Do you know what it’s like to be so paralysed in fear and awe that you can’t comprehend which emotion over powers the other? It’s antagonising to an extent because it almost forces you to go back in time and reflect on your life in a matter of seconds. Almost like a short movie. And that was exactly what happened last week. When I literally decided to take the biggest leap of my life and chose to go skydiving.
I am a major adrenaline junkie anything from scuba diving to bungee jumping to rock climbing. I’m always the first one to volunteer because I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. And heights are my absolute favourite. There is something so empowering about confronting your fears head on, where you feel vulnerable yet ecstatic as the adrenalin rushes through your veins acting like a natural caffeine shot.
It was one of those beautiful Sydney mornings when the sun was out, clear blue skies and fine crisp weather. The kind of morning that just made you want to sit outside with a nice book and iced tea with a pair of shades on. As I arrived at the location of the skydive at North Wollongong I was instructed on how to use the equipment, what to hold onto to control my flight and how the parachute works.
After this we were sent on a ten minute drive to the airport which was pretty smooth and since I’m not a morning person the fact that I was officially going to jump off a plane at the height of 15,000ft did not hit me. It wasn’t until I was on the actual plane that would take us to our ultimate destination (mid-air above the sea) that it hit me. I looked outside and the view was like something you see in those Tumblr posts except this time there was no need for a filter.
I was just beginning to enjoy the view below me when suddenly the plane started to come to slow standstill in mid-air. I knew the moment was close because my instructor told me that we would be second.
I remember almost having a panic attack but then I realised the girl in front of me would be first, so ultimately she would play the role of the guinea pig and not me.
The instructors had all of us lined up like human grenades ready to fire one after the other. I remember sitting next to the girl next to me and the next minute I see her plummeting down to earth past the sea of clouds at a disturbingly fast rate. This was it I thought I am ready for it. Time to do the one thing I love the most.
As my legs dangled off the edge of the plane there was only one thought running through my head. If something happened to me on the way down I would still be the happiest person out there. I had achieved so much in my life, broken down so many barriers to get to where I was today and the best part was that I had done it all on my own merit. I felt ready for this; it was almost like an inner calling if you will.
Before I knew it I too was plummeting down to earth at a disturbingly fast rate to the point where my vision blurred (despite the safety glasses). Although it was only a couple of seconds when you’re in free fall it easily feels like 5 to 10 minutes. I had never felt so terrified yet so happy in my entire life. I felt like I was on top of the world (LITERALLY).
Once the parachute came out and we progressed to a slow decent allowing me to take in the view around me, I could help but smile like a 2 year-old.
This place that I now called my second home (my first being Dubai of course) was so beautiful. The crystal clear water with multiple shades of blue, the endless patches of greenery surrounded by houses, it was all breathtaking. Who knew something this simple and eloquent could leave such a lasting effect.
After what felt like hours my feet finally touched the ground and I was brought back to reality. But the truth was in my mind I was still soaring, free and more powerful than ever. My instructor commented saying “now we know why birds like flying so much”. And boy was he right. Lucky little feathered creatures.
I believe at one point in everyone’s life you will come across a situation or an event of some sort that will inevitably force you to question your existence. I had that moment last week and I can guarantee I will have many more in the future. So my question to you is if you were put in such a situation where you had to confront your fears head on and ultimately question your very existence, would you be happy with what you saw?
Ps: I intend to learn how to fly a plane next and then maybe fly to the moon.