For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to go skydiving. I probably got the idea watching Road Rules as a pre-teen…or maybe Real World. Honestly though, what good ideas and sound decisions didn’t come from watching MTV? For whatever reason, I talked myself out of skydiving for all of my adult years…likely my brain using logic to talk my heart out of something it wanted to do. Finally, last year I was inspired to actually do it and luckily this was something that Jason also really wanted to do so Jason and I did what every adventurous person does who wants to go skydiving…we bought a Groupon for it.
The morning of the jump, we gave special instructions to my sister should Jason and I both fall to our demise, we kissed the kids, and off we went. Maybe this was all a little reckless, but I’m here to write about it today.
Here is what I will say about the actual experience of skydiving: half the battle is just getting on the tiny little plane. There were 5 of us in a plane likely built to hold 3 comfortably…Jason, myself, the pilot and our two tandem saviors. There was only one seat…the pilot’s seat. The rest of us sat on the floor. Since I volunteered to go first, I sat closest to the door. I remember looking to my left and saw the plane’s certificate of airworthiness dated sometime in the 60’s which ultimately made me want to get the heck out of that plane. Lucky for me that is what was happening next.
We finally reached 10,500 feet and it was time to get going. It all happened so quickly. My tandem savior strapped himself to me. It really was quite an awkward experience. We got all hooked up, he opened the door, my right foot went out of the plane, then his right foot followed and we both leaned forward and there we went. The actual free fall is a bit of a blur to me. I’m not sure I was doing much thinking at the time so I don’t really have any memories of it. I can remember seeing the underside of our plane as we spiraled down. I can remember the sensation of drowning due to all the air that was forced up my nose at once, but that is really all I can remember. Finally my tandem savior pulled the parachute and we spent the next bit just coasting down to safety….instant gratitude ensued as I thanked him profusely for saving my life with his precision, training and skill. I felt indebted to this person.
What I really learned from skydiving is that there are situations in life where you just need to put your foot outside of the plane and lean forward. Sometimes you just need to go for it and have faith to really experience life. The odds of me dying that day were higher than a typical day, but the payoff from the leap was worth it. It taught me to lead with my heart a little bit more and my brain a little bit less. It taught me that not every experience can be planned out. I had literally no idea what to expect going into that day and there was no way for me to prepare for it. I just had to hand over the reins of control that I so tightly hold and lean forward. I learned to take chances. In the end, we only regret the chances that we don’t take, and I refuse to live with any regret.
Next Time: My fitness and health routine. I talk a lot about running, but nowadays I am only running two days a week max. The rest of my week is filled with amazing strength and cardio workouts. So….I’ll talk about what I do, how I do it, how my view of nutrition has changed my lifestyle and other seemingly boring aspects of my day that have led me to be in the best shape of my entire life.