The Moment Before the Jump
So, I survived. The will I wrote will not be executed!
As the plane was making its way up into the air, being the thinker that I am, I considered how what I was about to do is similar to other things I am scared to do in my life. There are many times in life we are faced with conquering fear.
And I was thinking how I need to just jump!
At 10,000 feet the plane door opened…I was elected to be the first to take the plunge. The cold air rushed in. We start crawling to the door. And I am thinking to myself, What the heck am I doing?
We sit at the edge of the plane with my feet dangling in the air outside.
We rock back. Seconds seem like eternity.
And a split second after that, the photo below was snapped.
If it were not for this photo, I would not have a conscious memory of this moment.
As I examined this photo closely, my eyes were closed. I don’t remember closing them. I guess my neuronal pathways were overloaded and my blood oxygen low due to the high altitude.
The trip to the ground was exhilarating, jarring, and psychologically intense – like nothing else I had ever done.
Jumping from the plane reminded me of another jump I made twelve years ago. As a medical student, I would go with two of my friends, Allen and Jim, to the school’s outside pool in the dead of winter. We would jump into the frigid water and swim a few laps.
That moment right before the jump – out of an airplane, or into freezing water, or into the scariest places you and I dread stepping into in our own lives – at that pivotal moment, a mental voice taunts us…Will you do it? It’s a moment we find ourselves shrinking back or conquering fear.
That split second after we jump, we usually don’t remember much. We are overloaded with fear, anxiety, and panic.
But we do remember a few seconds and minutes after that…a few hours, days, and years. We remember and celebrate the rare courage we garnered in that moment before we jumped.
I survived the skydiving (and jumping into the freezing pool).
We usually survive our jumps.
So to you and me, I wish us courage…at that very moment before the jump!
PS – If you know someone who may benefit from this blog, please consider sharing!
Reading: This week I am reading the book A Good Night’s Sleep by Lawrence Epstein, M.D.