My heart is racing, I am flustered, I am nervous, I am scared out of my mind, to the point where I am actually shaking and all I did to induce this state was make a phone call! Ok, not just any phone call, as you can probably guess, it was extremely nerve racking. I just made an appointment to go skydiving!
My husband “gifted” me with a skydiving jump for my birthday. I use quotations because I would NEVER purchase a jump on my own. I am terrified by the mere thought of willingly (or not so willingly) hurling myself out of a plane, thousands of feet above the solid earth. I mean yeah, the remote idea of free falling through the air does have an exciting ring to it and yes it actually does look like fun when I witness other people doing it on TV. However, entertaining a casual thought about an adventure and being face to face with it are two entirely different things. I now have a reservation with a date and a time. It is very official. This is happening, thus the racing heart and shaking limbs.
My husband keeps telling me I’ll love it, it will be a super high, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. He went skydiving a few years back for his birthday, but he’s an adrenalin junkie and thrives on adventure of all types. My dad went last year for his birthday as well. He was extremely nervous beforehand, as I am now, but also tells me I’ll love it. He did. Just prior to going up he was close to vomiting, but when it was over he was overflowing with exuberance and contagious energy. He loved it.
I’m pretty confident my experience will be similar to my dad’s and logically thinking, when it’s over and I’m safe and sound on the ground, I know I’ll be glad I faced my fears and went for it. I do enjoy excitement, thrill and adventure. But there is something horrifically unnatural about a human being falling through the sky. We aren’t made to fly and my brain knows it! Every fiber of my being is screaming “This is ludicrous!! Save yourself! DO NOT JUMP you suicidal maniac!”
I have nightmare visions of my parachute failing to open (the backup chute fails as well in this dream) and I die a gruesome death, gone in the blink of an eye, never to see my family again, never able to realize my life potential or be there for my children as they grow. I know, it’s a horrible vision! Who thinks like this? Well, I do. I rarely focus on doomsday scenarios as I consider them a complete waste of time and mental capabilities, yet in this instance I can’t stop! It seems as though I’m willingly and knowingly putting myself in a death trap.
Now if I take a step back and contemplate this rationally I know that overall skydiving is pretty safe. There are tons of precautions taken and I am strapped to a professional. I also know that my life can end at any given time for any given reason. There is no guarantee that I will live through the day, any day. However, I NEVER entertain this thought. I never consider the fact that today might be my last day. It’s a ridiculous way to live.
Since the idea of skydiving scares the crap out of me and yet I am choosing to do it, I am indeed facing my fears. I believe that we should face our fears because usually they are unwarranted and only serve to hold us back from accomplishment and growth. Therefore I support the notion. However now that I am facing one of my own fears I am truly terrified and I must admit, I do want to bow out and continue on with my life as is. But there is a small part of me, a teeny tiny part, deeply hidden way down in there, that is cheering enthusiastically, encouraging me to go for it and have some major fun! This is the part of me that is ready to overcome this fear, to grow, to mature, to experience and consequently enhance my life on a variety of levels afterward.
Since I want to live the fullest life I possibly can, I choose to listen to my itsy-bitsy cheering section and jump out of the stupid plane. (Oh man, it better be worth it!) Of course I do have some motivation in the form of an there-is-no-way-you’re-getting-out-of-this plan to ensure I actually appear on the scheduled date and time: a friend is jumping with me! My husband knows me well, I need this motivation! I think she’s there to actually physically push me out of the plane if I have second thoughts. We all need friends like this, right?
So, I encourage you too to face your fears as they appear in your life. Grab a buddy who will hold your hand on the way up then push you out of the plane at the appropriate time. As long as you live through it (and chances are very good that you will) you’ll be happy you jumped!This is what I'm telling myself anyway... :)