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Archive for September, 2012

A Drop in My Bucket…

More than two years ago, I wrote a piece that shared some thoughts surrounding the movie, The Bucket List, and it’s theme of living our lives fully each day. Since then I have been ever mindful of the things that I, and those family and friends close to me, are doing that bring us joy and happiness. Some of us have shared some deeply buried wishes that have been in our spirits since childhood…as well as some adult-themed aspirations.

Just this past Friday, I fulfilled one of my more daring bucket list items; a skydiving experience. It has been at least 25 years since a good friend of mine, Mark Burk, shared with me his experience of jumping out of a perfectly functioning airplane. I heard the excitement in his description of that experience, and I vowed to one day know for myself the feeling that comes as close to “free flying” as man can ever know. Yet, the years have continued to pass, never coming close to my making this dream a reality…

Maybe it was my life changing the past three years, and the subsequent deaths of close friends, that prompted me to seek out those deferred dreams. My marriage ending, my business collapsing, and seeing more-silver-than-black hairs on my head…but, I knew that if I was ever to get this thing done, it had better be soon. And thus, as fate would have it, I happened upon an ad on the Internet, for a Living Social deal to tandem skydive.

I anxiously read through the listing, it sounded so exciting…yet, when it was time to put in my credit card information, and consummate the transaction…I paused. Here I was again, staring face-to-face with my fear and my dream. Would I surrender to that fear once more? Or, would I now embark upon a new pathway, one that would free me from not only my fear but, the laws of gravity itself? In a leap of faith, I bought the opportunity.

Funny how one moment in our life can bring forth so many emotions…and memories. I recently read online where Richard Bach, the author of numerous novels, one of which I read in 1982, The Gift of Wings, has been seriously ill. It was his aforementioned book that gave me the desire to seek out the sense of flight, not from a commercial airline perspective, but one where man rarely gets to experience, at 10,000 feet. His story was about a man who loved flying bi-planes…and it described the beauty of the things not seen by us ground-huggers, or by those who regularly travel at 30,000 plus feet on a regular basis.

And so here I am, sitting attached to another man by four grappling hooks, in a bi-plane rising to 13,000 feet about the ground. It was all so surreal as we climbed into the beautiful sky…the temperature dropping a few degrees, laughing at the jokes made by my tandem buddy, and yet, it felt as though I was in a dream state. This could not be really happening to me. Then the door was opened and we slid toward the opening…we perched over the planes edge and I sought to remember why the hell I wanted to do this as I saw the fields of green farmland below me…and then we jumped.

To be continued…

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