of all kinds.)  Anybody who ever invested his last penny in a business exposed his or her family to the risk, but there wouldn't be successes and progress any other way.  There are people who thrive on risk and people who don't, and both kinds are necessary.
 

Possibly Shane could have managed the risks better for the sake of his family.  Most of us are not in a position to know.

post #39 of 54


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

 


 

 

This struck a chord with me.  Life will kill you even if you don't ski BASE, and too many people wait for death to come while they sleep in their beds IMHO.  Shane made a huge impact on the world, and skiing will be forever changed because of the impact he had.  Yes, we should give to his family.  Why?  Because they stood behind a man that put his own life on the line to push the envelope and supported him in changing the world we live and ski in for the better.  A man that cheated death more times than 90% of the members here combined.  A man who couldn't have stopped doing what he did if he wanted to.  A man who ate, slept and breathed stoke and inspired me and countless others to chase the dream, no matter how crazy others may think it is.  Does anyone want to picture a world where Shane McConkey couldn't ski and BASE???  To me that would be a sad, sad world.        

 

Not doing what makes you feel alive is the equivalent of suicide, even if doing it may kill you. 

 

The man is a legend.  Anyone else that thinks they should voice their opinions and question his behavior and the way he lived his life should stop flapping their gums.  If you want to live a safe life behind your picket fence with Marcia, little johnny and a basket full of fluffy puppies, fine.  But DO NOT discount the life of a legend because his love for adventure and skiing eventually cost him his life.  He has captured my psyche on so many occasions and in so many films- I'd be working the next day and all I could think of was a huge huck or BASE he did...  And it made me chase my passion and want to be a better skier.  You can FEEL his dedication and immersion just by watching him.  It's infectious.  So IMHO until you have made even one person feel like that, STFU you LIFE JONGS!  Thank the man, mourn his loss and do what you can to help those he's left behind, don't question him.  That's like saying Dale Earnhardt just shouldn't have been racing and Doug Coombs should have just gone snowshoeing.

 

And to those who said "I never saw one of his ski movies", I just feel bad for you.   

 

Bushwacker, please post your old sig line where it talked about the freedom to throw yourself off cliffs and bury yourself in avalanches in the persuit of life, I feel it is very appropriate here. 

 

Thank you, Shane for all you've done.  You will never know how much it means to me. 


 

People make choices, and live or die by them.

 

whichever side of this debate you come in on, i hope you remember Shane made his choices and we benefited,

 

if people here are inspired to contibute to shanes family, the poster guy could be great,

or

a new site posted by close local friends of Sherry and Shane here in Truckee might be a more direct source.

 

www.shanemcconkey.org/

 

I understand both side of this arguement and wrestle w/ it

fact is, we need people like Shane and we need people behind the picket fence as described above.

 

to a good adventure.

 

holiday

 

post #40 of 54

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

 

 Shane made a huge impact on the world, and skiing will be forever changed because of the impact he had.  Yes, we should give to his family.  Why?  Because they stood behind a man that put his own life on the line to push the envelope and supported him in changing the world we live and ski in for the better. 

 

1. I doubt the impact was 'huge'... more of a shallow dent in the snow when he bounced... oh, you don't mean literally.   (Shane would laugh at that).

 

2. He didn't storm the beaches at Normandy, he went skiing. He was really good at it and he changed the sport in many, many ways, but he didn't impact 'the world'... he skied, don't make it something it isn't. He started the IFSA, he started skiing 'fat skis' when they were thought to be for 'heli skiing dentists' not serious hard core skiers, he pushed Volant to make the Spatula, he jumped off stuff and he did it all while laughing... but he didn't do any of it for you or me. He didn't 'sacrifice', he did what he wanted, it doesn't have to be anything more than that. RIP Shane.

 

For everyone saying 'he could have done something safe and been there for his family':

 

Sure, that's true. He also might have worked 70hrs a week trying to 'get ahead' in corporate America and never been there. Would that have been better or more thought full?

