Thursday, February 23, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Karl Herman spent his last week getting back to normality, having recently returned from a trip to Malaysia.
It wasn’t your average holiday in the southeast Asian country; Karl was on a base jumping trip, where he jumped off the seventh tallest building in the world, Kuala Lumpur’s KL Tower.
“It’s nice to be scared,” Karl said.
“It’s nice to be living in the moment.
“I guess with base jumping, you’re prepared for the moment, but you also realise if it doesn’t work out, it’s not going to work out, there’s no in between.”
But before Karl left for Malaysia, he undertook what he said was his most nerve-racking challenge.
He’d always wanted to complete a long-distance swim, with his sights set on the Cook Strait, between the north and south islands of New Zealand, ultimately deciding to swim the same distance in the pool.
With a 21km goal, Karl added the extra element of fundraising for a cause that means a lot to him.
“In the last couple of years, I’ve lost a couple of mates to suicide,” he said.
“To be totally honest, I didn’t really understand it.
“I’m the luckiest person I’ve ever met and when I came home from my recent trip from Europe I was feeling pretty down, it was just a natural high to a natural low.
“It gave me a bit more of an understanding of how it is to feel that shit and that low.”
An average of nine people die by suicide a day in Australia, with 75% of those who take their own life being male.
“That’s a pretty good indication that we need to do more,” Karl said.
Karl set his fundraising goal at $2,100, recently raising double for local organisation Real Mates Talk.
“In our local community, they organise talks and are trying to be the first responders to people who do need the help,” Karl said.
“They’re boots on the ground in our local community.”
Preparation started about three months before the swim date, January 23, with an untimely neck injury doing little to get in the way, other than adding a few nerves to the situation.
“I’ve done a lot of things: I’ve done a full iron man, I’ve done base jumping, I’ve done a lot of extreme sports,” he said.
“Normally I’m very calm and collected, but I was more scared of this than anything I’ve ever done, I was shaking.”
With his mate Richard Kieliszek by his side, Karl took on the almighty challenge.
“I got my second wind at about 12km and had a lot of people come down and support me during the day, which was awesome, gave me a little bit of motivation, and it was a good day,” he said.
“I highly recommend training a little bit harder than I did for 21km, that’s for sure.”
Next on Karl’s list is a 100km running race, climbing Everest and a full year of travelling the world base jumping.
To donate to Karl’s fundraiser, visit @karl202088 on Instagram and find the GoFundMe link in his bio.