Skydiving: Taking the Plunge
Taking the Plunge: Skydiving
Or why the Things that are really worth it will scare the Sh**out of us!
Taking the Plunge: Going Skydiving or why the things that are really worth it will scare the sh**out of us!
One of the best experiences of my life had a bit of a rocky start and one very important obstacle in the way: My mum. Okay, you probably need some background here.
When I was twelve, my dad got a tandem - parachute jump for his birthday. When the big day came, my mum, my brother and me accompanied him and what can I say?
I was blown away.
I HAD to do this too!!
Telling my mum, her reaction was that of any mum of a 12-year old in that situation: Over her dead body.
Telling my dad (when my mum wasn't there, obviously), he promised to give it to me as a present to my 18th birthday. As you can imagine, my mum was not happy. You know, if looks could kill and stuff.
However, over the upcoming six years, I never forget about my dad's promise (and regularly reminded him of it, for that matter). The months leading up to my birthday, I tried everything to convince my mum to let my dad keep his promise and allow me to skydive: I begged, I did the dishes when it wasn't my turn, repeatedly vacuumed the whole house, reminded her that they were the ones who taught me to never break a promise,… whatever I could think of to help make my dream come true.
I'm willing to bet it was on the day of my birthday itself that my mum finally made the decision to let me do it - which led to me getting the most wonderful present in the form of a spontaneously crafted paper - voucher: I would go skydiving!!
It was time: Parachuting, here I come!
I was SO excited!! A few weeks later on a Saturday, off we went to a little airport in the area and I was still SO excited!! Until I actually saw the plane. God, I was a terrified. A little. Maybe a lot. Throughout the six-year-long excitement and anticipation, I had completely ignored to consider what it would actually be like to jump out of an airplane at 4000m above ground. Looking at that tiny plane, it hit me. I had to plunge myself out of there with nothing but a little backpack on my back to save me from plummeting into the hard ground.
However, at the same time, I was STILL so excited!!
I met Hans, the guy I was going to jump with and he got me all set up, helping me put on the gear, explaining what I had to do, etc. The butterflies in my stomach didn't really feel like butterflies anymore - more like a bunch of angry bees.
Then we got onto the plane with 4 other more or less eager tandem - parachute jumpers. I was going to be the last one to jump. The plane took off and on an altimeter, we saw how we got further and further up in the air: 1000 meters, 2000 meters, 2500 meters, 3000 meters, 4000 meters. It was time. Time to jump out of an airplane. Would I be able to do this? My pride forbade me to say anything but on the inside, those bees felt more like a horde of wild dinosaurs by now. One after the others, the other four made their way to the open door and let themselves fall out of it. My nervousness - level rose to unseen heights. We slid to towards the open door. I had been told: "If you don't want to become more nervous, don't look down. Look at the horizon." Of course, I HAD to look down. I HAD to see how far I was going to fall down. It was absolutely breathtaking! The view was incredible! All of a sudden I heard Hans saying "Three, Two, One, Go!" And out we were in the open air and the feeling I experienced at that moment was just pure and utter freedom. Pure and utter Happiness. My overflowing emotions burst out of me with a scream and I just kept screaming and cheering throughout the entire free fall. I simply couldn't contain my emotions. A free fall like that is a feeling like no other I have ever experienced in my entire life. It's incredible, amazing and somehow completely undescribable :D
As soon as the parachute opened, I also got to enjoy the amazing view I had from my vantage point. The slower fall had me feeling like a bird (or at least how I imagine, birds feel) - slowly gliding downwards towards earth.
While this experience was like no other, it made me realize one thing: Only the truly amazing things will require you to take a plunge you're incredibly scared of taking. I've been trying to live by that since: My first time traveling solo? I almost peed my pants, so scared was I, but it ended up being the most amazing experience. Pursuing a career in the field that I am really interested in? It scares the sh** out of me, not knowing whether I'm good enough, whether I can do it. But I know it'll be worth it and I'll learn and adapt and it'll be awesome. I just want to encourage all of us to "take the plunge" every now and then, particularly when we're scared of what awaits us. Because, trust me: the views out there are the best you'll ever see.
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