I went skydiving Saturday, and there are few words to describe exactly what it’s like to experience falling through the sky at 14,000 feet and 120mph. “Try your best to be present while it’s happening,” the videographer advised as we boarded the tiny plane.
“It’s going to be a lot to take in. Don’t worry about what I’m doing with the camera. I’ll make sure it’s all captured. You make sure you pay attention.”
He knew what he was talking about. From the moment we left the ground there was an undeniable energy from the anticipation, fear, excitement. I took deep breaths the whole way up, not because I was terrified, but because I wanted to make sure I was focused. I wanted to remember every bit of it.
The door opened and my instructor patted me on the shoulder. I was the first one up. We scooted to the door. I looked over at the videographer, already standing outside on the ledge, and smiled big to indicate I was ready.
In a split second we were falling, and everything inside of me felt like it was turned up all the way. The wind pounded my body, I felt my mouth dry out, my heart punched me from within, but I felt alive in a way I’ve never felt before.
I couldn’t stop panning my head left to right, trying to take a mental picture of everything around me. After a minute or so of falling, my instructor pulled the parachute and we glided the rest of the way.
“Unbelievable.” That’s all I could say when the videographer and instructor asked me how it was after. As I caught my breath and reflected on what had just happened, I almost couldn’t believe it.
The whole way home was an hour of repeating some variations of the phrases, “I can’t believe we did that, I’m so glad we did that, that was unreal, unbelievable, insane, incredible, worth every penny...”
As I write now, I’m still waiting on the photos and videos. I keep refreshing the Dropbox link, anxious for the chance to relive this wonderful memory.
There are experiences in this life that wake us up, remind us that we are alive, that shake us from the disinterest that develops over time. They require a conquering of fear or uncertainty that gives us confidence in all areas. This was one of those experiences.
I knew turning thirty came with a certain amount of excitement and anxiety, and I wanted to make sure I fell (pun intended) into this next decade with eyes wide open and a readiness to keep growing and exploring all that this wonderful life has to offer.