Miles Daisher is a man of many talents. The Georgia native is a skilled canopy pilot, stuntman, flight team member, husband, and father who has lived in Twin Falls, Idaho for the past decade. While part of the Red Bull Air Force—a specialized team of aviation experts—Miles has received high praise from his crewmates for his inspirational attitude and personality. It is impossible to miss the positive energy and passion that has propelled him to lead the field in aerial sports and become a Guinness World Record holder.
Miles became a professional parachutist after falling in love with canopies in 1995, and he has already completed more than 10,000 skydives and 6,000 BASE jumps. In 2005, Miles achieved a world record setting 737 BASE jumps in a single year, and in June of 2017, he claimed another world record with 63 jumps in a single day!
This Face the Current Sports Feature is published in Issue 33. Order PRINT here, SUBSCRIBE to digital edition for unlimited access, or continue reading this article below.
Miles and his craft have appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Discovery Channel, Nightline, Carson Daly, and many more, and he opened up to Face the Current to share more about his motivations, personal outlook, and daily habits for success.
Ty Johnson: In the Red Bull TV series, Miles Above, you mention that being in the air “just feels normal”. When did you first fall in love with aerial sports?
Miles Daisher: Before I was five, I loved jumping from the high dive into the swimming pool. This progressed into jumping from cliffs into rivers and lakes. Then in college I began bungee jumping with Primal Instinct and worked with them and Bungee Squaw Valley until I started skydiving. My first skydive was addictive, and I swallowed the sport, hook, line, and sinker. I was completely hooked and fell in love with it. The next stage was to move to the drop zone and live there for two years, skydiving almost every day. After spending this much time in the air, it feels normal to fly my body. It’s like how a swimmer feels when swimming—it just feels good.
TJ: The Red Bull Air Force is comprised of many world champion athletes who are all tremendously skilled and committed. What does it feel like to be a part of such a talented group of people?
MD: Awesome. My Red Bull Air Force teammates are amazing people. They’re great people and super-skilled in human flight. All are world champion skydivers and I’m so stoked to work and train with such talented and dedicated people who love skydiving as much as I do. I learn so much from them about techniques and the form of a “cool guy in the sky”. I also learn about other aspects like training and safety, but it’s more about the mentality of the sport and the future we are promoting it toward. I’m more of a “hold-my-beer-and-watch this” type of guy. It took a while before my teammates stopped saying, “Lock it up and focus, Daisher!” all the time.
TJ: Your teammates commend you for the energy and positivity that you bring to the table. What keeps you motivated to stay in the positive mindset like you do?
MD: I’ve always been very much into athletics. It’s about being strong and flexible so you can make things happen easier. Also, it’s important to go into any battle with a positive outlook so you can create a positive outcome. I believe in creating your own destiny, and if you can be positive, positive things happen. It’s simple math and really scientific, if you ask me. This began inadvertently throughout my life, and I have only recently come to realize this after talking to my friend, Chris Santacroce, about our children. He told me he wakes up his kids every day and asks them if they choose to be poopy or awesome today! It’s a choice. And sometimes, even if you’re not feeling great, you can fake it till you make it to get back on the sunny side of life. You can actually be happy all day, even if you have to force it on yourself. Always try to be the cool guy that you wish yourself to be, and at the end of the day, you’ll love yourself even more. Also, it is important to do what you love. Put yourself in your happy place and enjoy it!
Be happy! This is how you set yourself up for success. Find what makes you happy. Where are you the happiest in life? Go there and stay there—work there if you can. Create your own destiny and if you are doing what you love to do, then it’s easy to be happy all the time. I love to wake up with the attitude of, “Hell yeah! Let’s do this! Go time!” I’m happy to get to go to work.
TJ: You say, “Some people think I’m crazy, but if you’re not doing what you love, I think you’re crazy.” What advice do you have for people to help them make a routine out of doing what they love?
MD: Frank Gambalie taught me to skydive and BASE jump. He asked me what I was doing for work and whether or not I loved it. My answer was that I really liked landscape construction, but love is a strong word. Frank said I need to quit doing that and start doing what I love. I still do some landscaping and construction from time to time for fun and to improve my worldly surroundings, but now I “mostly” do what I love every day and I’m super stoked. It pays to have a positive, motivated, self-driving sense of urgency to keep things moving no matter what you do. You’ve got to get fired up to get fired up. My advice would be to just make things happen. Think about three things you’d like to see happen, and break those things down into the parts or skills that you can practice. Then, put those parts together to make action steps to get it done. When you make it happen, you create your own reality—especially if you are creative with your happenings.