 

My father is a very good man, he worked (works) harder than anyone I've ever met. When I was growing up he was working for the government as a civil engineer, he worked 17 years without taking a sick day... or a vacation day. He had a 1 1/2 hr commute to and from work so we could live in a rural area. He was a Town Selectman, he was on the Planning Board and Zoning Board, he was in the Lions Club. Take a wild guess at how often he was around me or my brother? If I need him he's always there... but if I don't 'need' something we have no real rapport at all. I've always been fine with that, my brother... not so much.

 

Plenty of parents are 'there' without ever REALLY being there for their families. No one talks about the office worker who dies of stress related illness at a premature age... they were doing what they were 'supposed to' to be a responsible cog in society. Shane did what HE wanted to do, that's not a bad role model (unfortunately a role model is no replacement for a Dad).

 

It's OK to question Shane, it's OK to question the sponsors or the Filmer's. It's OK to grieve for Shane and his family. I think Shane would make a joke about the situation then go do something FUN (no camera necessary).

 

...but what do I know?

post #41 of 54

In every dangerous sport, when a colleague is lost, we have questions and look for a redeeming aspect in a person's death.

 

IMO it is too soon for this discussion to take everything into consideration; maybe in a few weeks abstractions can be grappled with.


Edited by davluri - 3/31/2009 at 12:06 am
post #42 of 54


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

 

 

 

1. I doubt the impact was 'huge'... more of a shallow dent in the snow when he bounced... oh, you don't mean literally.   (Shane would laugh at that).

 

2. He didn't storm the beaches at Normandy, he went skiing. He was really good at it and he changed the sport in many, many ways, but he didn't impact 'the world'... he skied, don't make it something it isn't. He started the IFSA, he started skiing 'fat skis' when they were thought to be for 'heli skiing dentists' not serious hard core skiers, he pushed Volant to make the Spatula, he jumped off stuff and he did it all while laughing... but he didn't do any of it for you or me. He didn't 'sacrifice', he did what he wanted, it doesn't have to be anything more than that. RIP Shane.

 

 


 

I agree 100% (and I laughed too...).  I just think a little differently when it comes to guys like this.  He was a pioneer for sure and I hate to sound cliche but he made a difference to me.  I can't think of anyone else that just made me say "wow...  "  like saucer boy.  It just reverberates within me in a different manner than most I assume.  I just appreciate the aspect of being able to sit in my dirty, loud shop and working hard while zoning out about that sick line he ripped a new one in that movie last night or last week...  He just sticks in your mind like none other.  It really made me want to be better, and made me feel like I should be chasing the dream.  He pushed the boundaries of what's possible and it in turn pushed me to do the same (kind of).  For me, he will be sorely missed.  I apologize if my douchery is in any way cheapening or cliche-ifying his achievements, I'm just a sap when it comes to stuff like this.       

post #43 of 54


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post

 


 


 

People make choices, and live or die by them.

 

whichever side of this debate you come in on, i hope you remember Shane made his choices and we benefited,

 

if people here are inspired to contibute to shanes family, the poster guy could be great,

or

a new site posted by close local friends of Sherry and Shane here in Truckee might be a more direct source.

 

www.shanemcconkey.org/

 

I understand both side of this arguement and wrestle w/ it

fact is, we need people like Shane and we need people behind the picket fence as described above.

 

 

     Holiday,
 

        Thanks for providing the info for the Truckee donation site.  I know I feel more comfortable having that information.

          I also agree---people make choices and live and die by them.  This was the way he chose to live his life and his skills and passion for what he did were inspirational. He will definitely be missed.  Condolences to his wife and daughter.

post #44 of 54


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski Spirit View Post

 


 

     Holiday,
 

        Thanks for providing the info for the Truckee donation site.  I know I feel more comfortable having that information.

