All it took was asking my Uncle Jim once and he said yes to skydiving with me. He said he’d wanted to jump since I did my first jump. We drove to the drop zone and it was beautiful, clear sky with no wind.
He chose to do a tandem skydive so he could be harnessed onto an instructor who wears the parachute.
I sent him to manifest — I love that they call it that! — to check in. Once he was through he came over and said, “I’m going to jump out at 13,500 feet, not 9000, right?” I said, “Yes.” He said they also offered him to jump at 18,000 feet. I said, “Really? They don’t always offer that. Go pay more and go to the higher altitude.”
After his class, he said he’d gotten three of the other students to upgrade to 18,000 feet. Some students still chose to get out of the plane at 9000 feet. I have never understood why they even offer the low altitude option, so I went to the manifest desk and asked.
They said some folks are afraid and think it’s less scary to jump out closer to the ground.
We both laughed, as we know that altitude is your friend if your chute malfunctions and you need to fix it or you have to throw your reserve chute.
The reason why I always encourage someone to go to the higher altitude is that you have more freefall time. Everyone always comes off a tandem skydive with a smile, ear to ear, and wishes it were longer. It never fails.
I got to chase Uncle Jim out of the plane, which was the first time I’d ever done that with a tandem. It was awesome! He got to pull the parachute out and steer once the canopy was open.
What did he say when he landed? “It was awesome! It was too short (at 18,000 feet!). How long were we free falling?” I said, “About 60 seconds.” “Really? That’s all? It seemed longer.” (He was ready to do it again)!
So, how does all of this apply to making your life more abundant, fulfilling and joyful? Here’s what I observed in this story…
How many times do you make a choice with the expectation it will be scary, only to find out that it wasn’t scary at all? Almost all tandem jumpers wish they would’ve gone to a higher altitude.
You can always change your mind. My uncle upgraded along with the other students to 18,000 feet.
Time expands when you’re present in the moment. My uncle was so present that 60 seconds seemed like minutes.
What some people consider risky is no big deal to others. Many times the unknown makes you uncomfortable. I think skydiving is an extremely safe sport and it’s something that I looked forward to doing several times a month before I had my kids. Before I did my first skydive I thought it seemed like the scariest thing I could ever do. In fact, I said I never would do it!
Where do you shut out a possibility even though you don’t have any experience to base that choice?
You need to ask, in order to get a yes. I used to ask people all the time if they wanted to go skydiving. I’ve gotten many yeses over the years. Until I asked, many people would’ve never had the inspiration to do it. Until you ask, the answer is always no.
Sometimes, you need to ask several times before you get a yes. I had asked two different times before to chase a tandem jumper out of the plane. They always told me, “No, you need more skydives.” I asked again anyway. The tandem instructor said yes that time.
Let go of the way you think something needs to happen. I have always wanted to fly like a bird. I used to visualize it often. I never thought it’d be with a parachute on my back.
Everyone needs to skydive. No, I’m kidding! Although, I would like it if everyone stretched outside their norm to experience extreme fun. Skydiving is on many people’s ‘bucket list’ and yet they never follow through.
What’s something on your biz list that you’ve been saying you want and yet you haven’t move forward?
C’mon. You know there is an area that needs some revitalizing. Take one bold step today to experience thrill bumps.
Jump and the parachute will appear.