TJ: You have experience in BASE jumping, wingsuit flying, and skydiving, and you have even tackled skyaking and rope-swing BASE jumping. What inspires your creativity and makes you want to try things like skyaking?
MD: Have you ever been told that you can’t do something because it’s impossible? Well, if you give up on it, then yes, it is impossible. If you look at the situation “outside the box” and find a way to win, you can do anything that you wish. I love figuring out how to safely do dangerous things. (Or at least make them possible without hurting myself.)
Always try to one-up what you did the day before and keep progressing. My jam is flying parachutes. So now the trick is to make it look easy to sit in a kayak and chew gum and blow bubbles while flying a parachute into a canyon to land in a moving river. All this while thinking, “What’s next?” This is an example of the proficiency stage—the fourth and final level of motor skill development.
TJ: With the extra hours of the summer solstice, you spent the day leaping from a bridge a whopping sixty-three times and climbing over 29,000 feet of rock! What makes you want to keep competing for world records like this one throughout your athletic career?
MD: I’ve always been athletic and very competitive in many sports. With great fitness you can make great accomplishments, so be strong! I love to be fit enough to have opportunities to push the sport of BASE jumping and try to represent for parachute sports to be pushed to their next level. I fell in love with parachuting and wish to share the thrill of human flight with all creatures. We are humans and have physical limits, but I like to push on limits and see how far I can go in life. The harder you push, the farther you’ll go. It also helps to make a good plan and strategy to achieve your goals. Ask yourself where you want to be at the end of the day and work to get there. Conquering magic goals takes hard work, a cup of fortuitousness, a touch of timing, and a sprinkle of luck. I’ve got goals to accomplish and only one lifetime to achieve them, so let’s get busy!
TJ: The field of human flight and air sports is becoming more and more popular every year. How does it feel to be not only one of the most talented individuals in all of aerial sports, but also one of the most motivational for up-and-coming athletes, as well?
MD: As sky sports become more and more popular, I get many messages from people asking how to get on our Red Bull Air Force team. I’m stoked that we can inspire people to get fired up on flying human bodies. I’ve always tried to be creative and driven to make things happen, and I get very excited when a new idea comes to mind. I brainstorm a solution with a friend to conquer a new challenge, but my general advice to all would be to find your strengths and strengthen them. I get humbled and stoked when someone says to me, “Remember when you did that cool thing that one time in that one place? That was cool.” It makes you feel good inside when someone says something nice to you like that. Being nice creates good feelings and the world needs more of that kind of love.
TJ: The Red Bull Air Force completes amazing stunts together with expert pilot Kirby Chambliss. How can you explain what it is like to be diving with a plane flying so close by?
MD: Oh boy! When you are flying a wing suit or parachute and you open the door for an airplane fly-by at close proximity, you’d better trust your pilot 110%. That’s why we have Kirby Chambliss come ripping by us in the sky or do barrel rolls around us as we wingsuit over the flight line. Kirby knows how to get ultra-close without hitting us or sending us thru his jet wash and collapsing our wings. It’s very exciting when Kirby comes out of nowhere underneath you. Even when you know he is coming, you’re never ready for him and he scares the crap out of me every time. If you slip out of your wing suit glide, you’ll fall right into his path—it’s terrifyingly fun to play with Kirby in the sky while you are a flying human.
TJ: You talk about passion and the importance of having your reasons to live. Other than your love of and talent for aerial sports, what are some of your passions in life?
MD: I love using my time wisely. Sometimes the most important time of day is when you reflect on what has happened that day or that week. Enjoy the hindsight, including how you reacted to things that you thought you were ready for. I also love to break down a video in slow motion to see microscopic details in the action so that I can work on perfecting it in the future.
I love getting philosophical about life, flying, and most importantly how to have more fun than should be humanly possible.
TJ: Face the Current believes that it is very important to live a holistic and balanced lifestyle in our daily practices. Do you have any specific routines that you would like to share with the fans?
MD: Stay healthy! Moderation helps, especially when you are going big and sending it huge. Big things happen because of small steps that come together over time. Visualize the steps to your big goal and work with baby steps to get there. I like to breathe hard a minimum of a few times a day. Cardio training will keep you alive longer so that you can do more in life, so I try to follow the final words of the boy scout oath and, “Keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” And don’t forget the healing time of rest and reflection. Try to be more aware of yourself so that you’ll know where you are in life, and where it’s possible to go. (Reflection promotes growth!) Now go out and get your own Personal Record for the day.