This was supposed to be an article about skydiving in Ottawa but as often happens, the story I intend to write and the story that gets written is often wildly different. And oh my god, doesn’t that last sentence just sum up the last twenty years of my life. So, apologies in advance if you came here to learn about skydiving in Ottawa, because this is actually about skydiving into a life.
I recently published a list of 50 things I wanted to conquer in honour of my upcoming 50th and you guessed it, skydiving was on the list. Scary, bold, and exciting, it seemed like the very thing to kick off this little adventure. To ensure I would not back out I pitched the story idea to my producer at CTV Ottawa Morning and she immediately expressed interest. Note to self: the crazier the concept, the likelier I’ll get on the news.
I reached out to Go Skydive in Gatineau and booked my jump. And then I didn’t give it a second thought for two weeks, because my superpower is the ability to ignore things until they can no longer be ignored. As Exhibit A, I submit my marriage.
There are two scary things you need to know about skydiving and neither of them involve the actual diving part from the plane. The first terrifying moment is the waiver, which goes a little like this.
Do you have any of the following medical conditions, blah, blah, blah, blah-de-blah? Also you may die. Initial here please.
Do you agree to release us from any responsibility, blah, blah, blah. Have we mentioned you may die? Sign here.
Skydiving is contingent upon weather conditions, and your jump may be delayed or moved to another day and you need to understand you may die. One more signature here please.
Thank you for choosing our company, as long as understand you may die, we look forward to having you. Please sign here.
In short, this is no Apple contract; ignoring the terms and conditions are impossible. With full comprehension that I could die, I submitted my paperwork and then once again tapped into my superpower.
The second scariest moment of skydiving is standing at the door of the plane waiting to jump. That nanosecond at the door stretches out before you in what feels like an eternity before the leap. The fear, worry, and anticipation ties you up in knots. But once you’re out the door, it’s a sweet surrender to the glory of jumping into the great wide open, and this my friends is where we stop talking about skydiving.
Where are my clappy hand emojis? I had been standing at that damn door in my life for just over a year.
Tied up in knots with fear, worry and anticipation, dreading the leap into my new life. Afraid to be vulnerable, worried of what others may think, scared to share my many flaws, paralyzed by indecision.
But I have finally made the leap and just like going through that plane door there is nothing to do now but surrender and enjoy the ride. I don’t have a friggin’ clue where I’m going to land, but I do have confidence in the process.
What I heard from many of my friends post-jump was how brave I was, how big my balls were, and what a rockstar I was. Wrong on all counts. I did kick my old superpower to the curb though, and have acquired a new one. I can now leap with a single bound into whatever life puts in front of me. It doesn’t require balls or bravery, just the ability to surrender to this gloriously messy life and trust that it will take me where I need to be.
So yeah, I went sky diving but it was really so much more than that because if I didn’t glean a lesson from every experience life handed to me, I wouldn’t be paying attention. I did not walk away from my old life to do everything the same again. New life, new superpower.
So if you’re standing at the precipice afraid to leap, hear me when I say there is wonderful liberation in tackling what you fear. You do not need to jump from a plane but leap for heaven’s sake, just close your eyes and leap. Your parachute will open.
Sidebar: I could not believe how many of my friends were basically, forget the jump, tell me about the guy. So yes, yes ladies he’s hot. No, I did not get his number. Yes, we were very close. No, I did not find it sexy. I was basically in a baby carrier. But truth be told, I was happy that if I was going down it was in the arms of a hot guy. I mean, look at him. Rowr. What? I may be out when it comes to love, but I’m not dead.