Every year for my birthday, I challenge myself to try something new.
When I turned 37, I needed something truly different to set the tone for my year. I decided to jump out of an airplane and skydive. I thought it might give me a different way to look at things. At least shake things up and yank me out of my comfort zone.
Birthday weekend, WSM Noah and I got into the car and drove about 2 and 1/2 hours away to Lake Wales, Florida. The professionals at Florida SkyDiving Center were so friendly and nice. After we waived our rights and signed our names approximately 47 times (Noah asking: Are you sure you want to do this???), we were outfitted and instructed and ready to board our craft.
We hired videographers to have the whole experience for future viewings. We were led onto a teeny airplane where we sat on a bench facing the exit door and seated backwards from the direction of flight. We then got strapped into or securely attached to our instructors for our tandem dives.
The freefall portion of my tandem skydive was an exhilarating 60 seconds of 120 M.P.H. freefall -until the parachute opened. The freefall was awesome, amazing, exciting, terrifying, loud, complete sensory overload, inspiring and quite windy - like flappy skin pulled back to your bones and downright chilly and eyes tearing through your glasses windy.
With a snap and a whoosh, the parachute opened and we launched back up into the air. All of a sudden the deafening noise stopped, the wind became manageable and we started to FLY. Whee!!!
Floating ontop of the world, gliding by the clouds, talking to the birds and taking in the scenery. Watching our airplane land below us as we spiraled to the left and to the right, we came in for a really smooth landing.
And once you have tasted flight, You will walk with your eyes turned skyward,
For there you have been,
And there you long to return.
-Leonardo da Vinci
I remember feeling so small and humbled by my flight in the clouds and the beauty and size of our universe. And yet, I felt larger than life and invicible - WOW!!! What things I could accomplish now that I had done what was for me previously unthinkable.
Birthdays are a great time for me to stretch myself beyond my own boundaries, explore the unknown and see what surprises it holds for me.
Doing something new and different and overcoming and going through my fears helped me see myself in a new light. And it did wonders for my self-esteem!!!