In October of 2019 I took one of the biggest risks. It was a teacher friend’s 40th birthday and her husband had secretly organized an adventure for us all. We were in on the secret. She was not.
We played along. Pretended we had passports ready for an exotic trip.
We packed strategically, making it look like we were going to do everything BUT what was planned.
I was incredibly terrified. But I knew I was in good hands. I had my people. I had my crew. I had my safety net. My team.
As we drove up to the airplane hangar, it became apparent to my newly 40 year old friend we were definitely going on a trip.
We were definitely getting on a plane.
But we weren’t landing in it.
We were jumping from it.
At 30,000 feet.
After signing our lives away on a gazillion waivers, we were placed in a small room and told to watch the safety demonstration. After all, safety first.
In October of 2019, I jumped out of an airplane.
Great question. Well, because I was scared and challenged to do so. I was nervous. But I felt exhilarated. I felt excitement. I needed to try something new. I needed to experience new sensations. New ideas. New feelings. I needed two take the risk. And I had my crew with me. My teammates.
When we put ourselves in uncomfortable situations, we find new ideas. We find new experiences. We find new passions.
I met Casper about ten minutes prior to us boarding the plane. Casper was my jumper. Standing at about 4’5 I thought “this is the guy I’m getting strapped too?!?”
So there I was. Strapped to the chest of my new found British friend Casper.
I was like a turtle and he was my shell. Where he moved, I went. I was strapped to him, almost ironically, lifeless.
As the plane began to climb I yelled back at Casper.
“How many jumps have you done?”
“28,” he said. “But don’t worry, it will all be over in three minutes.”
28?!? That’s all? Three minutes?
The longest three minutes ever imaginable.
Or so I thought.
As the plane levelled, I noticed the ten instructor jumpers all do a bit of a cheer. As if to say, see you on the other side. As if to say, yes we do this daily and this might be our last jump. What an incredible bond! A bond I will never forget.
When it was our turn to jump, Casper strictly informed me to lean forward and let go. But before I could even find my balance, we were out. And we were upside down. Barrel role. Intentional barrel role.
Casper. My dude. My lifeline. Barrel rolled us out of the plane.
What a thrill. What a risk. What an accomplishment! I will never forget looking up at the underside of a small engine airplane high in the sky.
And that was the calmest, most surreal three minutes I have ever experienced. For starters, and while he’ll forget about me, Casper is my dude. That three minute bond was life changing. My destiny was in his hands. There was noting I could do.
It was incredibly peaceful. Just he and I staring down at the earth from 30,000 feet. Suddenly everything was put into perspective. The terror. The fear. It meant nothing. It proved to be nothing but a barrier to what I had was accomplishing. What we were accomplishing. The ten of us, all alone, yet so connected.
No noise. No social media. No traffic. Just me and Casper and this life changing view.
When we hit the ground, I screamed. I was so proud. I high fived Casper and gave him the biggest man hug he had experienced that day.
He laughed at me and shouted “Brian!”
“Yeah?” I finally replied.
“I stopped counting at 7000 jumps.”
He chuckled and off he went to set up for the next jump. I think I watched him jump four times that day. Each one potentially his last.
Overcoming my fears that day changed me. But it wasn’t the jump. It had nothing to do with skydiving. It was the decision to do it. It was the decision I stood by after hearing all the reasons I shouldn’t. It was the decision I stood by after watching a safety demonstration that suggested potential death.
It was the decision to take the risk and try something new.
“I am doing this.” I said to myself. “I need to do this.”
And I did it.
So can you. What is your sky dive? What is holding you back?
No more excuses.