FACING THE FEAR

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“Challenge yourself!  Move out of your comfort zone and just jump!”

~ Jana Joy ~

For years now I’ve wanted to skydive and the only thing holding me back was fear.  I have a long history of facing my fears head on, but this fear was too big.  Every time I imagined standing at the precipice of the airplane’s open door, I would break into a cold sweat and my heart would leap into my throat.

I made all kinds of extremely valid excuses to myself about why is was a reasonable decision to not jump from a perfectly good airplane.  But deep down, I knew it was just fear.  Fear of what?  Death?  Permanent disablement?  Ok… makes sense.  So why was the idea of skydiving becoming an obsession?

I knew why.  I had never let fear dictate my decisions before, but I was allowing it to now.

Skydiving was on my 71 year old mother’s bucket list and even my 12 year old son was really keen to do it, so I made the decision to face the fear, and jump (literally and metaphorically).

I bought us all 12,000 foot jumps over Whangarei Harbour, where I live in New Zealand, and even talked one of my best friends into doing it as well.  It was officially game on!

In the days and hours leading up to the jump, I watched skydiving videos on the web and got more and more excited about it.  It actually quelled my fear.  Knowing exactly what to expect appealed to my illusion of control. 

Jump day had arrived and off to the airport we went, along with my Dad, who came along to watch.  My son and mother went first and after they landed safely, albeit, ungracefully, on the ground (my mum ended up on her bum), it was my friend’s and my turn.

The plane ride up to 12,000 feet was smooth and the views were incredible.  I could even see my house and I knew our anxious husbands were on my deck at home with binoculars watching us.  I found myself marveling at how calm I felt.  I was super excited but not scared, which came as a surprise.  Then, they opened the door for my friend and her tandem partner to jump.  This was the point that my heart skipped a beat.  It went fast though and my friend was out of the plane and flying through the air.  It was my turn and it went just as quickly.  I leaned out of the plane doors and suddenly we were somersaulting out and into the sky.

The free fall was incredible. I didn’t feel scared at all.  It was exhilarating!  I spanned out my arms like a bird and flew.  Once the parachute was opened, we just coasted down and enjoyed the complete silence.  I never expected it to be so quiet.  It felt like meditation. 

Once we landed (on our feet, thank you very much), we all celebrated our courage and victory over fear.  I was able to cross off the last thing on my fear list.  There was no longer anything left that I hadn’t done because I was afraid.  I felt liberated! 

What is something you long to do but haven’t because you’re afraid? 

I strongly encourage you to challenge yourself, to move out of your comfort zone, face the fear and just jump!  You won’t regret it!

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