March 6th is my wedding anniversary. And every year since my husband passed away (this is my 5th wedding anniversary without him) I have planned an adventure.
This year I decided to GO BIG!
During the pandemic, I read Dream Big and listened to (almost) every episode of the Dream Big podcast with Bob Goff. I even took a writing class with him on Facebook. Do you ever have to hear the same thing over and over again until it finally sinks in? The book, the podcast, and the writing class all encouraged me to start checking items off my bucket list.
Honestly though, what was I waiting for?
I have lived and survived some hard times. I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 37. Heard my cancer had metastasized at age 44. Discovered my husband had cancer when I was 49. And finally, watched my husband die from cancer weeks after I turned 50. (Who Am I?)
Now that I am 54, and have been living with metastatic cancer for 10 years, it is time for me to take that leap.
So, as Tim McGraw sings, “I went skydiving.”
After a bumpy start to the day, and having to change locations (but that’s a different story), my friends and I ended up at Spaceland in San Marcos
[For another option check out Skydive Lone Star – the people there were some of the friendliest, most helpful people I’ve ever met]
After signing all the waivers, and watching a short training video, it was time to climb into the suit and harness. I met my instructor, Tubbs, who listened to all of my concerns – and all of the concerns of my friends that were there to watch me jump – and made me (and them) feel like we could pull this off safely and with no regrets.
45 minutes later I was strapped to Tubbs, falling from the sky. Trusting this person with my life.
Seven minutes later I was back on the ground with the world’s biggest grin on my face.
Sitting here this morning, reflecting on my experience, I’m amazed at what I learned in those 7 minutes:
- The first step is the scariest – While signing the paperwork, talking with the instructor, even going up in the plane my nerves were steady. I was prepared. I was not afraid. Until the moment my feet were dangling from the side of the plane. One fleeting thought of “why did I think this was a good idea?” Then we were falling and the thought flew away in a different direction.
- After you take the first step and commit yourself, it feels like a freight train coming straight at you. 60 seconds. That’s how long we fell before pulling the cord. Lots of thoughts go through your mind in 60 seconds. After you take that first step, life has a way of coming at you faster than you had planned. But don’t forget, you (hopefully) packed a parachute, and when you pull the cord…
- Don’t forget to pull the cord to release the chute – Sometimes we get caught up in the rush, and we need to slow down and enjoy the view. Once the chute is released it is as if time stands still. You can see what lies before you with much more clarity. There is time to get your bearings, make a plan and enjoy the rest of the ride.
- Even when you are falling, someone’s got your back (literally when it comes to tandem skydiving). Sometimes we fail to recognize that there are people around us that are willing and able to help us when we feel out of control. Find someone (or several someones) that you are willing to tether yourself to who will support you and guide you on the beautiful journey of life. If I can trust a person I’ve only known for 45 minutes with my life (after signing waiver after waiver stating I won’t sue if something goes wrong), I should trust those that God has hand-picked to place in my life to help me through everything else.
And the #1 Lesson Learned
- When you get your feet back on the ground, celebrate all that you have accomplished!