An Unconventional Lifestyle (Pt. 9 of 10)

Posted by Joseph Miller on

When the office life isn’t for you, get the hell out and try something new. At least, that’s what propelled the men of the USA Cliff Diving Team to the heights they dive from now.

Romina Amato / Red Bull Content Pool

After training, competing, and perfecting the art of high diving, David, Andy, Steve, and Kyle weren’t interested in a parting ways with the thrilling life they’d become so acclimated with. So, instead of diving from heights of comfortableness or seeking employment in a fluorescently lit cubicle, they created their own version of a work environment and deconstructed the idea of a traditional nine-to-five.

"I’m currently pursuing cliff diving for a few reasons: to reach my greatest potential as an athlete, to help the sport I’ve enjoyed for 20 years realize the success it deserves, and really, I don’t want to work in an office at this point in my life." – Kyle Mitrione

Romina Amato / Red Bull Content Pool

After the words “I’m a professional cliff diver” are uttered, an array of reactions are elicited, though none of calm or understanding nature. “That must be terrifying!” “Does it hurt when you hit the water?” “Is that the same as skydiving?” and “oh… your poor mother!”

Of course, striving to be at the top of your sport doesn’t come with a lazy attitude or relaxed ambition. With training taking up most of the year and travel/competitions consuming whatever is left, holding high standards and sticking to them is a routine well implemented for these athletes. “The main motivation is a pure love for the sport of diving and the liberating feeling of flipping, twisting, and flying through the air” says David Colturi. He then mentioned that the opportunity to travel, sharing the experience with friends that feel like brothers, and creating an organization that can expand the sport that inspired their dreams keeps pushing them each and everyday.

Romina Amato / Red Bull Content Pool

Beyond becoming an icon for this underrepresented sport and achieving accomplishments beyond expectation, the USA Cliff Divers are prime illustrations that giving a shit leads to success. No matter how obscure or seemingly unattainable a dream may be, these athletes are proof that time and time again those far-fetched aspirations land right at your feet with hard work and loads of passion.

We asked if they would’ve changed anything in their path to today. Their answer: only that we wish we started sooner.

Balazs Gardi / Red Bull Content Pool

Make sure to check back with us at The Frynge to stay up to date and learn how you can support the Cliff Divers as they continue their season on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.



Part 1 - The History of Cliff Diving

Part 2 - The Men of USA Cliff Diving

Part 3 - The Evolution of Cliff Diving

Part 4 - Diving In Paradise

Part 5 - In The Hands of Judges

Part 6 - Injuries, Sketchy Conditions, & The Risks of Diving From 90ft

Part 7 - The Offseason Grind of A Pro Cliff Diver

Part 8 - Overcoming Obstacles: The Realities of a Pro Cliff Diver


Joseph Miller is a freelance writer based in Richmond, VA. He received his BS in Creative Advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University. In between writing editorials and content pieces, Joseph is currently training for his first half marathon, though his love for snacks may stunt his performance. www.josephhuntermiller.com.

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