I guess maybe it’s not enough that I’m packing up and moving to South Africa for two years, but now I’ve got to try something else pretty daring and risky (maybe I’m taking this rock versus bridge thing too seriously). Today, John and I drove to Monroe, GA, and made a tandem sky diving jump. Yes, it was a crazy thing to pay good money to go out of my way to get strapped to a professional “crazy” person (aka, tandem instructor) whom I had just met and together jump out of a plane flying 14,000 feet about the ground. It was about the scariest things I have ever done in my life. From about two weeks ago when I made the reservations, I have been challenging myself mentally to be “cool”, “brave”, and to “just do it” when the time came. I am proud to report that by the time the plane lifted, my hands were relatively steady and my heart was still in my chest (the little voices in my head chanting encouraging words still there but getting drowned out by the sounds of the plane engine). There was a point when me and my tandem instructor had inched our way to the open plane door and I could see the ground almost 3 miles below, that I was questioning the wisdom of my “I want to be a rock” thing, but within about 3 seconds of getting positioned at the door, the instructor took over and basically with one big lunge, we are out of the plane and hurtling toward earth. I managed to keep my eyes open the whole time, did not scream like a little girl (confirmed by my instructor), and quite frankly had a marvelous time.
I am quite pleased to have pushed the envelope once again and done something that goes beyond (this time, WAY beyond) my comfort zone. I can’t overlook the comparison of doing what I did today and setting out for the Peace Corps adventure in South Africa. Hopefully, over the next couple of years, I will remember today and how I felt a second or two before leaving the plane. Unsure and scared. Not at all confident that I will do everything correctly (even with tandem diving, there is a long list of do’s and don’ts). Aware that the probability that injury or death was quite a bit higher doing this than staying home this Sunday morning drinking coffee and reading the morning paper. With the upcoming Peace Corps “jump”, I have many of the same concerns, doubts, fears, and uncertainties. I trust that the journey will not only be a thrill but will also be worth every second and it’s a leap of faith that I’m more than willing to make.