the pursuit of quality in a fleeting life

jump!

The craziest thing I have ever done recently happened.  I did not plan it, I didn’t even know that I where I was going and what I was doing until I got there.  In the middle of nowhere in the rolling hills of what I think is San Diego, there was a discreet operation of dare devils and aerialists at work.  When we arrived, I was totally surprised and blown away.  I could not do anything besides smile and think, “Am I really doing this?!?!?!”

We signed our lives away, and the waiting game began.  Under a large shade tree, on a crooked bench, we waited, waited, and waited.  There was ample time to back out and run away, however, we persevered and finished the waiting game to victory.

After two hours of waiting, we were finally suiting up in the brightly colored parachuting suits, harnessing into our life-saving straps, and meeting the person of whom our lives hung in the balance of – literally.  Amped up and adrenaline pumping, we were more than excited and more than terrified at the proposition we had so eagerly signed up for.  We continued to wait until our small single engine airplane was ready to take up a diverse group of ten.

When the green light was ready (figuratively speaking) we all headed to the runway and hopped onto the simple bench in the plane as quickly as we were to jump out of the same plane.  Strapped in and heart-beating furiously, our air mobile jetted down the runway and straight up into the blue skies.  We kept going up, up, and up.  the fifteen-minute flight seemed like forever until we finally reached 13 thousand feet. When we reached our target altitude, the guy sitting right in front of me confidently lifted the plastic sliding door of the plane and propped himself for a minute in front of the gapping hole until he felt it was high enough to jump!

Surprised by the speed and reality of jumping out of a plane, I immediately started freaking out. The first tandem group jumped and then it was my turn.  Freaking out.  I hesitantly moved over to the door.  Gripping my vest with the security of never letting go, I put my head back on my instructor’s shoulder and braced myself for an experience that would take my breath away.

Jumping out of the plane, I could not hold the uninhibited need to scream and release all of the tension of this insane experience.  Falling, falling, falling.  I could feel my face peeling away from me, the ferocity of wind pushing against my entire body, the inescapable breath of calm air as the instructor pulled the parachute and our quickly falling bodies came to a drastically slower speed.  Gliding through the air, hovering so high above the earth, we could see for miles and miles.  The view was amazing and the experience absolutely irreplaceable.  Back and forth, around and around, we drifted slowly back to the firm, solid ground that seemed so secure after such a traumatic ride.

Skydiving has been the most exhilarating experience I have ever been through.  I am quite confident I will do it again, but until then, the thought of what I experienced that afternoon will continue to put a huge smile on my face and goosebumps of excitement all over my body.

Thanks M!

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