TRAVIS PASTRANA is more than a motocross legend, he's a numbers game: more than 60 broken bones, 25 concussions, nine X-Games golds and one dislocated spine. In 199 Lives his friends and family, in a series of funny and emotive interviews, try to reconcile his daredevil tendencies with a personality one friend describes as "Wally Cleaver meets Ronald McDonald." A family doctor says Pastrana, 25, has "a congenital insensitivity to pain," while his retired-Marine father, Robert, kooky in his own right (Says Pastrana, "Everyone thinks their dad is the craziest or the toughest—mine really is"), calls him "a fictional character that really exists." And a psychologist who treated Pastrana for night terrors said they were the result of repressed fear. But ultimately trying to relate to a person who has strapped on a parachute and ridden off the edge of the Grand Canyon and who has jumped from a plane with only a Red Bull, proclaiming, "I hope this stuff works!" (he hooked up with some skydivers on the way down) is like trying to understand why a dog howls at the moon.
This is an article from the Dec. 22, 2008 issue