My Parachute Didn't Open and I Jumped Again

When I was 16 years old I went sky diving.  I jumped out of an airplane by myself and 15 seconds later I noticed that my chute wasn't opening correctly.  Thankfully I'd been well-trained and as soon as the ground crew got my attention (did I mention all my training was in Danish, which I've never spoken) I began to implement the emergency procedures.  Although I remember feeling calm, thoughts of leaving this earth weren't beyond me.  But while it was a little scary, I was able to recognize it was a fluke (it had not happened to this company in 18 years) and the experience prior to the malfunction was exhilarating.  I landed safely and went again the next day. 

Another 16 years have passed and I'm finding that I'm able to learn quite a bit from my youthful self.  I might have been a little naive but I might have been a little courageous and wise too.  

Last week I had an experience that I didn't love.  I had failed (or at least it felt like failure).  It was tempting to numb, and shy away from getting back on the metaphorical horse.  But something in me knew that I had to do it again, even if I was scared.  Instead of getting wrapped up in the fear or the self-defeating thoughts vying for my brain space, I had the opportunity to take authority over my mind.  For me that involved taking a few deep breaths, centering myself, and bravely trying again.  The truth is that I could have waited-there was no real sense of urgency.  But I was reminded of my 16-year-old self who knew that if I waited too long to try again, the fear might feel insurmountable.  

Today if you're feeling fear but you know that truth is whispering a different story, I hope that you'll decide to jump.  Remember to take your chute (you friends and strategies you use to stay healthy) but each small step towards courage is something we can celebrate together. 

  My First Jump in 1998

My First Jump in 1998


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