          I also agree---people make choices and live and die by them.  This was the way he chose to live his life and his skills and passion for what he did were inspirational. He will definitely be missed.  Condolences to his wife and daughter.


 

another quick note from someone not too far from the subject.

 

I think this direction of seeing how caring people can help out in this difficult time is great and shows just how much so many cared: those that knew shane well, those that spent just a bit time with him, and those that only knew his body of work/love/passion in skiing.

 

That said, and this may be overstepping my bounds of familiarity in a public chat,

I don't think Sherry and Ayla will starve. Shane was one smart cookie, and while he was uninsureable, he wasn't without some safety net for his loved ones. Not only that, I'm hoping and have heard some indications, that Red Bull may step up to the plate, as they should.

 

Does that mean contributing to a college fund for Ayla is a bad idea to make some of us feel better in this time of grieving? My answer is my action, I'm contributing. My life was better because Shane took risks I never would. He paid the highest price, and if it feels good to help his daughter down the road, I'll do it.

 

Cheers,

Holiday


Edited by Holiday - 3/30/2009 at 09:00 pm
post #45 of 54

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

 

I think what I'm going to do instead, is make a donation to the local soup kitchen in the name of Shane McConkey.

 

Other than the compassion and sadness I feel for his loved ones who are greiving, I doubt they are financially strapped. Forgive me.

 

Pro Skiers are hardly rolling in dough.

 

post #46 of 54

In the end, only I will know if I LIVED my life. Only I know all the choices and paths I've chosen, or not chosen, never knowing what will be or may have been.  What other's judge, doesn't matter in the end.  To have LIVED YOUR LIFE is what matters. 

 

Wade, thanks for posting the additional information.  There is nothing certain in life. I'm not sure what "security" is.  Certainly it is different for each of us.    I hope when I can help another through a difficult time, whether by a word, an action, or donating a dollar or so- I have helped or strengthened them by my action.  To help them live into their future.  That is part of how I live my life. I think contribution to others, in whatever way we can, is the majority of life. 


Edited by 911over - 3/30/2009 at 08:54 pm


Edited by 911over - 3/30/2009 at 08:55 pm
post #47 of 54


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 911over View Post

 

In the end, only I will know if I LIVED my life.  What other's judge, doesn't matter in the end.  To have LIVED YOUR LIFE is what matters. 

 

 I think contribution to others, in whatever way we can, is the majority of life. 


 

   Great statements DeAn!  I especially like the last statement. 

 

   

post #48 of 54

Although I have sympathy for Shane's family, he chose to do dangerous things in order to make a living. He should have made sure he protected his family. I would rather give my money to the families of veterans who lost their lives.

 

In the early 80's I got bored of skydiving and got into base jumping. I was living in California at the time and hooked up with some-like minded people. We jumped off buildings in LA in the middle of the night. We jumped off cliffs in Yosemite. We jumped off bridges as well. It was all a calculated risk. Nothing was guaranteed. I had a friend lose his life but that didn't stop me. Then I settled down and had children. I made a personal choice to stop jumping. The reason being that a mistake in that world is usually fatal. I didn't want to risk it anymore because I had people who really depended on me.

 

May god bless Shane's soul and help his loved ones through this difficult time.

post #49 of 54

I am so disappointed in this group.  Do we really have nothing better to do than judge someone after a tragic accident.  His family is hurting, his friends are grieving...have some compassion.  You all should be celebrating what Shane brought to our sport rather than to judge his decisions without understanding the motives. 

 

It really doesn't matter whether you approve of Shane or not, it doesn't matter if you'd do what he did.  And to look at his statements about his daughter and judging them is ridiculous.  I knew Shane and I loved him dearly.  More importantly he LOVED his daughter with every fiber of his being.  His comments about sacrifice and skiing in relation to her is taken out of context.  Shane truly believed that she was worth anything.  But he alse believed that if he changed himself fundamentally because he was a father then he would be raising his daughter in a lie.  His philosophy was that by being true to himself he was doing the best thing for his daughter.  We don't all agree, we may all have very different opinions but please respect his wishes.

