Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have a confession to make; I was scared of falling, not just me falling that is, the very act of falling has always terrified the living soul out of me…
I know I must have said this before, yet allow me to remind you one last time. I once watched half a Batman movie with my eyes tightly shut and my heart sinking down to my stomach, because he (the superhero with mite size chances of slamming to the ground face first) kept jumping from tall buildings all over the world, and it just made me want to scream my lungs out in the middle of the cinema theatre.
I am not sure where it came from or when it started, but eventually I grew tired of succumbing to the dreadful phobia that has long limited my imagination and confined my choices of “once in a life time experiences” to a relatively shorter list. I wasn’t going to allow that to happen anymore, so it was time to put my long-lasting fear to rest forever.
Idealized as a honeymooning paradise, Mauritius was admittedly an odd choice of place to action my fear busting plan, but it was there that I finally gathered the courage to take a leap of faith; I thought I’d try building my wings on the way down. It was like I finally got it; it’s only in my head, and I had to get it out of there.
Meanwhile, all I had to do is to take one step at a time, the first was to book an appointment with the only skydiving operator on the Island, Skydive Austral Mauritius.
Second, third, and fourth thoughts attacked me when we arrived at the base. It was such a beautiful morning, and there was no warning signs whatsoever. Obviously I had my own internal battles to fight, other than that there was no reason to fuss at all, but I was still worried!
I watched a couple of happy customers express their excitement at the experience as soon as they landed. There was lots of skipping and laughing and shouting “I did it”. I just wanted to be like them.
When the guy who was giving us the orientation asked “who wants to go first?” I found myself compelled to end the 5 second awkward silence that followed the question by abruptly blurting “I will, no problem!”. That also meant that I will be sitting by the door of the tiny plane on the way up.
Don’t mind the wide smile; it was skilfully fabricated to mask sheer nervousness!
Here we go…
Coincidently the other person who rode with me to jump was another Emirati, an Emirates Airline Pilot from Dubai, who was in town for the day, and decided to try this place out. We spoke in Arabic on the plane, I asked him if it was his first time too, he said it wasn’t, but he assured me that I was going to love it. That helped untangle my nerves, just a bit.
Enjoyed beautiful views of the lagoon while the plane gained altitude up to 10000 feet above sea level. My favourite part of the trip, Aka the calm before the storms.
The moment of truth
No I wasn’t scared! Ok maybe a little, I mean maybe a little too much…but who isn’t in such a moment, when the only thing preventing the confirmation of your worst fear in life is a fabric belt and a bunch of buckles, tying you up to a complete stranger that you have just met 30 minutes ago, and the only way to get to safety is to keep falling towards it?
The 40 seconds free fall in the beginning lasted forever!. As soon as the parachute came out, and we began to slow down, I was able to reorganize my thoughts to realize that I was actually doing it…
“This is how a bird feels”, said my instructor. Free, was the word that kept looping in my head after his comment.
Approaching the ground, I spotted my own personal paparazzo lurking between the trees. Angel awaited my safe return so patiently, and he was eager to document every second of my success.
I did it
Have you been skydiving before? How was your experience?
Whether I have been totally cured of my fear or not is still a mystery to me. I guess I will have to attempt the next item on my extended adventure bucket list to know for sure. THIS item however is defiantly coming off my 40 X 40 list, and I will gladly do it again 🙂
Where is your favourite skydiving location?
Are you scared of falling too? how do you deal with it?