June 24: Take a Flying Leap

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The purpose of my blog has been to show my readers that it is quite simple to take positive actions every day towards leading a life worth living, a life out of the ordinary and a life that you can be proud of.  Things like changing your attitude, trying new things, getting lost, even relaxing.

But every now and then you need to do something that scares the shit out of you.

Get the adrenaline going, the blood pumping, the heart racing.  As Lachlan says, you need to smash your fears.

“Sometimes, it’s the things that scare you most that are most worthwhile.”

Think about that quote and my post about making excuses.  We make excuses out of fear.  We shy away from things that we are afraid of, but really, why are we afraid of these things? Are we afraid of failure? Rejection? Consequences? Death?

Thanks to my good buddy Joel Runyon for the inspiration for this post, as he recently organized a group of 40+ people to jump out of a perfectly good airplane at a recent summit in Portland, Oregon.

I can guarantee you that a good number of those 40+ people were scared to go skydiving, but they threw caution to the wind, faced their fears and took a flying leap.  If 40+ people can do it, why can’t you?

I have never been someone with a lot of fears, in the respect that I typically will throw myself headfirst into things like rock climbing, whitewater rafting and yes, even skydiving.

(unfortunately, I cannot find any of the photos from my skydiving experience, so these will have to do)

I was able to go skydiving a number of years ago for my birthday and let me say this, I would do it again in a heartbeat. After signing all of the disclaimers, waivers, insurance forms, etc, I got to meet with my tandem jumper, also known as the dude who will be strapped to my back for the jump.  Typically, when they pair up a jumper with a pro, they try to pick a pro that is the same size or bigger than the jumper, as it allows the pro to be able to control the jump a little better.

For reference sake, I am 6’2″, at the time, around 160lbs. Needless to say, I was a little surprised when I met my pro, Michele.  Not a female Michele, rather, a little frenchman, Michele. All 5’8″ and 140lbs soaking wet of him.

I wondered about this a little as we went over the basic instructions of how to do a tandem jump, as Michele explained to me how to hold my hands, arms, legs, etc.  He addressed the fact of how much bigger I was and that I would need to listen to him.

Shortly thereafter, a group of 8-10 of us were airborne in a rickety little plan with no seats, just 2 benches.  I already had Michele strapped to my back.  We made it to our jump altitude and a little lump appeared in my throat.

“Holy Shit, I am really going to hurl myself out of this airplane”

Before I knew it, Michele and I approached the door and with a little tap on my shoulder, I jumped.  It was fantastic to be looking down at the California landscape from a height I had only seen as an airline passenger through a protective glass window and pressurized cabin.  Now I was hurling through the air at 60-80mph.  It was then I realized why Michele was telling me I had to listen to him.  Throughout our fall he had to keep kicking my knees and pulling my arms in, as I had a good 8-12″ wingspan on him, so with my arms and legs outstretched.

When we finally came to an unspoken agreement (and he could control our direction, airflow, speed) we fell for what seemed like an eternity. Seeing the Pacific Coast, Mexico, the California desert.  It was phenomenal. Michele pulled our chute and we cruised around for a few more minutes, the ground closing in.

After landing safely and seeing the photos of a dot in the sky (read: me) as I descended, it hit me. I just threw myself out of a perfectly good airplane!!  And I survived!

Day 24. Way 24. Take a flying leap and do something that scares the shit out of you.

Anyone else ever skydived before?

If not, is it on your bucket list?

Share your stories/photos with us below in the comments!

Sign Photo Credit / Jump photo credit / Header Photo Credit

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  • http://www.piercedheartsandtruelove.com Kat

    I am utterly afraid of heights – to the point that I even have a hard time on six-foot ladders (that was great at my old job ;) ) – and yet, I really would like to push myself and go skydiving sometime.

    Great post!

    • http://www.justinhamlin.com Justin Hamlin

      I think that everyone needs to push themselves outside of their comfort zone in order to find out who they really are.  With skydiving, even though you are flying towards the ground at 80+ mph, there is not a sense of being out of control. At least when I did it, I felt safer than some other things that I have done.

      Let me know if you even get it planned and go, would love to hear your story and what you thought of it.

  • http://www.hecktictravels.com Peter Heck

    Way to go J!  I am planning on skydiving in June when I get to Spain.  I can’t wait!!! Hopefully this helps my vertigo ;)

    • http://www.justinhamlin.com Justin Hamlin

      That is awesome!  I did it in San Diego, CA, but I would love to do it in another country, just think the experience of seeing things from that height would be so cool!

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