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CLIF Blog

Mar. 31, 2009
Saying Goodbye to Shane
Last Thursday, Shane McConkey, a former TEAM CLIF BAR athlete passed away in a ski-BASE jumping accident in the Italian Dolomites. Here are a few words from our dear office mate, Kate, on her friend Shane and his zest for life…

We are often told to “live every day as if it were your last” but it is rare that we ever see someone live up to this saying on a daily basis—someone who gets up every morning, has some breakfast, and then tries to find a new way to crack life open as wide as it will go. My friend, Shane McConkey, did.

A ski legend, BASE jumping pioneer and former TEAM CLIF Bar athlete, Shane chased inspiration off buildings, out of planes, naked over cliffs, and into giant, bottomless holes, while challenging our assumptions of what it means to be an athlete—and perhaps, what it means to be human. Fueled by his immense athletic talent and relentless imagination, Shane pursued life beyond all the boundaries—physical, conventional or gravitational—and he encouraged us all to follow him. More comfortable in free fall and maximum velocity than at rest, it was easy to believe that Shane was more superhero than human.

For all his success in the air and on the snow, Shane valued his family, friends and fans above any of his accomplishments. For someone who spent so much time hovering between the sky and the ground, Shane was refreshingly down-to-earth, gracious and ego-free. Wickedly charming and ridiculously funny (in that 12-year-old-boy-kind-of-way), I will remember Shane for his endless smiles and the mischievous fun he incited. Whether we were trying to figure out how to increase the firepower of his potato gun so we could shoot potatoes off our deck and into Donner Lake, enduring ski injuries with all-day Mario Cart tournaments or freezing our way through an impromptu wakeboarding session on a cold November morning; Shane taught me that if you weren’t trying to have fun, you weren’t living.

Shane, saying goodbye seems impossible. Never have I known someone with such a daily appreciation for being alive. You never knew it and I never told you, but watching the way you lived was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received. I won’t forget.

—Kate

For more information, visit the Shane McConkey Memorial Website.
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Office Life
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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