Tag Archives: skydiving

The Guat Makes It To 40 … Smiling

27 Jul

I knew I’d be scared. I knew I’d be nervous.

But it was going to happen anyway.

Regardless.

It had to, there was no turning back. My life had taken a step forward and I had to follow, whether I was ready to or not. Just had to be done. So I thought I’d do something scarier than turning 40 on my 40th birthday. Something to start off this decade in a way that would change my perspective on life moving forward.

You see I wasn’t having a big party, and I wasn’t taking a great vacation somewhere. I wasn’t doing any of the awesome things that people do when they turn 40. I wasn’t able to, but I told myself I still needed to do something, something just for me, something to make me forget that I had a really tough month. Something that was bigger than 40, but something I’d always remember doing when I turned 40. Something I’d be grateful for and something that would change me. Something off The Bucket List.

And so … I went skydiving.

I didn’t tell too many people my plans, wasn’t sure if things were going to pan out, considering the personal drama I was undergoing that week and the fact that I had a vacancy in the best friend department that left me having many conversations with myself in an attempt to make sense of it all. And even though the week, or the month, didn’t go as I imagined it to be, this day did.

This day turned out exactly the way it was supposed to … and that made me smile, that made my heart feel good, the kind of good you get when someone who loves you gives you a strong hug, and holds you a little bit longer. That’s the kind of feeling I got. I had a moment that lasted the whole day. I had a Super Soul Sunday moment myself and it happened at 10,000 feet.

Perspective, passion, happiness, gratitude, inner peace, strength, vitality, amazement, and reaching Zen happens all at once.

It doesn’t hit you when you’re approaching the Pacific Coast Skydiving hanger, or when they’re strapping on the harness and belts. It doesn’t hit you when you get into the plane, or when you’re flying over the California coast and can see the Pacific Ocean. No. It happens after you face the scariest part.

The door opens and he says scoot over.

Dude.

I felt my heart drop.

There I was, my legs dangling over the edge and an inch of my butt barely touching the door frame of the plane.

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There I am the most scared I’d ever been in a long time and there’s Tom, skydiving master extraordinaire … smiling.

Holy crap.

This is it. I mean I know it’s it. That’s why I flew up here. For the “it” moment. My heart started beating faster, and the nervousness was building into anxiety and fear.

This is it.

This is really it.

“Ready? I’m gonna say one, two, three,” Tom said smiling.

One … I closed my eyes.

Two … I took a deep breath.

Thr–You know, I don’t remember him saying three, I just remember opening my eyes as he pushed us forward and out of the plane.

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I hate taking selfies and usually want no part in them, but having Tom take one at this point in the adventure was an awesome exception.

I screamed.

I laughed.

And then I screamed and laughed some more.

I couldn’t believe I was actually doing it.

The feeling made me forget about everything crappy that happened during the week. It made me forget about cold feet before 40, made me forget about losing a friend, made me forget about my writer’s block, made me forget gray hairs and anti-aging creams, made me forget the stress in my life and the wrongs that were in it.

It made me present in the moment, the most present I’d probably ever been.

I don’t know how long I was free-falling, I just remember how it made me feel and how glad I was for feeling it.

Then the parachute deployed, the straps tightened, and I eased my way down to the field below, but not before Tom, my skydiving partner who was keeping me alive, did some stuntman swirlee-twirlee tricks reminding me why I don’t get on the Scrambler Zero Gravity carnival rides. I laughed and screamed through that and then we landed safely.

I high-fived Tom and smiled.

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I made it. I had done it and it was an awesome way to start the morning of my 40th Birthday.

40 felt good then.

.

.

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To The Guat On Her 38th Birthday

27 Jul

Had I checked my phone earlier maybe the morning vibe would have been different. I don’t know … maybe the snowball would have taken a different path down the avalanche.

I don’t know. Maybe.

Had I checked my phone first, I would have seen a text message from my sister and heard a message from my nephew wishing me a happy birthday. But instead I found myself online checking my email and getting my very first birthday greeting from West Coast Hooters.

Free wings.

