Ticket for One – Skydiving
Ticket for One – Skydiving
“Are you here with anyone?”
“No, I’m here by myself,” I would say defensively, the volume of my voice getting louder and more accented with each syllable.
“Oh, ok, cool,” they would respond nonchalantly.
Apparently, it’s not uncommon for skydiving companies to have solo visitors, so during my visit to Skydive Jersey, I experienced none of the skewed comments I had previously received at the Barbra Streisand concert. This was just about people having fun, crossing something crazy off their bucket list, and getting the thrill of a lifetime.
My video pretty aptly demonstrates my experience before and during the skydive, but what it doesn’t show is what I learned from it.
The truth is, my biggest shock from the whole experience is that I didn’t experience much of a shock. I didn’t experience panic. I didn’t experience fear at the level I had anticipated. I jumped out of a plane with acceptance. I knew what I was doing. I was as emotionally prepared as I could be. I felt as safe as I could. I had the support of my instructor. I knew I could die. That was the point. That’s why it was thrilling.
Fear or No Fear?
I spent a couple of days reviewing the skydiving experience in my head. I watched my own video repeatedly, grinning from ear to ear every time I saw myself jumping out of an airplane that was perfectly capable of a safe landing. I thought about the way I casually walked to my car after it was over – as though nothing significant had just happened.
I thought about my own body awareness and the strange realization that my heart wasn’t pumping the way I had expected. I wasn’t as shaken up as I had expected. I had just jumped out of a plane, and I was pretty sure I was more nervous flirting with two cute guys beforehand than I was free-falling from 10,000 feet.
That’s when it dawned on me: how many times in life do I feel more insecurity, more panic, and more fear than I did jumping out of that plane? How many times in life do I feel more worry, more doubt, and more apprehension than I did jumping out of that plane?
How often do I let these worries, fears and insecurities stop me from experiencing life, thriving, and living each day to the fullest? And, yet, I didn’t let my worries, fears, or insecurities stop me from jumping out of a plane…
Thriving over Fear
I already had an innate desire to focus on thriving in my life. That’s why I went skydiving in the first place. But this experience helped me see how many times the little things get in the way. Why should I be more worried about what my readers will think of my pole dancing article, than I was jumping out of a plane? Why should I be more fearful of judgement from potential dates, than I was jumping out of a plane? Why should I be more concerned with letting my imperfect body be revealed in shorts and a tank-top, than I was jumping out of a plane?
How often do I let my fears, insecurities, and worries ground me?
Skydiving was an incredible experience. Would I do it again? Absolutely. It was amazing in ways in which words cannot aptly convey. But the truth is that my skydiving experience gave me much more than just a thrill:
It gave me my own personal fear barometer.
Now I will be exponentially more sensitive to the little things in life that provoke insecurities or fears. And if those little things are provoking more fear than jumping out of a plane, I will remind myself to feel the fear and do it anyway.
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