last friday, i finally fulfilled a dream that i have had for a long time. i’ve always wanted to fly. my skydiving experience was incredible. because of the risk involved, i had previously believed that i would only do it once. now i’m not so sure.
friday morning i woke up to sunshine and blue skies. my first thoughts…today is the day! as the time approached, i grew more excited. after we arrived, we had to sign release forms and all sorts of waivers stating the different things that could go wrong. i wonder how
many people back out at that point. it’s sobering to realize the risks beyond the excitement and enchantment of skydiving. we watched the first group land safely and eagerly waited the call to get ready.
i don’t recall thinking about much while getting ready. i did however ask the question that had been plaguing my thoughts that morning. if you puked during freefall, where would the puke go? up, down or just hang out with you? :-) side note: no, i wasn’t feeling nauseous…just curious. apparently, the puke doesn’t fall as fast as you, so in relation to you, up.
the plane ride was amazing. i love looking around and seeing everything from a bird’s eye view. it took about 12-15 minutes to get up to the right altitude, 13,000 feet. along the way, my jumpmaster, terry, would point out landmarks and gave me a countdown until jump time. when it came down to the 45 second mark, it really hit me that we were going to jump out of a
plane. jumbled feelings of exhilaration mixed with a twinge of cautiousness made me pause for a slight moment. the time had come. they opened the door and waited for the green light to come on indicating that it was time. the first two people went. we were up next. my photographer/videographer, i think his name was shawn, climbed out onto a ledge on the outside of the plane. we sat on the edge and dangled our feet. i was told to look up, and seconds later, before i had time to process or think, we were falling. the first few moments after we exited the plane is the point that i tend to think about the most afterwards. i can’t describe the intensity and the thoughts that were screaming in my head. after we were in a stable free-fall, it felt like you were suspended, floating in air. breath-taking in more than one way. seriously. the unobstructed view and the wind/air pressure were the main contributors to that. the wind roared loudly and blocked out all other sounds. we spun around and i tried to take in all of my surroundings. i watched shawn as our parachute opened to notice the speed difference. whoa. he dropped out of view SO fast (apparently around 120 mph). after the canopy opened, a sense of peace overwhelmed me as the sound of the wind nearly disappeared. spinning in circles and helping to steer the parachute were a blast. before i knew it, we were getting ready to land. i remember wishing that we could’ve stay up there much longer. the landing went smoothly and i watched my friends land safely in the field.
the thrill was out of this world. nothing that i’ve ever done compares to this. trying to explain the sensations and thoughts with words doesn’t accurately illuminate what i felt. after a few days to process everything, this is what i’ve been thinking.
- my jumpmaster said a few things that are true for me. “now you know why bird’s sing.” and “you’ll never look at the sky the same way after today.”
- they don’t keep you at the doorway of the airplane very long at all. they know it’s the scariest part. i imagine that is the best for everyone involved. in regards to taking a leap of faith, i’m guessing that God has a similar knowledge. i tend to be the one fighting that, tooth and nail, so i can “get over” the fear first and then jump. how much do i prolong things that will only result in more fear? commit, let go and enjoy the ride. easier said than done.
- jumping tandem took a LOT of the pressure off of me. i was just along for the ride. i didn’t have to know when to pull the cord or how to steer or at what altitude we were. picture this…God is your jumping buddy for life. this is what He is whispering in your ear:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
i tend to want to know all the details and how i can do it on my own. that is not how God intended it to be. if i remember this and put my trust in Him, what a ride that will be.
- fear is so weird. it was SO much easier to put myself in a situation that could’ve had devastating physical results, than it was to sing for an audition recently. that fact intrigues me. knowing that and realizing the craziness of that statement, i wonder why and am pursuing an answer. if i ever discover it, i’ll let you know.
- how many decisions are made based on the fear factor? it’s easier to act when the “risk” is low. our view of risk and fear is so personalized and is often distorted. instead of fear, we should base our decisions solely on what God has called us to do and act accordingly and promptly.
- i’m so small. it’s amazing how far i could see at 13,000 feet. BUT i wasn’t even able to see the curvature of the earth. i wonder how far up you have to be to see that. anyways, my mind gets boggled when i consider that even though i am minuscule compared to the universe, God knows my name and cares enough to even know how many hairs are on my head. insane.