Every single time I am on a plane, I am amazed, thrilled and in awe of flight and flying.  I have been on small Cessna planes in the past so going up in one was not a big deal for me this past Sunday…well until we left the ground and I knew I wasn’t going to be doing a usual “wheels down” kind of landing once I took off from the runway…and that is when the nerves kicked in.

I do not have a “bucket list” so to speak, however the concept of having a “bucket list” is so main-stream that as soon as I started telling people that I had signed up to jump out of a plane, that was the next phrase from their mouths, so I have just gone with it.  I am fascinated by flight, flying and in this case, more like dropping.Fenton Chiropractor skydiving

The flight has been planned for over a month and as the time was drawing near, I could feel the intensity of my nerves increasing.  I believe in LIVING this life FULLY and, as I have stated many times before, am always in the pursuit of RICH, REWARDING EXPERIENCES…that is how I ended up on that plane with a guy and a parachute strapped to my back.

There were a few other people getting ready to do their first jumps while I was there.  I heard the woman working the desk tell one of the other nervous first-time jumpers “Those guys are skydiving (meaning the instructors), you are just going with them.”  Very interesting perspective.

The instructors were amazing, especially the one I was jumping with.  There was ample, clear instructions blended with just the right amount of comforting/encouragement/kick-you-in-the-pants dialogue going on.

When I am overwhelmed, my body goes into tears or hysterical laughter…on the plane ride up, I couldn’t hide my tears, he knew it and responded “You are going to make me feel bad if you are crying when I push you out of this plane.”Fenton Chiropractor Free Fall

The plane slows down, the door pops open and I slide to the edge.  We are facing the rear of the plane and the instructor puts his left leg out and foot on a step.  Then it is my turn.  I have to take both of my legs and swing them out and let them dangle while he finishes getting us ready.  The plane is going 80mph at this point so the wind is enough to knock you right off (and if you watch the video link below, you can see me mouth expletives at that point).

He signals and I lean back into him, he wraps me up and out we go.  It is nothing less than sheer terror sitting with my legs dangling outside the plane.  The terror is because I have a decision to make, jump or don’t jump.  Once the decision is made and we are out of the plane, it is easy.  There is no turning back at that point.  The only option is to let go, seriously, you can do nothing else.

As we are plummeting toward the Earth going 120mph, there are a few thoughts going through my head, however nothing is registering because ultimately nothing really matters at that moment.  It is a moment that I have completely given up and given over trust to my instructor.  Total trust…total faith…and mind you, he is a complete stranger to me.  I think of all the reasons to be fearful of skydiving, becoming completely vulnerable to a stranger, and putting your life in their hands, is the scariest part.  Somehow, he was able to take an incredible video, 400+ pictures and keep us safe all at the same time.  That is some serious talent!!!

I am so glad I purchased the video and picture package: grateful for the video for very obvious reasons as seen below, but grateful for the pictures due to how much raw emotion is shown in my face…and then add in a 120mph wind and the face does some pretty funny things.

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Since the jump, so many people have asked me if I will do it again.  There are quite a few people in my life that will be less than thrilled if I do go, but if the time is right and the opportunity presents itself, I am all for it.

Getting outside our comfort zone is really where all the magic happens in life.  Getting WAY OUTSIDE that comfort zone allows some true shifts to occur that will forever change us as individuals.  I was terrified in that moment of sitting on the edge and dangling my feet.  Because I made the next move, assisted by Josh, I am changed forever…in a good way.

The experience was such an amazing life lesson of trust, faith, vulnerability and letting go.

The question has come up a lot of “Did your stomach drop when you were in free fall?”  It is so interesting because the plane is already going 80mph when I am hanging out of it.  Then we drop at a speed of 120mph and there isn’t much of an actual feeling in the stomach…it truly felt like I was flying.  I was heading downwards, but I could only really tell that due to me seeing the ground getting closer, there wasn’t a dropping sensation at all.  And of course, once the parachute is out, it is just peaceful soaring the rest of the way to the ground.

My challenge for you…before the end of the year, check something off that bucket list of yours or at least set some plans in place to accomplish something in it next year.  At the very least, step outside your comfort zone somewhere in your life.  It is hard to predict what will happen, however dropping into it and letting go may very well turn into flying.




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