Monday, October 03, 2005

I Just Want(ed) to Fly

October 3, 2005 is a pretty important day in my life. For starters, it's the beginning of Rosh Hashannah (it starts tonight at sundown). It's also the one-year anniversary of the day I threw myself out of a plane from 10,000 feet above the ground.

For as long as I live, going skydiving will be one of the best and coolest things I've done. It's right up there with hiking Mount Washington (and, more specifically, hiking down) on the list of things I'm proudest of.

My friends and family still ask why I did it, and I still ask myself how I did it. Basically, I did it partly as a (belated) 30th birthday present to myself, partly to jump-start (no pun intended) what was then a pretty static period of my life, partly just to prove to myself that I wasn't as big of a wimp as I thought I was, and partly so that I could eliminate fear from my life in the future. (After all, if I've jumped from a plane, stared death in the face, and survived ... how could I ever be scared to do anything else I had previously considered "risky.") In the weeks leading up to October 3, I just didn't allow myself to be scared. In fact, as the day drew closer, I only got more excited and yet more calm. So really, I had no fear for perhaps the first time in my life. Imagine that.

I won't bore you all with an interminably long entry about just how much my skydiving experience meant to me, but suffice it to say, a year later, I know I'm a better person for having done it. I use that 10,000 feet thing as a comparison for almost everything height-related (i.e.: I went to the top of the Sears Tower and wasn't impressed. It's 1,453 feet high. Pshaw! That's not high). I've even used the "Well, if I've gone skydiving..." line a few times. And in June, the weekend before my birthday, I went surfing in California. I considered that the continuation of what I hope will be an annual tradition of me testing my limits. And that's just for starters. The experience really affected me more than I can explain in words.

Before I end this entry, let me take a quick second to say thanks again to Amy, Barry, Farrah, John, and Pyles for coming with me that day and cheering me on. It really meant a lot to have them there. And thanks to Rebecca for all her encouragement.

Sure, I said I'd jump from a plane again this year, and, well, it seems time has gotten away from me. But anyone who has ever gone skydiving will agree: it's an unparalleled rush, and it's addicting. If I could have that day a year ago, I would have gotten right back up in the plane and done it again. So stay tuned and watch the skies. I hope to be up there again really soon.


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