When Reading is Wrong/I Jumped Out of a Mother-Effing Airplane

I'm an adventurous girl, within reason. I've traveled around Italy with my sister, hiked up and down Half Dome, have ziplined, gone trapezing, and have made my poor body run too many half marathons, all without any substantial, pre-event, fear. And then yesterday I went skydiving and spent the three days prior scared shitless. Why? Because this time I did some pre-reading.

First of all, it's never good to Google "sky diving fa
talities" or "[insert company's name] accident report" before you decide to throw your body out of an airplane at 12,500 feet. But I did- I spent three days reading about the statistics and horror stories of people who collided mid-air, whose parachutes didn't open, or landed too hard. I read and I read and I read. In this case, knowledge was leaving me powerless.

I think as a society this habit of saturating ourselves in too much information can be harmful. Granted it can also be wonderful and allow us to be productive, enterprising, educated individuals, but sometimes not. Take the Web MD crowd- they sneeze twice in a row and all the sudden they have prostate cancer (whatttttt?!?!). Or moms that panic that their baby is developmentally behind because everyone else on the mommy boards reported their kid rolling over 2.35 weeks earlier than theirs. And then there's the average consumer that reads about a grapefruit recall in Britain and then panics because they realize that's what they had for breakfast and now they might die. The Information Age is a blessing and a curse.

Fortunately, I didn't back out. After opting out of
the marathon there was no way I was going to pussy out of this too, nor was I about to let the friend I was going with down. And as soon as her and I left yesterday morning I felt fine, and even better when the lady at Skydive Lake Elsinore's desk assured me that their company had never experienced a major accident with tandem divers. And so we suited up, learned how to fall out of an airplane, and then lifted off down the runway. After about fifteen minutes of flying up we were pushed out of the plane by an instructor and free fell for about a minute. My ears felt like they were going to explode and I temporarily forgot how to breathe. And then, all of a sudden there was the all-important jerk that the parachute opening caused and I enjoyed the few minutes we spent sailing down. And then my instructor and I landed and it was all over. No big deal.

Was it fun? Yeah, it was. Would I do it again? Not sure. But I am glad I went, and I think it was a significant "life" event. Sitting around reading about things doesn't make a life worth living. You have to take risks and get out there. When I look back at my twenties I want to be happy with not only the amount of books I've read, but what I've done. I don't necessarily care about buying things or having "stuff," I want to be able to break free of routine and do things. We'll see what's next.


  1. Good for you! You're right--you'll look back and be glad you did it.

  2. Incredible! Not something I see myself doing but it sounds truly exciting.

  3. come skydiving with me! i want to do it! it might not be for a year or so, i want to make sure to be healed up all the way before. you have to do it with me!!!!! please!!!!!!!!!! i want to do all of those things you listed including italy.