The morning for my sky dive arrived. My hopes and blog of yesterday were squashed. The weather is absolutely beautiful, therefore, I cannot blame it for keeping me home. Getting out of bed, I take deep breaths, and place my mind anywhere but where I am going.
The hour long drive is filled with conversation, so as not to dwell on the inevitable that lies ahead. I realize that I am not afraid of dying or even getting hurt. All to well, I am aware of the fact that I am afraid of my own Fear. ”The only thing to Fear is Fear itself,” so said Franklin D. Roosevelt. Thus, this is the first time I ever fully comprehended that quote. Yes, I Fear my own Fear.
Arrival at the Sky Ranch was a bit unnerving. Where do I go? What do I do? I arrive early and watch the first plane of jumpers go up. Time now to handle the seven page waiver with the repeated “you die, it’s on you” language, delivering an inescapable reality.
Something strange is happening to me. I do not feel the fear I thought I would. Perhaps my mind has gone into complete denial. ”Time to suit up,” Eric, my instructor announces. Do I really want to do this, I wonder?
As the plane climbs to an altitude of 13,500 feet, my instructor tells me that at 6,000 feet he will open the parachute. That means for 7,500 feet, we will be free falling with no parachute. OMG! That is insanity. What does that feel like? I will very soon find out.
Eric tells me that I can pull the cord for the parachute. I decline worried I will not do it correctly or just forget what I am supposed to do. We will be free falling at 120 miles per hour and dropping 200 feet per second. It is completely apparent to me that I have lost my mind.
We sit on a bench on the plane looking out the window as we rise slowly into the sky. Strapped to my instructor, I ask him to make sure we are securely fastened. He assures me that we are.
Time has come ~ we cumbersomely push our way to the open door of the plane. Our bodies are vertical now, but not straight, as the plane’s ceiling is short. We straddle like ducks to the doorway which is eagerly awaiting us. We stand there getting ready to plummet two and a half miles to the ground. I do not look down. The photographer jumps. Geronimoooo we follow him.
Out the plane and falling is a curious, unexplainable sensation. All my senses are on overload. It is impossible to come to grips with the incredible feeling of gravity and wind hitting my body. And there is a lot of noise. My mind kept saying, “What is happening?” Fear? not at all. I was so in the moment trying to come to grips with what was going on, there was no time for Fear. It is those moments I will never forget.
The parachute opened and there was a surreal, quiet silence. “Did I die and I am in Heaven?” No, I am floating in the big, beautiful sky with the sun shining on me and it feels divine.
After a perfect landing, I try to comprehend what I just did. Driving home, I wonder, “Did I really sky dive from a plane?”
Arriving home, I quickly run in the door and race to my computer. I place the video into my laptop and feel euphoria. So this is what I did!! And I realize, if I can do that, I can accomplish anything. And, I feel proud and strong and confident. The sky is the limit. The whole world just opened to me! I did it, fear and all !!!