I literally woke up one morning and realised my time had come. Now was my time to go skydiving. Do not ask me what triggered this thought and how it came to mind. I have been scared of heights my entire life, so this was a very interesting thought. I let the thought of skydiving float in my mind for a day or two before making a decision.
Monday morning came around and I called Skydive & Beyond and booked my first skydive on Friday morning at 10am. I did not tell my family and friends I was doing it, I wanted to do this on my own. By not telling anyone it gave me the inner strength to go ahead with it. I did not want to talk about it, I wanted to take action and then share my exciting news. Given my fear of heights, I knew people would be very surprised.
It was a beautiful sunny day on Friday as I drove down to the south coast for my first skydive experience. I was both nervous and excited. I won’t lie, everything was going extremely well until we got off the bus at the airport. The nerves started to kick in whilst we were waiting to board the plane. I was my usual talkative self until we boarded the tiniest plane I had ever seen.
We all climbed onto the plane with a small silver ladder. A small white plane with no seats and a huge cushioned mattress covering the floor of the plane. I went completely silent and during take off I held onto my instructor’s arm for dear life. Everyone in the plane was looking at me trying to get me to talk, smile and laugh as I quickly went from chatty with rosy cheeks to white as a ghost and no voice.
It did get worse before it got better, as we left the runway so did my last hope of not going ahead with the skydive. Although I was scared I knew there was no way out, I was doing this no matter what. I had made up my mind when I made the decision to book – no refund or cancellations. In the air we went, the plane moving slightly in the wind, still holding onto my instructor’s arm for dear life.
I was absolutely terrified as I was able to clearly see how high we were now as there was a clear plastic roller door on the plane that we would tumble out.
Thankfully, my instructor and I were the third couple to leave the plane and before I knew it, my instructor and I were tumbling out into the sky at 200 kilometres an hour at 14,000 feet.
It was definitely worth it and the free fall did not feel like 200 kilometres an hour. It was simply breathtaking and exhilarating. We came to a sudden halt as the parachute emerged allowing us to take in the gorgeous scenery overlooking a mesmerising south coast beach. The seven minutes felt like the longest time in the air even though my instructor was doing his best to distract me by talking most of the time.
It was certainly unlike anything I had ever experienced in my entire life feeling a mixture of emotions from adrenalin, fear, peace and beauty. Without a doubt it was one of the best days of my entire life.
Here are 3 lessons I want to share with you that tumbling out of a plane has taught me about life:
1. Live a little
I have been so career obsessed my entire life; I often forget to live a little. Over the years, I have given up a lot for my career from family time, relationships, socialising with friends, and traveling. This experience made me realise even more so that the present moment is all we have. Whilst my career is important to me, what is more important is enjoying the journey along the way, having fun, laughing more, overcoming fear and challenges, attempting different things and enjoying magical experiences like this.
For in life, it is who we become as a person and the experiences we create that enable us to live life fully and accelerate our learning and growth. When we live in the present instead of focusing on the past or the future, we discover who we truly are.
2. Leave fear behind
It is true what they say when you move through fear, you realise it is a big liar and that there is absolutely nothing to be scared of in life. Our mind often races overtime, catastrophising and procrastinating. All the while we could be out there taking action, doing something constructive and meaningful with our lives and making the most out of the opportunities life presents us with.
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears” – Les Brown
3. Be courageous
I love that I was able to do something I never thought I would or could do. Overcoming my fear of heights has changed my view of the world and enabled me to consider all of the possibilities in life. To think about new experiences I can create for myself and others. I also came to the realisation as to how much inner strength I possess. A strong mind and body enables you to overcome any challenge in life when you know you can become bigger than any problem you have to face in life.
“You can never have the ocean until you have the courage to lost sight of the shore” – Christopher Colombus
This is simply the beginning and my mind is now consumed with the many adventures I can experience in life. Saying ‘yes’ to life, the opportunities that present themselves along the way and taking time to fully live life in this very moment. There is magic to be found at the other end of our fears. Move through fear to discover the magic. I promise you this, your life will never be the same again.
This article first appeared in Addicted2Success.