I Can Fly… well, I can SKYDIVE for about 4 or 5 minutes, which is pretty darn close to flying.
I finally conquered a fear, crossed this off of my bucket list, spent some quality time with my son, and learned a very important lesson along the way!
What’s the hardest part of skydiving? If you said ‘jumping out of the plane”, you would be right! On the ground before the jump, I’m in that nervous/excited state… As my son and I go through the lessons and suit up, I can feel my excitement building. We climb into a very small prop plane and I notice that there is only 1 seat, and that’s for the pilot. While I’m aware that the inside of the plane is covered in duct tape, and that the ceiling fabric is ripped around the door where we jump, those details barely register. Then the plane taxis down the grass runway, and we’re off!!!
I’m so excited to be sharing this with my son, and at being able to see the lakes, rivers, train tracks and homes around my neighborhood, that the “OMG” moment hasn’t really hit yet. While there is only enough room in the back of the plane for the 4 of us to sit on the shredded carpet, the clear plexiglass “door” that only covers a portion of the opening allows me some amount of distraction from the very un-natural act of jumping!
And then, the pilot says “time to jump!” The plexiglass door is shifted back… and… Wow! I just went from Excited to TERRIFIED! All of a sudden, I’m frozen to the seat! My body is hyper-aware of the fear coursing through me. There is NO WAY I can shift my body so that I am positioned on the 2-inch ledge of the plane flying 2 miles above ground! My heart pounds! My brain is frantically searching for excuses to STOP this from happening…
And yet, somehow I find myself on that ledge… staring straight up at the bright sky in a cloudless, crystal blue ocean of sky… and those 3 seconds in that position feel like a lifetime!
And suddenly, we are falling at the rate of over 100 miles an hour… As the ripcord gets pulled, both my body and my heart beat slow down… I am aware of how absolutely QUIET… and how breathtakingly BEAUTIFUL it is. Not just the view, but also the absolute stillness inside… I can feel the beauty of the experience. I can taste the quiet surrender to the ride… I have nothing to do for the next 4 minutes but to enjoy the view in stillness… and in peace..
And here’s the lesson for me… As I look back at this amazing experience, the part I remember the most is that TERRIFEID feeling when it was time to jump… The 30 seconds between sitting in a plane enjoying the view and the actual free fall is the best part of the whole experience.
THE FEAR… and MOVING THROUGH THE FEAR is the part I loved the most!