This weekend I joined 8 million other people, sat in front of our computers, tablets, smartphones and TVs to watch one of the most inspiring things I, personally, have ever seen. Mr Felix Baumgartner's "Mission to the Edge of Space" was something I will never forget seeing, and that makes me incredibly glad.
It's funny, but starting from very young, throughout school, in cartoons, films and in so many books and other forms of media, one resounding thing is continually told to you; work hard, focus on your dream, and you will achieve it.
For me, however, that ideal was something I just heard. I didn't really take any notice of it, I just listened to it. The "not taking much notice of it" has only got pulled more to the forefront as I have got older. Life isn't as easy as all that, right? Working hard and achieving all of your goals is not as easy as it sounds.
Then you get to see something like this.
I am always inspired by great feats such as the one we witnessed this weekend, I think most people probably are. I have always had a passion for everything spaceward. Following missions, reading space-related blogs, watching NASA TV (an amazing, but pretty addictive pass time!), and every time I get to watch a mission such as this... I just get that feeling of awe at the fact that I am watching people achieving a dream that has culminated from life-long work. True professionals at what they are doing, yet clearly being able to truly love every second of it.
Felix Baumgartner's jump, however, just took this to the extreme for me. Whether it was made particularly poignent because of how all those years of hard work were unravelled in one, exceptionally exciting, 11 minute burst. After years, a dream was achieved - in 11 minutes. I think that is something I will always find exceptionally inspiring.
If you didn't see the jump, it is most definitely a must-watch! With records for the highest manned-balloon flight, highest jump and fastest free-fall speed (all unofficial currently, but pretty sure to be confirmed as true), Felix Baumgartner is a name that will not be forgotten in a hurry!
So, back to my original point. I think dreams are there to be achieved, and hard work and dedication cannot hurt in achieving them! Sure, I don't think I will be jumping down to Earth from space any time soon - however, next time there is something I really want to achieve, I will definitely be sparing Mr Baumgartner a little thought.
I hope the world remembers for a very long time to come the amazing feat completed on by him, Joseph Kittinger and the rest of the Red Bull Stratos team. A truly inspiring show for all.
Image Credits: Luke Aikins, Redbull Photofiles