Friday, June 13, 2014

I Swear I Lived

"I hope when you jump, you don't fear the fall..."



Life has been such an amazing but sometimes challenging journey since I took control of my own happiness. But damnit, I overcame so much and am stronger than ever. Jumping out of a plane was a fear I wanted to put to rest. #DBAP I want to thank my Cugino, my cousin Ron, for the incredible birthday present. I remember being at his bar in San Mateo saying I wanted to do it. Shortly after he texted me to check my email. I was at work, and holy moly, he bought me tickets to go skydiving. I immediately got nervous. For month, I had anxiety over the thought of it. But on D Day just days before, a military vet at the age of 90 did it just because he still could BY HIMSELF! So, there was absolutely no reason to NOT do this jump. It was already paid for and I would never hear the end of it if I chickend out. And I'm glad I didn't. I did however call my dad in Hawaii to tell him I loved him before we were on our way. Y'know, just in case.

Here's what I posted on Yelp.

I do love me a cowboy, and a Cowboy is what I got here! My instructor was called Cowboy and he was super fun. He could tell I was nervous and he was playful and sarcastic AND held me back to the end of the line of folks loading the plane so I would be the first one to jump.

It was a very hot this past Sunday and it wasn’t any cooler when you walk into the facility. There are items hanging from the ceiling, the room is surrounded by cupboards and lockers, and folks re-packing their chutes. The check-in counter is at the opposite corner of the entrance, so make your way over there and fill out your paperwork while watching a pretty ancient video with the missing member from ZZ Top. But the info is all the same I guess.  If you’re nervous like I was, go use the potty at this time. It’s in a different building, with 3 stalls, and 2 shower stalls and soap available in a bicyclists’ water bottle.

Our numbers were called and went in the next room. We were introduced to our instructors and they helped us get strapped into our harness. You’re being told to remove all your jewelry and there are small, shallow drawers to house it all.  I’m glad we didn’t have to put on a jumpsuit that someone else just sweated in. And the jokes kept on coming from Cowboy. Good!

I met my photographer, Ginger. And she IS a ginger! A cutie pie of a red head and just as petite, and jumping solo. She probably has more cajones than most men! She was a doll. She did a great job. I loved my video and got some cool photos. Cowboy was smiling in every single one. What a pro.

We’re in the plane. Ginger and Cowboy both can see I was so nervous and they were both talking to me. Cowboy again was trying to make me laugh and relax. No complicated instructions were given. Just to relax and follow directions. My knee was bouncing out of control and my eyes started to water. Solo jumpers next to me were so awesome, smiling at me and giving me high fives and pounds. I was too nervous to execute those exchanges in a confident way. Nothing like a limp high five. Then we stand up and I’m not ready. 3, 2, 1!!!!!!!!! We are out the door and twisting with 13,000 feet to the ground. The experience is amazing. We spin, I forget to do other things besides keep my position as best as I could and smile then Cowboy gives me direction again to do something for the camera like blow kisses. I do and manage to get a shaka as well for my family in Hawaii. The air caused my eyes to water in my goggles so I’m squinting most of the time and then the chute gets pulled and free falling is over.




You’re able to catch your breath and all you can say is something along the lines of ‘Holy sh*t that was incredible’ over and over again. Cowboy advises that he’s going to be loosening some straps just a bit and my harness isn’t as restrictive. He let me guide the chute and let me say all the corny things that were just spilling out of my mouth. He had us take tight turns, you feel as if you’re stopping and going backwards. Instructions on landing were really simple and he did a good job of avoiding Mr. Oblivious as we landed. I’ll say it again, the experience was incredible and Ginger did a great job of even capturing the landing, the immediate and natural feelings when you’re back on the ground and the gratitude I had for her and Cowboy. An amazing experience. I want to do it again!!! Be sure to sign his book and tip them both. They had your life in their hands.

If it’s your first time, get the video and photos. It’s totally worth it.

Post jump


"I, I did it all.
I, I did it all.
I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places and things that I did,
Of every broken bone,
I SWEAR I LIVED."


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