He jumped a wide ditch with his knees together

I heard something on the radio recently that appealed to me so strongly that I'm still thinking of it weeks later.

Tom Allan of CBC Radio Two introduced a piece by Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) with several anecdotes about the musician. The son of a French nobleman and a black slave, he excelled as a fencer, equestrian, violinist and composer.

He once did a performance where he played a harp standing ten feet from it, plucking out the notes with a whip. He carved illustrations into the frozen River Seine with his ice skates. He won 200 guineas from the Duke of Windsor over a bet that he could jump a wide ditch with his knees together. There's a portrait of him [edited to add: on another occasion] with a revolver in each hand, shooting two swallows in mid-flight.

The joie de vivre that comes through these stories almost makes me swoon. That is exactly how I think life should be lived: with delight, creativity and excellence.