Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Smitten, Bitten at 13,500 Feet



I am smitten. And totally bitten by the love bug.

I am head over heels in love with sky diving.

It feels insane. But undeniable. You can't help what you love, right?

If you don't know (because you blocked me from your Facebook feeds or something else unimaginable), I jumped for Alex's Lemonade Stand on Saturday with my good friend (and now, fellow skydiving addict) Kerri. Kerri did all the work--got most of our sponsors, made the reservations and I just showed up (in shock, I mean, really, what mother of 2 jumps out of an airplane?).

yeah, there's me, mark and jason. totally fab.
The day was long. We waited a lot. Our kids, husbands and bestie Miranda's clan were there. I peed a lot. Nearly vomited once. Thought about stealing the car keys and driving to Canada. But mostly, we waited and tried to remember our blood types for the 45 page release forms. I don't remember much else about the before--it is the during and the after that has me wandering around like a love-sick teenager and completely unable to think of anything but going back up to 13,500 feet and jumping.

My family thinks I am totally insane.

My tandem instructor Mark Kruse (who is also technically my hero, because I lived) and my photographer Jason Aubin (who I spun around with in midair during my 60 second-ish free fall, he's got BFF status now) made the plane ride up a piece of cake. They were calm, so I was calm. And then, I jumped first.

Which is the way I like it (I am a front of the class kind of girl, keeps me honest.).

The free fall is incredible. There is nothing like it. It is so loud (you are falling at 120 mph), but so quiet. My mind was focused on one thing only, the fall. It is the most perfect meditation technique I've ever encountered. The roaring wind (much like Ujjayi breath) quiets your mind. The pure rush of the free fall silences any wandering thoughts.  And the knowledge that you (or my case, Mark) are responsible for your own life becomes ingrained in your bones.

Because you have to open your chute.

Then after all this noise and quiet and rush--you are suddenly floating above the earth. It is silent. Pure, beautiful silence. It is a time of reflection. I remember thinking, "Yeah, I just jumped out of a plane--and look at the world beneath me."

It is a moment when you realize anything is possible--like maybe now I can truly believe that Lily is cured. And that Lily will live to be 110.

I wrote Lily's name and Owen's name on my two fists (Owen is another brain tumor survivor, a rock star like my Lily). I still have the faint outlines of their names on my hands--a visual reminder that they came up in the air with me and came back down too. That they fought cancer and won.

Safe and sound.

Coursing through my memory is the loud rush and the quiet float--two reminders that noise can exist right beside quiet. That hope can exist in the midst of fear. And that I will jump again. And again. And again.

I have no other choice. I am in love.

1 comment:

  1. Your rock. Lily's rocks. Owen Rocks! I will proudly support you every day and would raise millions just to see your daughter grow up with my son so that we can continue to be friends! Love you!!!

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