Like go skydiving for instance, as I did this past weekend. Yes ma’am. I jumped out of a plane and it was freakin’ amazing, terrifying, exhilarating, and just plain crazy.
Skydiving has been on my bucket list for a long time. I just hadn’t got around to seriously pursuing it yet. I can tend to over think and talk myself out of doing amazing things and it’s lame and a big fat waste of the short time that we have here. I’m thinking that stalling tactic has got to stop. Recent therapy sessions are also helping me feel like I can and should carpe diem with the best of ’em.
But, credit where credit is due, it was The Accountant who gave me the “push” I needed to jump out of a plane. If his motive was to off me, it didn’t work. Wink wink. We had a babysitter for most of the weekend and hubs and I were excited about some quality time to ourselves. Out of the blue, he sent me a link from a skydiving place about an hour from our house and really encouraged me to do it because he knew it was on my “list”. Maybe that’s not quite the traditional romantic gesture but it was pretty perfect to me. I’m not sure he thought I’d have the guts to actually go, but now we know better!
I was so nervous on the ride to the place and honestly thought I might vomit. But we walked into the building and were immediately greeted by two young staffers who were super sweet and kept telling me what an awesome time I was about to have, and for some reason they made me believe it too. Ha! My instructor was retired Army and had done thousands of jumps. I know this because I made sure to ask. I watched a five minute video, got geared up and waited around for the plane to be prepped.
I was to be the only jumper, plus two other guys who worked there and went along and jumped separately just because. Finally, we were ready and away we went! Hubs stayed on the ground, prepared to greet me upon a hopefully safe landing.
Nate, (my instructor) was a funny, fun, lighthearted, and somewhat crazy guy who made me feel as comfortable as you can possibly be before you plummet to the earth at 140 miles an hour. He attached the front of his gear to the back of mine, gave me a pair of goggles, told me the basics of what to do and what was going to happen, and then we headed for the door. I was supposed to stand up at the opening of the door but with a large man attached to my back, a moving plane and the fact that much like poking a needle into your own eye, this was NOT a natural inclination, I just couldn’t make my legs hold me up. Nate yells into my ear, “It’s cool, we’ll just roll outta here”. And we did.
Terror y’all. Sheer, fabulous, crap yo’self terror. And surprisingly, pain in my head and legs. Sometimes when I fly it feels like a blood vessel in my forehead pops and I get a vicious and somewhat scary headache. That happened. And the harness cinched across my thighs wasn’t all that comfortable either while free falling violently through the air. But who cares about that stuff? I.Jumped.Out.Of.A.Plane. I was seeing the earth from a perspective that not everybody will.
We fell and fell and fell through clouds and mist and heaven. Nate pulled the parachute and the jerk was pretty intense but not too bad. We floated (that seems too gentle a word), and he told me how to “steer” the chute by pulling on the cord to make a few right hand turns. The ground seemed like it would never come up to meet us. We got closer to earth and Nate instructed me to lift my legs and feet. We landed with an innocent little “plop” that didn’t seem to do justice to the violent descent we’d just experienced.
We high-fived and woo-hooed and generally congratulated ourselves on a fabulous jump. Er, or roll rather. Hubs and I headed out to breakfast while the video was being edited. So crazy, that video. I kept thinking I can’t believe I just did that. I have to say though, now that I did it once, I think I’m good. I did not come away from the experience wanting to make skydiving my new hobby or anything. But I’m ecstatic that I checked the scariest thing (physically) off my bucket list, because doing that feels amazing.
You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them.