I’m 21. I’m travelling for the first time internationally with my dear friend Anne. Somehow I convinced her she should drop out of university, and we should go on a life-changing adventure (and boy did it change her life…that’s another story). We had just arrived in Cairns, Australia and we were looking to make some memories.
I managed to convince Anne that we should sign up for a skydiving/white-water rafting adventure on Mission Beach. It didn’t take much convincing, as Anne was always up for a good time. The jump was 12,000ft, and it was over the Great Barrier Reef.
We arrived that morning, and I was full of excitement. To be honest, I had given little thought to how scary or dangerous this little adventure might be. Lack of forethought seemed to be a common theme throughout my twenties…
Anyways, we finished our hour training seminar, met some guys who were jumping with us, as well as our tandem partners and we were on our way to the airplane.
It wasn’t until we pulled up to the airplane that things got a little shaky for me. I went from giving a lot of high fives and smack talk to second-guessing myself and my impetuous decisions. However, it was too late to back down. So, with the only courage I had left, I hopped on the plane, gave another high five, and up we went.
I distinctly remember watching the altimeter, as we went from 1,000 to 10,000ft. The guys that were with us were jumping at 10,000ft, and I watched in horror as they were sucked out of the plane into the oblivion. Fear hit me hard and fast.
It was my turn to go. I was shaking. Tears filled my eyes as I slowly crawled to the open door of our small plane. I was so nervous, I thought my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. With my knees hanging over the edge of the plane, I put my arms across my chest, put my head back, counted to three and plunged off the edge.
As soon as I was out of the plane, my adrenaline kicked in. As we free fell for a minute, every care and worry was gone. I felt the air plunging through me, as I tried to take it all in. Everywhere I looked there was bright blue water, beautiful white sand, and luscious rainforest. A tidal wave of gratitude swept over me, as we glided down over the beach and back to reality.
I tell this story to encourage you to try new things. Try things that are out of your comfort zone. Would I ever skydive again? No. But, I would trade that experience for anything in the world.
“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
― C. JoyBell C.