So this weekend I jumped out of an airplane...

This past weekend I jumped out of an airplane.  Why, you ask?

When I was 7 my dad picked up flying again.  I remember my very first flight he took me up in in a small plane.  We flew out of Addison airport touring Dallas from the air, shooting through clouds and buzzing over our house.  I remember wondering "What would it be like to fly... without the plane?"!  Now I know...

For my birthday in August Jill gave me a gift certificate to Sky Dive San Marcos.  We went together on a cool and clear Saturday morning.  My thoughts were more excitement than fear.  This was to be a tandem dive, meaning you are strapped an instructor. I felt safe and confident I would land in one piece.  The plane flew to 11,000 feet and my instructor and I stepped to the edge of the plane.  He had told me to push my hips forward and lean back as we stepped off the back of the plane... this meant we launched out into a back flip!

I went 0 to 60 MPH in 3 seconds!  It was a wild first step but pretty quickly I could see the ground as we did a free fall for about 6,000 feet.  We reached around 120 MPH but I have to say... it was peaceful and amazing!  I've never felt anything like it and any it went by way too fast.

At about 5,000 feet above Texas the chute opened and the ride changed completely.  All of the sudden the rush was gone... the 120 MPH race turned into a leisurely stroll.  It was amazing how maneuverable the parachute was as we spent the next several minutes, spinning, talking and looking around.  I could see the Austin skyline about 30 miles away. The ride down was as easy and relaxing as a walk in the park.  I was not ready to land!

With Jill floating in over my left shoulder we gently sailed back to earth.  The landing was easy and more than anything I felt bummed that it was over!  The jump was amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  As I considered the "why" of my motivation to jump put of an airplane I thought about several factors.  Like many people, I have a bucket list and today it has one less item on it.  I also am one to "face my fears" and anyone that would tell you they were not afraid to step off an airplane at 11,000 feet is lying!

So why did I jump out of an airplane?  More than anything I did this because it is not something that is easy to do.  It is an event to face, not to put off.  It is something to embrace, not shy away from.  It is an activity to be shared, one that will create the memory of a lifetime.  I was glad for the incredibly thoughtful gift and excited to have someone special to share it with.  

I recognize sky diving is not for everyone and that's ok.  But maybe it is for you... maybe it's time to face your own fears, do something challenging and create a memory.  It certainly was for me and I wouldn't have missed it for the world!