4 Life Lessons From My Skydive:
You know that thing where someone says, “You can’t do that!” Yeah…. I tend to ignore them. So when someone said after my skydive, “…but you should be sitting in a cozy chair, knitting or something like that” half-jokingly, I’m like….nah! Life is to enjoyed to the max!
I mean, look at that women a few weeks ago who did a skydive to celebrate her 90th birthday! That’s gonna be me! 90 experiences at 90!!! Hahahah!!
So yeah, yesterday I did a skydive. I had originally thought about doing one in my 20s but the guy who was organising the charity event didn’t manage to get it off the ground!
But now, having actually done it, it is literally one of the best things I’ve ever done! To have seen part of the UK from a very different perspective, putting my life in the hands of someone I’d never met, being attached to him while he threw me out of a plane, and flying through the air, then enjoying the freedom of flying while the parachute brought us into land, was outrageously, audaciously amazing!
Life Lesson 1: Seeing the ground from two miles up, makes you realise how small it really is. When on the ground, waiting, the idea of being anywhere up in the clouds was unimaginable. Being actually “out in the clouds” provides a very different perspective, and vantage point. No problem or challenge is as big as it may seem.
I would so do it again. As long as it was tandem. Not sure I’d quite trust myself in the same way!
The only bit which freaked me out, was the moment at which I was sitting on the tandem guy’s lap, as he sat in the open doorway, over the edge of the plane, legs dangling 2 miles above the ground…. yeah that! Technically, I’m already out of the plane! But only because he was in control of when we jumped and I had no say at all. Not that I’m a control freak…much! Ok I totally am! I hated that!
But had I been in control, would I have jumped at all? 🤔
Life lesson 2: If I stay in control all the time, there are many experiences I might miss out on, because how often do we let fear hold us back?!
The most amazing part of the whole experience – which the others who were jumping with me didn’t have – my tandem guy allowed me to “fly” our parachute! He was so casual about it, too! “Steph, see these red loops I’m holding? Reach up and put your hands through them. Now stretch your arms right up. This is how we steer the ‘chute! If we pull right, we turn right. And pull left to go left. Now over to you! You’re in control.”
Clearly I wasn’t, he still had his hands on the ropes! But it felt like it when I was pulling the ropes. The harder I pulled the faster we went! But I was still attached to my tandem guy, and I know he was fully in control, even when it seemed like I was able to “fly”.
Life lesson 3: Being attached to the one who knew what he was doing, and knowing he had confidence in me, to trust me to take control of steering, gave me the confidence to actually do it. I was connected to him, there was no way either of us was going to “fall” (although technically we were), but we were working together to keep us both safe. And he knew when it was time to take back the reins to lead us safely to ground.
The bit I had been dreading was the landing. I had visions of broken legs or something, so wasn’t sure about this bit. But it’s like with anything isn’t it. Wearing the right gear, and listening to the right instruction makes life easier. We had training before going up, and while we were flying down, my tandem guy did a practice run. Legs up, like your sitting with them stretched out in front of you. In fairness…he did the hard work! He landed first, and I smoothly glided bottom-first along the grass! No problem at all.
Life lesson 4: Sometimes we don’t know what to do… so we need to have someone teach us or show us. Don’t expect yourself to have all the answers to life, because you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. Find someone ahead of you, and ask! They know either from training or from experience, so avoid breaking your back trying to work it out alone!
So are you ready to make the jump into adventure? It might not be a skydive, but whatever it is, don’t let fear hold you back! Who knows what you might gain from the experience!
Just step out and do it!