Michael Brewer has seen Zach Galifianakis with his pants at his ankles, two wild kangaroos locked in a title fight, the snow-capped Andes painted pink by the setting sun, and what a rainbow looks like as you crash through it in free-fall.

“All those moments have two things in common,” Brewer says. “They were all a result of my career are a professional skydiver, and they all took me by complete and euphoric surprise.”

Michael Brewer rejects the tag of “adrenaline junkie” because he says it doesn’t describe him or most of his “admittedly freaky peers.” He says he simply has spent his whole life avoiding boredom, whether it was by surfing, skateboarding, running, jumping, climbing, singing, or shouting.

That lifestyle carried over into his professional life, leading to a career in skydiving—“a potluck of many brilliantly weird and kindred spirits.” It’s certainly never boring and has taught him that the world is small, life is short, and you never know what’s coming next.

“My only choice is how to fill the long, looming gaps between dawn and dusk,” he said, “and while many people find comfort in predictability, I choose to toast to the abyss, drink to the friends I’ve lost, and hope for the privilege to continue being taken by surprise.”

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