By Lakesyn Melia | Assistant News Editor
At 5,000 feet up in the air, there are a lot of things going through your mind as you look down and notice the intensity of the world around you. How many things are happening in so many people’s lives in that exact moment? The idea of falling to your death is high on the list, but the vibrance of the sky and the way roads with hundreds of cars look insignificant are a close second. You wouldn’t know what life looked like from this high up if you didn’t put yourself in this position.
Last weekend, I decided to go skydiving. It’s always been a bucket list item for me, but I imagined myself doing it while on vacation. However, when one of my friends came to me and said she wanted to go skydiving in Temple, the location seemed unimportant, and I immediately decided to go.
I booked my appointment a week before, so I had plenty of time to dwell on the fact that I was going to jump out of a plane. Seven nights of going to bed and remembering that it was getting closer and closer. For some reason, the idea of doing it didn’t scare me, but the anticipation crept up on me overnight.
When I arrived at the skydiving facility, I didn’t exactly feel safe about what I was doing. I decided to push that hesitation to the back of my head while I paid for the experience. At that point, there was no turning back without having to get a refund. As I suited up and got help putting my harness on, I was starting to get excited about what I was doing. I mean, I was actually going through with it — something I had thought about doing for years.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the inside of a plane used for skydiving trips, but I was amazed with how tiny it was. It just barely fit the pilot, two tandem instructors and two tandem skydivers. I quickly came to the conclusion that I’d probably be more safe jumping out of the plane than staying in it.
It wasn’t until my instructor’s hands started shaking when we reached our maximum elevation that I realized I wasn’t sure how to feel about the person who was technically experienced in this activity possibly being scared. In that instant, I accepted the fact that I could actually die, and before I knew it, we were jumping out of the plane.
And it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I wouldn’t call myself a risk taker. As a pretty anxious person, I need to be certain things will go well before I do anything. I second guess everything. The one time I didn’t let myself get in my own head, I experienced something amazing. I had a smooth landing, and I have a hundred pictures to look back on to remember it.
In another life, maybe it wasn’t the smoothest landing, or it went much differently. However, in the past few months, I’ve learned that nothing good will happen if you don’t take a leap and put yourself on the line. Maybe saying ‘Hi’ to a stranger or starting a new project is your skydiving. Maybe you will physically go skydiving yourself.
Whatever it is, stop living in fear of the unknown and let yourself enjoy what’s right in front of you. You never know what can come out of that one decision.