Friday, May 25, 2012

A Leap of Faith

Today's post comes straight from a lesson in my classroom.  I didn't think it important but as we were discussing parachuting, it came to my brain, "Why don't you write a piece on it?"  And so this post today comes from my photo records from over 18 years ago.  Has it been that long?  I've written about rafting and of course, my hikes around the world and state, but nothing about jumping from a plane.
Jump or not to Jump?  That is the question.  During a hair brained idea at a college dinner, my friend Nikki threw out an idea.  "Why don't we do something crazy?  Let's jump from a plane!!"  Naive.  Dumb.  Immortal.  I said, "Sure."   In the 90's, life was full of adventure and crazy times.  The night before jumping, I couldn't sleep. During the day of the jump, we found out the million and 3 ways we could die and several ways we could pull our emergency chute in case the main one didn't engage.  But most ended in death.  I signed the waiver, "We aren't responsible for your death." And.....I faced my greatest fear.  Heights. It was on the bucket list and NOT an option.
All this build up over the 7 hour course and we discover that we would have to reschedule our jump because the winds were too strong.   Two weeks later, I rescheduled, unlike the other members of the group, and went with my German friend Constanza from the crew.  We were the only two.  It was a challenge to myself.  If I couldn't do this, I was a failure.  So I got my butt on that plane in my jump suit and flew up into the heavens.  The plane engine shut off.  I walked onto the wing of the plane and 1. 2. 3. let go with my arms extended out.  I don't really remember too much here.....just that there was a large green farm below us. 

The chute opened and I could fly.  I mean REALLY REALLY FLY!  I grabbed my toggles and felt the complete and incredible experience of the "adrenaline rush".  I screamed "woo hoooo!!!" which was drowned out by the wind.  And I flew.  As the ground got closer, I began to worry again about my life as I dodged electric wires and "FLARED" before I hit the ground.   The act of flaring is quite fun.  Pull both directional hand toggles down and touch down(or crash:) to the ground.  Get that chute under control or the wind will catch it and pull you elsewhere:)  Would I do it again?  Probably not.  Was it worth the experience?  Absolutely.  What is your fear? And have you ever faced it head on?  After that experience, I wanted to be a bird or the superhero "Storm" and ride the wind.  More tomorrow....


  1. I want to do that more than I can say. But I don't think I could. I think I would panic. :(

  2. Always wanted to do this, but have let the moment pass...years ago. :) So glad you faced your fear and were able to check this off your bucket list.

  3. Jumping from a plane, parasailing, and paragliding are on my list. Now scuba diving I'm a little uncertain of. Tried it twice and felt uncomfortable. Don't have gills in this life. Did like snorkeling. Have no desire to bungee jump.

  4. Hi Chris, You certainly have lived an interesting and exciting life to still be so young.... I never wanted to jump out of a plane --but I always wanted to learn to fly a plane. My brother owned a little Piper Cub many years ago --and I got to fly with him on occasion. SO NEAT.....

    Did you read about the guy in England who jumped out of a plane without a parachute --and landed on some cardboard boxes???? Are you gonna try that???? ha

  5. Wow, I am impressed, Chris. You actually jumped off the WING? You are much braver than I. My fear of heights would have won. Do they really let you jump after just 7 hours of study. Wowee!

  6. Gosh Chris - you are so brave to attempt that - frightening enough without the fear of heights! I don't like heights either although it is something that has definitely got worse as I have got older. I did years and years ago go gliding - not just once but twice - there was the dreaded disclaimer to sign there too!! I have never been so frightened in my whole life but, like yourself with parachuting, I too found it a wonderful experience although I doubt very much if you could get me into a glider these days :)

  7. OMG, definitely not for me. Heights and deep waters scare me, can't even try zipline! But i love looking at those who are doing them.


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