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A Leap of Faith

In: English and Literature

Submitted By thanthalas
Words 1226
Pages 5
“A Leap of Faith” You mentioned in your speech at the wedding a couple weekends ago that in my sense of adventure you trusted me in any situation, from snowshoeing a mountain and sledding down, to standing below me while I‘m chain sawing 80ft up above you. I have to tell you how I got started and became the guy you share these crazy adventures with. Skydiving one time has changed my perspective on life to be sure. Just starting out in a new job and trying to figure out what life was about and where I was headed. I decided it was time to mix things up, do something I didn’t think I had the guts to actually do. Go jump from a perfectly good plane attached to someone I didn’t know, that is an “expert“ in the area of falling from great heights (more than once!) . I had been in a plane only two or three times sight seeing, without the urge to open the door no less. The sky is a cold, crisp aqua marine with thin wispy clouds. The walls are a cold steel grey. Rivets hold everything together. A faded tan leather seat, cracked from years speed, pitch, heading and Altitude. A small window on my right side above my head provides the only meager view on the ascent to a totally new view on life. It’s dark behind me where the Instructor waits patiently for the call to go. There’s a small poster on the sliding door that says “Humpty Dumpty was pushed” with a picture of him falling (the irony of which, will hit me in a moment). The wind is leaping in and out of the plane as we speed toward our goal of 10,000ft. The man kneeling in front of me is wearing all black. He has a large pack strapped onto his back. My jumpsuit is a very faded grey. The harness around me has shiny worn silver anchor points at the hips and shoulders. The blue cotton gloves are soft and warm. The altimeter on the harness is a bright white pie shape with a sliver of red. My watch seems to have stopped. The rushing of the wind in my ears. My breath coming faster through my nostrils.
The thrum of the engine as it hums a constant tune. Laughter and jollity from the pilot and camera man. The propeller whistling, straining to maintain speed. Wings bouncing and creaking in protest of weight held aloft, I‘d like to reassure them it will be four bodies lighter in a few moments. Buckles chiming, being checked and rechecked. A deep, resonant instructors voice leading me through the steps to come. The rustle of a bag and click of a camera. Static from the two way radio, connecting us to the world below. The smell of metal, coppery and tart like the life blood of the plane. Oil and gasoline from the engine exhaust hangs heavy in the cabin. Faint musky aftershave from the instructor behind me or maybe the guy in front of me. Old sweat permeating from the
Jumpsuit (not very comforting), of the hosts of others that have sat in the same position, awaiting the rush of the earth speeding towards you. Flavors from lunch still hang on my palate. Bacon and blue cheese from the burger and pickles, resurfacing as my stomach does a turn. The few swallows of root beer before I got in the plane still linger. Exhaust fumes sting the back of my throat with the taste of spent oil and gasoline. The aftershave from one of the men is tart, a heavy blend of mint and citrus. The thin fabric of the jumpsuit on my neck itches as it slides back and forth. My knees ache from kneeling on the hard floor for what seems like an eternity. The metal surrounding altimeter is hard and cold from the brisk wind. Being attached to the instructor, there is an uncomfortable pressure at my hips and shoulders. Being locked together for the tandem jump makes movement stiff at best (insert joke here). The wind slides over my face and beats at the block of my body. Ear drums are skipping and bouncing as it changes the pressure in the cabin. The bright flash of a camera that wasn’t forewarned stings the eyes, sends them out of focus for a fleeting moment. My heart is hammering against my chest, denying what’s about to happen. The whole body tingles with anticipation, numbing the senses. Gloves are warm addition in the cool recesses of the tail of the plane. A cold intake of breath through the nose, the warm exhale through the mouth in the final calming of mental preparation. This event matters so much to me today because it has given me a whole new outlook on life. I have been ever the adventure seeker since I first sat in the door of that plane at 10,000ft. That one brief moment has made the little things in life stand out against the bigger picture, of which we are such a small part of in comparison. It’s the path we take through life that truly makes us appreciate what we have. It has also given me a greater appreciation for the outdoors and the world we live in. I’ve always had a deep connection to the outdoors but, that experience gave me a better understanding of the scope of life around us. While we live every day so fast paced, with so much noise in the small space we occupy. At 5000ft. surrounded by so much empty space, there’s not a sound, other than the wind created by your passage. I have a passion for heights as well since that day so long ago. As you may know, I love climbing, the higher the better. I climb in my job frequently, be it a house to clean gutters, standing on the very top of a ladder to prune or climbing a tree to its tip top to cut it down. Falling thru space attached to a rope has become somewhat of a hobby in its own right.
The reason this event has stuck with me most of all is that it taught me I was capable of doing whatever I put my mind to. Since then I have overcome other obstacles, doing things that even though I had fear, I pushed through to a new experience. Each one confirming that life is here to be experienced in full. I have bungee jumped from a crane, repelled off Chimney mountain, been spelunking in an off the map cave, snuba diving off the coast of the Mayan Rivera (I‘m not a fan a deep water). In conclusion, everything I have done in my life has brought me to be the person you trust so fully. Jumping out of that plane, getting passed the fear and accomplishing a goal. No matter how small or large, the simple act of following thru will bring you a sense of immeasurable satisfaction. It has been 15 years since that day and the details are still fresh in my memory. It just goes to show that, any event can change your outlook on life forever, including being a part of someone else’s crazy adventures.

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