The rational me was shaking his head, yelling and screaming at me, “why do you need to jump from 13,000 feet up in the sky?”
“Thats what 9,000 feet looks like,” Jonas said softly in his weird European accent. “Are you okay?” I was peering over a wide open space, a hole in the hull of the airplane, down those thousands of feet. In a few moments Jonas was yelling “Go! Go! Jump NOW….!” All of a sudden all my excitement morphed into shear naked cold fear. As Jonas pushed us out of the plane all I could do was shut down the rational part of my brain and hold my breath.
Your wondering- hold your breath; its not like your jumping into the deep ocean off of a boat, so why would you hold your breath? held my breath as panic continued to drive me toward unconsciousness, a rational person wouldn’t jump out of a plane risking life and limb, forsaking responsibility, letting down parents and siblings and cutting themselves off from their dear friends unless they were suicidal. If I were suicidal than this act of complete utter selfishness would or could seem reasonable, but I wasn’t depressed and desiring to end my life- it was the complete opposite, I wanted to live my life. I wanted to do something for myself, something off of my bucket list of things I want to do during my life.
My vision blurred as I tried to keep my eyes focused on the horizon but everything seemed overwhelming in its immensity to the point where all I saw meant nothing because everything was just so small compared to the bigger picture. Yet I continued free falling in tot he celestial blue, the mountains didn’t seem to get any closer, the ocean continued to be infinitely far away but always imposing in its size. Everything, yet nothing mattered while floating downward. The wind was all that was present- here but not totally material. I could feel it but I couldn’t see it, but the wind mattered. The wind got warmer.
Falling soon didn’t seem all that important because all I could comprehend was floating. I was floating. Thats when the fear lifted and soon afterward the parachute jerked and reality set in by placing everything in its proper place- time mattered again. On the plane was the time I felt fear. The time I spent floating, where we were free falling, was my moment of zen. Then there was the time after the parachute when I felt serene, living in the present again. Fear was behind me some 5,000 feet in the air, and I liked leaving it back there.
I realized while arcing my way down, circling the airfield where Jonas was trying to guide me for our landing, that there are promises I made to myself, of which certain promises have always taken, if not consumed my energies more so than others. Getting closer to the ground one thing began to gain clarity- getting by was not going to be an option because living is going to require more calculated risks. Risks are scary, I felt that fear on the airplane. But less concentrated, the fear is just as immobilizing as the intensity of fear that kept me from jumping 13,000 feet in the air. But once I took the risk it wasn’t that scary anymore, in fact the experience that risk was keeping me from doing was exhilarating.
I didn’t know exactly what all of this means right now, but I do know exactly one thing: I want to live my life feeling like I have lived and not just gotten by.
My sky diving experience was accomplished by using a Groupon I purchased back in December 2011 for SkyDive San Diego. I highly recommend the folks at SkyDive San Diego, they were pretty cool, no bull crap and most importantly, the jump is probably the most scenic jump in the world. The Pacific Ocean is right there, the desert mountains are near by and there even is a lake. I enjoyed my experience so much that I got information about getting my solo sky diving license and hope to go through the good folks at SkyDive San Diego to get it.