Friday, October 1, 2010

My Bucket List ~ Skydiving

What is a Bucket List? It's a list of things to do before you "kick the bucket" (i.e., die)....I rather call mine, a desire in all the fun things I can’t wait to do! 
Fortunately, I’ve been able to do most of the things on my ongoing desire list. Yes, ongoing because as I cross off an item, I add two or three more. So, as I sit here on my very comfortable couch, on the eve of my birthday....I find myself revisiting the things I’ve done and the things I still desire to do...wondering when I can check them off... 
So far, I've gone back packing, sky diving, scuba diving, surfing, snow boarding and motorcycle riding. The most amazing experience has been sky diving followed by back packing for two months through Europe. I think they go hand in hand for me...because of the many fantastic experiences while back packing, I came back more open and ready to live my life to the fullest...ready to hurl my self into the vast unknown, literally and figuratively.
The skydiving school I went to was in upstate New York. I don’t remember the name or even know if it’s still there since it’s been years since my jump. As soon as I voiced my desire to jump, I was able to enlist three other adventurous souls. The four of us, three guys and myself, arrived early in the morning to get a few basics out of the way. Like signing our lives know the forms...are you healthy?...we are not responsible in case of an accident...who’s next of kin?....After all the paper work was filled out, it was time to gear up.  
I put on the canvas like jumpsuit and moved onto the instructional part...One of the jump masters showed us how to check the altimeter, a wrist-mounted instrument that shows you how far up you’re from the ground or how close you are getting to it...great idea since you need to pull the ripcord at 6,000 feet to deploy the chute. He showed us how to read the very subtle yet meaningful hand signals and how to position our bodies, making sure we don’t flay our arms and legs. Any sudden moves in the air could send me and the man straddled to my back, spinning in the wrong direction. Yes, the man literally attached to my back like sky diving terms, “tandem.” Yeah...I wasn’t prepared to be that close to a stranger, now imagine the guys doing a tandem dive with male jump masters straddled to their backs...let me tell you, there’s nothing left to the imagination...I was really hoping that I wouldn’t feel anything extra, extra back there....ewhh!...and that the instructor loved his life as much as I did mine, to make sure our parachute was working properly. I must say that I really enjoyed watching the guys' reaction, realizing what was about to “happen.”Lol.. all the instructors were male, all the jumpers except for myself were guys and they were shit out of luck....there was a lot of nervous laughs and a lot of chest love them!
Once “training” was done, it was time to attach to my life line and get on the very small, loud, smelly single turbine plane. We sat on the floor and waited as the plane climbed to 13,500 feet. As I sat there, I did a mental check list...Elton John looking goggles on, check...dorky cap on, check...narly instructor attached, check.....a lot of nervous men farting in the plane, check....GROSS!..really! When we had climbed to 13,500 feet, the door to the plane was opened, thank you, fresh air!...We stood up, waddled over to the door and waited...And then it was time to jump, to let go, to surrender, point of no return, deep breathe....GO! 
Air...air, in the form of wind forcefully smacking us, making it hard for me to smile as the skydiving photographer wanted me to. Yes, that's me in the pictures I've attached...There are no words, so I’ll try my best to describe the feeling of free falling really fast but feeling like I was suspended in the air for the longest time even though it actually was seconds. Time seemed to stand still, my world was quiet. My heart was bursting...seeing the world from this vantage point was magical...and I didn’t want it to end! For a few brief moments I had forgotten that I was attached to another human being...until I pulled the ripcord and our bodies jerked to a temporary stop....I was back to semi-reality, still falling but at a much slower pace and enjoying the view....happy to be alive, blood pumping through my veins.....spirit soaring, feeling like I was capable of accomplishing anything! Many people describe skydiving as a “rush.” For me it was more of a Zen experience. Those few seconds of free falling were the longest and the most connected I’ve ever felt....
So, to continue on  my journey of researching, here's a list of the things I would like to do in the near future....go race car driving, travel to Africa and help build a well, home or school and then go on Safari. On the Safari, I’d like to stay in a decked out tent or super fly tree house. I’d love to visit my best friend and soul sister L in Australia, scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef, chill in Byron Bay and Bondi Beach. Master Cha Cha Cha, On 2 and some shines. These are just a few desires that I have, can’t tell you all of them...have to keep a few juicy ones to myself...

Usually people wait for a tragedy or a life threatening disease to re-evaluate their lives. Don’t wait for a tragedy to do the things you have always longed to do. If you don’t know what interests you and gets your juices flowing, it’s time to “research.” Explore the things that interest you, try them out. If you like something, keep at it. If you don’t, let it go and try something else. Many things interest I’m always taking courses, reading and/or exploring. I was asked once if I would ever stop taking courses or “researching” all that interests me. I answered, “NEVER!” I love to learn, explore, immerse myself in all things that bring me pleasure and joy. I will continue to explore and learn till the day I die.

in love and pleasure,

Certified Health Counselor

Enjoying my life!