 

Shame, shame on all of you who judge.  We all do things that others don't agree with, we all take risks that don't always make sense.  Sure Shane pushed the envelope. We all have chosen to participate in a highly dangerous sport and he took it to another level.  Skiing today has benefited from his vision, people who met Shane benefited from his passion. 

post #50 of 54
Thread Starter 

Just want people to know that if you read all my posts, including my posts in the other McConkey threads, you'll realize I never said one word of bad about the man or his responsibilities. What I did say in the thread giving the news of his death, was that I met then man and actually shook his hand. It was at Whistler several years ago at a ski camp my oldest Son attended. I also said how his smile and laugh had stuck with me as the kids gathered around him. When you shake hands with someone and look them in the eye, it says much about the person. I haven't seen much of his latest works but have wached what he's done in some of the ski flicks i've watched with my boys. I'd like to remember him as I last saw his face, and his willingness to help kids in the sport he loved and we all love. My hopes that his family will and has been provided for and really doesn't need donations of money. I also understand that if it makes people feel better about donating money in his name, so be it. My only concern was that the charity was a credible and genuine one, as it now appears to be along with another more official one, and that someone wasn't taking advantage of the heartfelt sadness of others. Fault me for wishing to make a memorial contribution in my own way as i gathered thoughts and remembered Shane as I first met him. If you want, I don't care. But to set me aside and call me a prick and think ill of me for misunderstanding my motives was wrong. Never , never anywhere in my posts will you find one ill mentioned word about Shane McConkey

post #51 of 54

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skierhj View Post

 

I am so disappointed in this group.  Do we really have nothing better to do than judge someone after a tragic accident.  His family is hurting, his friends are grieving...have some compassion.  You all should be celebrating what Shane brought to our sport rather than to judge his decisions without understanding the motives. 

 

It really doesn't matter whether you approve of Shane or not, it doesn't matter if you'd do what he did.  And to look at his statements about his daughter and judging them is ridiculous.  I knew Shane and I loved him dearly.  More importantly he LOVED his daughter with every fiber of his being.  His comments about sacrifice and skiing in relation to her is taken out of context.  Shane truly believed that she was worth anything.  But he alse believed that if he changed himself fundamentally because he was a father then he would be raising his daughter in a lie.  His philosophy was that by being true to himself he was doing the best thing for his daughter.  We don't all agree, we may all have very different opinions but please respect his wishes.

 

Shame, shame on all of you who judge.  We all do things that others don't agree with, we all take risks that don't always make sense.  Sure Shane pushed the envelope. We all have chosen to participate in a highly dangerous sport and he took it to another level.  Skiing today has benefited from his vision, people who met Shane benefited from his passion. 

 

Well said.  I think judging Shane so soon after his death is in really, really bad taste.  Imagine how you would feel if he was your spouse or son or dad.  I just think people can be arrogant and feel that their opinion is more important than honoring someone who just passed.

post #52 of 54

Bad taste, judging ashamed?????

 

How long would it take you to post jokes about Bush, Cheney, Pelosi, Reid, Limbaugh dying?

 

What about using our dead soldiers to pursue political ideologies?

 

post #53 of 54

this thread sucks.  let it die.

 

post #54 of 54

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

 

....He didn't storm the beaches at Normandy, he went skiing. He was really good at it and he changed the sport in many, many ways, but he didn't impact 'the world'...

 

I disagree there, Whiteroom. There are many ways to impact the world. Those who gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy; those who died in the line of duty as a cop or fire fighter; great artists, writers, teachers who enable us to see and understand the world in an entirely different way. All of them impact the world.

 

Simply put....Shane was one of those people who redefined my perception of what a human being can do. No, he didn't cure cancer. But who could possibly watch him ski without being inspired by the beauty, courage, skill...the artistry...that he displayed?

 

How can someone like that not impact the world?

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