Jill Heinerth is a cave diver, underwater explorer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker. She has starred on TV series for PBS, National Geographic Channel, and the BBC, and has consulted on movies for directors, including James Cameron. Her new book is titled: Into The Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver.
Some interesting insights from this episode:
- Fighting off a burglar during college taught her how to deal with challenges in life. Having had this harrowing dance with fear probably saved her life in the long run.
- Despite having enormous success as an entrepreneur in the advertising business, she knew in her heart that it wasn’t what she was meant to do so she built up the courage to quit and begin her life of adventure under the water.
- There’s very little margin for error in cave diving. More people die while diving underwater caves than climbing Mt Everest.
- Most accidents happen before someone even steps foot in the water. It is the lack of planning and preparation that causes most issues. They are entirely preventable.
- There is significant mental preparation. Before each dive, she closes her eyes and walks through all the worst case scenarios and rehearses all of the solutions.
- She has the 7R gene which explains much of her risk seeking behavior. She is always seeking new challenges, new adventures.
- “Excellence is your willingness to nurture and support the next generation. To ensure that if something’s important to you, the people below you eventually move beyond you.”