Ask and You Shall Receive

About 7 weeks ago I got a text message from my niece asking me if I would go skydiving with her this summer when she was home on college break. My first reaction was that I was honored that she asked. I mean, think about it. That’s kind of cool. It felt good to be thought of as “the one to ask.” We are talking about a very happening young 20 year old college coed here and she only had limited time at home to begin with.

I decided that if she thought I was cool enough to ask then I was definitely cool enough to skydive, again. Besides, skydiving was pretty much the most amazing thing I have ever done, other than give birth, and it hurt a lot less!

Now, you have to understand something, there are pretty much two kinds of people in the world. Those that really want to skydive someday in their life, and those that look at you like you had three heads when you tell them about your high in the sky dreams. These people can’t even begin to imagine why you want to jump from 18,000 feet from a perfectly good airplane. However, just because someone tells you they’d like to skydive it doesn’t have any correlation with whether they will ever ACTUALLY jump out of a plane! There seems to be a rather big difference. I’ve learned in the past year that more people have skydived than you would imagine but we are still a rather small minority. So when my niece asked I felt like I just had to say yes!

As soon as I texted back, (see how cool I am – I text) I felt a wave of nostalgia wash over me as I tried to recapture the adrenaline high I felt after my first jump. It is almost impossible to describe but trust me –it was cool. In fact, the entire experience left me breathless. Breathless, from the moment we launched ourselves out of the plane and the air was sucked out of my lungs as we fell 120 miles per hour toward the earth. Breathless, as I grinned ear to ear trying to adjust to the wind wiping my cheeks and my arms and legs thrown out in a wide embrace; breathless, as my jump instructor spun us in circles faster than any merry-go-round on any playground.

After reliving my glory days, I decided I was not too old for one more round on the glory wheel. I would jump again. I would take the step beyond rookie and become one of those “jumpers” who discovered the real thrill in life is testing your own limits!

Fast forward to the bright sunny Colorado morning when my niece, my son and I drove to Longmont for the highlight of our summer. As the jump time got closer I could see the excitement in my niece’s eyes. No fear yet, she was just excited about what was to come.

When we stepped into our jumpsuits and harnesses, shook hands with our jump instructors and were briefed on safety measures the realization of what we were about to do hit full force. I had butterflies in my stomach!

In the plane, we squished together, cramming 20 some hyped up bodies onto two benches. I looked down at Sam and got big thumbs up. When my eyes locked with my Sarah I could see she was about to explode with anticipation. Yup here we go!

Now you really have to hang out with a bunch of skydivers someday, even if you never intend to actually jump. Why, because they are a crazy group of people! On the ground they are just a bunch of laid-back guys. They tease and joke with each other, jousting with words to see who can out do each other with their almost choreographed routine of words. In the plane they are calm, collected and very precise when checking gear and in the final moments of preparation.

When I jokingly mentioned to my instructor that I wanted to be sitting up in the co-pilots chair instead of back on the bench with the rest of the guys he totally surprised me and said “you can! Just wait until the pilot gets us up in altitude and you can go sit up there!”

“Jackpot! Bingo! Oh ya! Score Big!” I thought!

In just a few minutes of climbing in the sky and my real invitation to go sit up with the pilot arrived. I quickly scampered up there before anyone changed his mind!

Next thing I knew I was sitting in the co-pilots chair eagerly peeking out the windows at the changing view below. What a bonus! It got better.

After a few more minutes of altitude climbing the pilot, who I must mention looked about 12, grinned over at me and invited me to take the wheel, or whatever it is you call it when you fly one of these planes. You don’t have to ask me a question like that twice. Heck, I was a willing participant about to jump out of a plane; of course I’d take the wheel! Before I knew it I was flying the plane! A plane I was about to skydive from!

Big lesson learned here, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want in life. You just might get it! But when someone offers to support your dreams don’t be afraid to “take the wheel” and go for it.

My jump that day was surreal. My instructor asked what I wanted to do and I said go for it. I want to spin and turn and everything. He asked me, I told him what I wanted and again. I got my dream. We jumped, he spun us in circles until I couldn’t breathe, he let me control the parachute and turn us around and around.

The better I get at asking for what I want; the more my dreams come true. I had no idea I was this much in control of my destiny and of my dreams.
Sarah loved her skydiving experience and is already asking to go again someday. Sam is quietly talking to instructors on the side about getting certified. I am loving life. More importantly I am taking the wheel.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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