A lot of people proclaim that they would never jump out of a perfectly good airplane. For me, skydiving was something that I always wanted to try. I knew I would eventually get around to it. That mindset went on for years. Yeah, I’m going to skydive. One day. Why then, did I keep putting it off? It wasn’t fear, really, or money, it only costs about $200 for a tandem jump, not a huge cost to do something life-changing. I think it was simple inertia that held me back. If I wanted to skydive, I’d have to plan a day, find a place, and drive there. Sounds exhausting, right?
So, what got me unstuck? I happened to be shooting video for an adventure web series that I was attempting to create. This particular webisode was going to be about Bridge Day. It’s a B.A.S.E. Jumping event held on the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia. They close the bridge to traffic for one day a year and allow people to jump off (with a parachute, of course).
I was looking for people to interview, so I sent out a tweet with the hashtag #BridgeDay. Next thing I knew Ashley Mead (Skydive Chick) was messaging back. We met up and we had a great little interview about her recent foray into skydiving and her boyfriend’s participation in Bridge Day. After the interview, I mentioned how I always wanted to skydive. Ashley said that they jump close to where I lived and that I should come join them. I told her that sounded great and we exchanged info.
At first, I was going to put off the chance to go skydiving. Then I caught myself. This is my chance. Why am I putting this off? So, within a couple of days after Bridge Day, I decided to call Ashley. We scheduled a day when we could both meet at the drop zone. A couple of weeks later, I showed up and made my first skydive. It was a little scary, but it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Our first parachute malfunctioned so Tod, my tandem instructor, had to pull the reserve. We landed safe, and we joked about how I got two free falls for the price of one. What a ride!
Now, what is on your bucket list that you’ve been putting off? The skydive took me about 5 minutes to plan an schedule. Don’t let inertia keep you from having experiences that change the way you look at the world. Decide today, toss out your excuses, and make a memory that will last a lifetime. Get unstuck.
For fun I’ve included the video from my first skydive. It’s pretty embarrassing, especially the amount of horns I throw, but it’s something I will never forget. I hope to do it again sometime. Maybe with you!