Taking Risks

The university that I attend is awesome enough to offer a skydiving class. As soon as I found out about this, I knew I had to take it the class.  I scheduled it for the next semester and waited patiently for the day to arrive. You had to schedule your jump date separately and so I scheduled it close to my birthday so I could justify spending the $300 class fee. Finally autumn semester rolled around and I showed up to the class thinking it would be a piece a cake. And for the most part it was, I just didn’t realize the life lessons I would get out of it. Within the first class I learned that we would be jumping solo. An instructor would jump with us out of the plan to make sure we pulled the parachute, but after that it was all us. After a couple weeks of the classes I carpooled down to the drop zone. I couldn’t wait to see my name on the list of jumpers and of course I was #40 something of 60 kids. Five hours later, the time finally came for me to jump out of that plane. The instructor and I raced out of the hanger, only to see the plane slowly pulling away. She shouted after them and we ran down the runway, making it onboard just in time. I don’t think they really had enough room for us because I was right next to the open door the whole way up, hanging on to my instructor for dear life just incase I accidently left the plane early. Since I was the last one in, I was the first one out and next thing you know my instructor is hanging out of the plane and I’m going through the motions of the procedures we had practiced. And then I was falling. The force was so strong it was the ultimate face lift. I checked my altimeter preparing to deploy the parachute. As soon as I pulled the parachute, I got yanked up into the air, turning me vertical to the earth instead of horizontal. I was able to look down and all I could think was “HOLY SHIT!” In fact, I even tried to say it, but I was in such a state of shock everything included my landing pattern left my brain and all I could get out was a mumbled “holy….holy….hooooooly” as I was suspended about the city. I was able to laugh at my lack of speech and between that and the instructor coming over the nifty radio I was equipped with, I was zapped back into consciousness and began my landing pattern. Despite the whole experience being completely amazing, the biggest concept I took from the experience was the power of emotions. We learned that in order to skydive successfully you’ve got to be able to control your fear and work through it. And let me tell you, I didn’t think it would be a huge feat until I was falling from 13,000 feet and so shocked I couldn’t’ even finish my sentence. This experience has been a major reference point in my life going forward because I realized in that moment that I do have power, even in a seeming less powerless situation where my mind is betraying me.  Power to laugh at myself, power over my role in the outcome, and power to push past the fear and act. And what initiated this realization, was the decision to take a risk.

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Life is too short to be boring

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