Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Freefalling

Today marks the second anniversary of one of the craziest things that I've ever done in my life.

skydive


I'm not an athletic person but I have always been keen to try new things. I had been dreaming of going skydiving for the longest time. And two years ago, I finally got to do it with six other friends.

I remember bringing it up while having dinner with some Aiesec friends. I had just arrived and they were asking me if there's anything in particular that I'd like to do while in Australia. I told them I wanted to skydive and I'd be happy for anyone to do it with me. Several people said they'd join me but only one of them took the invitation seriously. Luckily, Jay isn't one to just give ideas up and half a year later, we have booked our jumps and we were ready to go.

The days leading to the big jump weren't very encouraging. A woman in her 20's died in Victoria exactly a week before we were meant to skydive. Her parachute failed to open properly upon release and this resulted to fatal injuries. I'd be lying if I say that it didn't freak me out. Seven days later, I woke up feeling restless cos of a horrible nightmare that involved a heart attack and a broken back. No thanks to scoliosis and mitral valve prolapse, I couldn't stop thinking about how stupid I was for not checking with the doctor if I'm fit enough to skydive. I managed to get dressed and drag myself to the Mint. I couldn't believe it! It was meant to be the most exciting day of 2004 and there I was, contemplating if my dream was trying to tell me something. During training, I told my instructor about my condition and he assured me that there shouldn't be any problems. I started to relax after that.

Not for long though. I didn't realise how nervous I was until I saw the video much later. The video was quite funny, actually. I was back to my chipper-excited-to-skydive self when I saw the plane that we were gonna jump from. It was a tiny tiny tiny Cessna that can barely fit 5 people in it. Stopped in my tracks. Abrupt pause. Awkward question. "Is that THE plane?"

I eventually got over the nerves when my instructor told me that he's jumped off a plane 2000+ times (only to find out that he was also making a sign at the camera at the same time... It was his first jump daw. Hehe it was heaps funny to watch!). I relaxed more after the plane took off. The views were very nice and seeing familiar places around Canberra definitely calmed me down. By the time we jumped, I had forgotten about my anxieties and I just relished the moment that I had been looking forward to for ages. It was the most amazing 30 seconds ever. I was on a different high. I felt like I let go of everything when I jumped out of the plane - fears, distractions, complexities. I felt free. I was at peace. And it was pure bliss.

I've done other things and been to new places since but I still haven't found an experience that'll match my skydiving adventure. I'd happily do it again next time there's a chance. There's still San Francisco with Amy. Maybe Byron Bay with Len. Anyone else? Just let me know. I'm game. :)

skydive

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