i believe we should all periodically face an enormous fear. i first did this when i moved to san francisco without a plan or a friend. i faced fear when i became separated from dannon deep in an unpatrolled section of the grand canyon with no water. i faced a different, but equally great fear the day of my wedding. but for several years i hadn't faced any fears at all. in fact, i took great care to avoid my fears completely. this was no way to live. in fact, it wasn't really living at all.
then came my 30th birthday. the week before i had planned several different trips wherein i would get in my car and just drive. each trip sounded exciting and liberating, but still not quite right. eventually i realized these trips had more to do with running away than embracing the things in life which i feared. two days before my birthday i literally woke myself up in the middle of the night with one thought: skydiving! the next day i booked a non-refundable ticket without giving it much thought. i knew i could easily talk myself out of it if i thought about it. i also knew we were far too poor to waste the money i put down. i was locked in. that was that.
the morning of my birthday i informed dannon that i would be skydiving later that afternoon and asked if he would like to join me. of course he did! we hopped in the car and giggled with nervous anticipation. my fingers were tingly and i continued to avoid my thoughts as i spent 40 minutes signing document after document stating that i just might die that day. yikes.
as we waited for our turn to go through the training we sat and watched as people all over the world, people of all different levels of professional daredevilism, prepared for their jumps. they were hippies, outdoorsy mountain people - they were our people. suddenly we felt very calm. the fear disappeared completely and i knew this was something i was going to absolutely love.
and so, exactly one year ago today, i jumped.
the earth at 120mph... i can handle anything.
ps - it really was an unbelievably incredible experience. i highly recommend it to everyone! and yes, it's actually quite safe - injuries occur to experts who are attempting very dangerous tricks, not newbies jumping with trained professionals. so... do it!