Sometimes you have to jump…

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First Jump Certificate
(Click on photo to enlarge)

I received this certificate after making my first parachute jump.  It was always displayed prominently when I lived in Colorado and Jamaica as a reminder of what I could accomplish.  Just recently, I remembered I had not unpacked it since moving back to Illinois.  I like how it states… “demonstrated proficiency and personal courage by voluntary emergence from an aircraft in flight”.   Once you voluntarily jump out of a perfectly good airplane, your life is never the same!

Three people and I decided that summer we were going skydiving.  When it came time to go, two of them backed out.  It crossed my mind to find something else to do that weekend too, but I needed to prove something to myself.  I wanted to take a chance and try it.

The thing about skydiving you need to know… you have to pack your own parachute.  You have to take the personal responsibility to make sure it is packed correctly.  If it fails, it is your fault.  If it does not open, you are the one who will suffer the consequences.  If it is packed correctly, you will have the ride and a view of a lifetime!

After the fear of looking at the ground from a plane’s open door, you then have to muster up the courage to take one more step, and jump…  I was afraid… terrified is probably a better description!  I recall my feet peddling like riding a bicycle once there was nothing underneath me, and letting out one of the most blood curdling screams ever. However, it turned out to be one of the most exhilarating events of my life I have never regretted!

Once I looked up and saw an open parachute, I settled down, checked everything out… I was okay… I did it… I enjoyed the ride!  A peaceful feeling came over me in that never heard before silence as I floated to the ground.  In addition with that peacefulness was courage, knowing that I could do anything I set my mind to do.  It is still ingrained in my memory as I stepped out of the plane and out of my comfort zone that day thirty years ago. Although it was scary, I will never regret taking a chance, to develop the personal strength necessary to carry me through the challenges ahead of me in life.

I do not profess to be a great philosopher or scholar, I’m just a girl with insecurities like everyone else. Nevertheless, I can tell you this…  Making some choices in life is like skydiving.  A choice or a change can scare us, and if we do not do everything to prepare properly it can harm us.  However, once we decide to jump or to make a change… we can enjoy the view and the ride of a lifetime!

You will never be the same, it will change you; it very well might amaze you… it could also make you question why you waited so long!

Later… Barbara

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About Barbara

A small town girl trying to make a difference in my children's lives, my community, my business and myself. I am always writing a story in my head. One of my favorite quotes: "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." Ayn Rand

One response »

  1. Beautiful, Barb, just beautiful … you’re a born, natural writer. I love your writing!!

    Did you know there’s indoor skydiving places now? There’s a big fan in the basement, which blows a lot of air up through the wire-mesh floor, and at 100 MPH or so, it picks you up!
    (Just FYI, there is a very good safety video, and there’s no way to hit a fan, above or below).
    Chris, who is married to Sarah (Sarah being my niece) tried it and said it was fully excellent compared to the, errrr, *gulp* military jumps he’d made. “Lasts a lot longer and no worries about breaking an ankle!”
    I –so– get “pedaling” in midair! It’s very hard to relax while you’re falling!

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this!!
    Dave “Exclamation Point” Small

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