Friday, February 16, 2007

Post-treatment mid-life crisis, chapter 4

Remember when I talked about my mid-life crisis? My desire to do any and all things ridiculous? That involved buying silly cars, adopting dogs, trapeze swinging, pole dancing... general craziness. I took suggestions and that was when it occurred to me that I needed to jump out of an airplane. I told Alan of my desire to skydive. What says, "I already did cancer and this can't be nearly as bad" as much as jumping from miles above the earth's surface?

Alan, the smart boy that he is, remembered such declaration and surprised me last weekend with an adventure for us. For Valentine's Day, he said. Because nothing says "I love you" like jumping together to your death.

So off we went. Unfortunately, we picked a pretty cold day down here in the South for it. I would guess it was below zero at altitude. We were jumping tandem with an instructor, so I wasn't too worried. I went first. Off to 14,000 feet I went. While I was nervous, the fact that some other jumpers were putting together a Mister Potato Head while falling through the sky made me relax. How hard can it be? I wasn't quite sure what falling at 120 miles an hour would feel like.

The scariest part? Right before the jump. I had to put my feet over the edge of the plane and count to three. Thankfully, I was attached to someone who was actually going to jump on three, so I was going no matter what. One- two-


Off we went. We fell upside down for a second and righted ourselves. I have to say, once that first second went by, the fear was gone. Probably "terminal velocity" shenanigans... - yeah, I took high school physics. I had no idea that it would feel like such a long time up there. I felt like we Had forever. Time to pose for the camera guy, grab hands and spin in a few circles, My ears felt like they might fall off and my cheeks were pushed up to my forehead, but it was great.

Awesome. Totally awesome.

Notice Alan has the "rock quotes."

There wasn't a cloud in the sky and we could see everything. After a free fall for about 8,000 feet, we pulled the parachute. A bit of a yank and it opened. Then I heard my instructor say, "oh shit." Oh, shit, you say? I can't imagine "oh shit" is a good thing. Turns out, a part of our chute was still wrapped up in itself a bit. After a couple more shits and some tugging, all was right with the world. Again, I was struck with how long you had up there. Time to play, time to fix things, thing to just sit back and have some fun. Me, I just enjoyed the ride. We sailed along in the parachute for a while, making circles and turns. My instructor announced, "Welcome to my office." You know he says that line every time. Just as I used to make the same jokes at bingo.

After a fun parachute ride, we landed gracefully on our feet.

And I was hooked. I will be going back. One of my best ideas ever. I am now taking suggestions for the next challenge.


Anonymous said...

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10:30-10:45 Break

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Anonymous said...

You f*@k'n rock! I love the new hair too!

I would say how brave you are but we all know that you're just totally insane. And that's why we love you.

I think your next adventure should be hot air ballooning all the way to LA. I'll even treat you to dinner when you get here.

Much love to you and your boobies!

David J. Hahn said...

I think cancer broke the part in your brain that made you terrified of terrifying things.

Also, congratulations: you are now straight out of a Tim McGraw song. You now need to go Rocky Mountain climbing and 2.7 seconds on a bull named fumanchu. Good luck.