I Went Skydiving and Here's What I Learned

Thousands of feet in the air, I stared down into certain death as my feet dangled off the edge of a plane. What did I feel, you ask?

Fear.

Pure fear.

 

 

Every cell in my body screamed in opposition to what was about to happen. It was the fight or flight response and in this case, flight had won. Luckily, I was strapped to a professional instructor who didn’t seem to have any intention to let me back out of this. The ground was so far away I could barely make out the shapes below as the sun shone brightly over it all. Everything was electrifying yet calm at the same time. The view was breathtaking.

 

We started out sitting, facing the door that slid shut when the plane began to ascend into the air. When we reached the appropriate amount of miles, the pilot gave the signal. Two guys who sat beside me stood up and crouched in front of the door. Suddenly, they pulled it open. Gusts of cold air came into the plane slapping my terrified face as I watched them step out of the plane, holding on from the outside. One after the other they jumped off, como si fuera nada. A rush came over me. The calm I’d been trying to cultivate throughout the flight of the plane, breathing in, breathing out, was suddenly gone. I was overcome with a panic that overflew into screams. My instructor stood up and pulled us close to the door.  I screamed in panic as he sat us down on the edge. For a moment, I was acutely aware of the fact that while my instructor sat on the edge of the plane, I was no longer touching the aircraft. My feet were dangling off into an endless precipice while I kept screaming. My instructor seemed to pay no attention to my panic, repeating over and over for me to cross my arms over my chest. In a split second, he pushed us off and we were plummeting down thousands of feet in the air.

The fear dissipated, left behind somewhere in the air as I realized I was soaring, staring, and  overwhelmed by the view. The air pushed up against me almost as though it was holding me up. There was no longer room for screaming. As I fell, a part of me still didn’t believe I was doing this. In the next minute, the parachute was up and with a sudden pull, we floated above the earth. The silence was almost like being underwater. I could hear the flapping of the parachute and everything else was an immense calm that settled over the most amazing view I have witnessed. Time seemed to stop for a moment and I felt like an eternity passed as I flew over the earth.

Then all at once, it was done. We landed softly on the ground, I was unstrapped from my instructor, and my feet were once again on soil. I was electrified; the blood pulsed through me, rushing adrenaline through my body. I felt like I could run a marathon. My mind was clear except for one thought: “This is the best thing I have ever done.”

 

For me, jumping off the plane was a metaphor that really meant how determined I was to break barriers, face fears, and charge with a full force towards my dreams. Plummeting through thousands of feet of nothingness is a unique experience that everyone should try at least once in their lives. However, this is really about shattering your limitations, whatever they may be. So charge onwards towards your goals until  you reach the edge. Keep in mind you will be scared, the cliff will look deep and intimidating, but once you leap, nothing else matters; the fear is gone, and you are defying gravity.