Normally free on my birthday would have sent me cartwheeling, but alas a birthday wish from Hooters was not what I was looking for that morning. I was in search for a “yes-we-want-you” response from a publisher or potential employer. But no … I got Hooters. So I closed my email and continued with my morning.

I had pictured the morning differently. I envisioned it. Kidless, not involving the clean up of Cheerios. I visualized myself in the sun, wearing my O’Neill surfing shirt and board shorts, paddling on the long board in the cool calm waters of the beach. No sharks. No falling over. Crossing off an item from my bucket list on my birthday … that was the goal. That was the awesome feeling I was looking for. That’s how I imagined my birthday.

This did not happen.

I got a West Coast Hooters greeting, no babysitter, two rejection letters, and the day ahead of me. I was 38 and it wasn’t working out already.

Lemonade baby. That’s what I thought. Making some sweet lemonade with these sour life lemons.

So what could I do?

What adventurous Bucket List item could I do with a five-year old and two-year old?

I thought for a minute … and then I had it!

 

My answer. For ages three and up. It was on.

My answer. For ages three and up. It was on.

 

I signed us up and we suited up. My two-year old couldn't fly high, but at least she could get suited up and accompany us to the adventure. It was entertaining enough for her to sit still and watch.

I signed us up and we suited up. My two-year old couldn’t fly high, but at least she could get suited up and accompany us on the adventure. It was entertaining enough for her to sit still and watch.

 

After we suited up we waited our turn. A little nerves on my son's part, a little excitement on mine.  Javier the skydiving expert looked at us and gave us a thumbs up.  We got next!

After we suited up we waited our turn. A little nerves on my son’s part, a little excitement on mine. Javier the skydiving expert from Brazil looked at us and gave us a thumbs up. We got next!

 

My son enjoying his moment ... trying to smile but the wind was too powerful ... this was the best he could do. And I loved it. He forgot about his nervousness once he was there. He forgot about it so much that he asked to go twice. Little Superman was in the house being propelled like a helicopter up, up, and up.

3-2-1 … My son enjoying his moment … trying to smile but the wind was too powerful … this was the best he could do. And I loved it. He forgot about his nervousness once he was there. He forgot about it so much that he asked to go twice. The Little Guat was in the house being propelled like a helicopter up, up, and up.

 

It was the best forty-five minutes of the day. My son’s Sandbox Adventure List. Check. Mom’s Bucket List. Check. I was smiling now and 38 was looking a lot better.

The birthday adventure was followed up with a few other activities before dinner time.

 

We headed home for the baby's naptime. But we managed to keep the festivities going. After an hour and a half, and 522 pieces our Lego firefighter airplane and company was complete.

We headed home for the baby’s nap time. But we managed to keep the festivities going. After an hour and a half, and 522 pieces, our Lego firefighter airplane and company was complete.

 

After all that Lego fun I needed some fun of my own. I opened my first birthday gift. It rocked.

After all that Lego fun I needed some fun of my own. I opened my first birthday gift. A friend sent it to me in the mail. It rocked.

 

After a little sweetness it was time for dinner. A kid-friendly place with good one. I could only think of one place.

After a little sweetness it was time for dinner. A kid-friendly place with good food. I could only think of one place.

 

Started off with something fruity before dinner.

Started off with something fruity before dinner.

 

Then it was time for the main attraction. I savored every moment, every tasty buttery-lemony bite.

Then it was time for the main attraction. I savored every moment, every tasty buttery-lemony bite.

 

As I was enjoying my meal and having a great dinner with my family I looked down and saw this ... it summarized my entire day. Forrest Gump was definitely wise. Maybe he was 38.

As I was enjoying my meal and having a great dinner with my family I looked down and saw this … it summarized my entire day. Forrest Gump was definitely wise. Maybe he was 38.

 

After dinner it was time for birthday wishes and chocolate cake. I made a good one so hope it comes true. And yeah Forrest ... you're right. It is funny how things work out.

After dinner it was time for birthday wishes and chocolate cake. I made a good one so hope it comes true. And yeah Forrest … you’re right. It is funny how things work out because 38 didn’t turn out to be that bad.