October 6, 2009

Terminal Velocity

I was going to jump out of an airplane earlier this summer. I had some reservations at first, but then I finally decided that life was just too short. In a way it was kind of like my bucket list. I am jumping out of a plane.
I called my transplant coordinator to see if it would be all right. She e-mailed me and wrote back saying, "Are you crazy?"
At first I thought that meant NO, but then I saw the little smiley face she left and I thought: "All right. Here we go."
A week later I physically over-exerted myself and I was in a fair amount of pain that lasted three days. I weighed the outcome of what it was I wanted to do and I realized that I was probably being foolish. My bucket list would have to wait. I can't even put a band-aid on without it peeling off my skin when I remove it. I could just imagine how terminal velocity would reap havoc on my poor body. I quizzed three of my co-workers and my wife about their experience jumping out of a plane and they all said the same thing, "Yeah, I got jerked around a lot." and "I was sore for days."
Now being somewhat of an old dog, I got to thinking. I think I know my body pretty well right about now, and in dog days that means I would probably have to take a month off just to recuperate. Maybe even spend some time in the hospital after I had my organs removed from my chest cavity and I would most likely be nursing a broken leg after it snapped. The part that scared me the most was the thought of all the bruises I would have incurred from the harness as it threatened to rip me in half after I pulled the rip cord. This doesn't even begin to account for the 200 lb. instructor who probably uses me as a cushion to soften his landing.
So now that I've played this all out in my head, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever jump out of a plane. Because it just sounds like so much fun.
Ask me after transplant.
What is the craziest thing you've ever done? Or have almost done?


Laoch of Chicago said...

I always felt I couldn't jump out of an airplane unless I learned how to pack a parachute. Because I mean really, who else can you trust to pack such a thing? Subsequent sorries wouldn't be much good.

kristine said...

umm. never ever had a desire to throw my body out of an airplane. you don't jump. jumping involves going UP. you would be coming DOWN. fast. no, my life is exciting enough already.

craziest. hmmmm. flying to a small island, not knowing anyone, less than $100 in my pocket and having to make it on my own at 18 knowing no one anywhere was going to help me with anything. that was the craziest.

but the fullest. the fullest moments, that's what i'm looking for. stopping on every single clear night that my life gives me and looking up in the night sky and wondering at it all, that's the craziest, best, fullest. taking a breath in and just trying to imagine it all.

then again, maybe sitting around our dinner table the one night a week we get to eat together - that's crazy and full and wonderful.

that's it for me. i will never fall out of a plane - if i'm lucky.

Janie Woods said...

You know, you could always go to one of those trainers where they blow you up in the air?? I know it's not the same, but...

Craziest thing like that? Rapelling off of a 10 story building. I'm terrified of heights so my belay was taking bets that I wouldn't come down. I did and then begged to do it again. I love rapelling now, but my husband is trying to get me to do Australian (face first). Not gonna happen.

I've always wanted to try sky-diving but am not sure I can overcome that heights thing. I mean, I shake and sweat when I have to drive over a high bridge.

Anonymous said...

Probably the most scary/exciting thing I ever did was river rafting in Colorado. Sounds pretty tame, but I managed to do it outside the boat! I was on a trip as a sponsor for a bunch of middle school and high school students and our boat hit a big rock and tipped and two of us fell out. I fell right into some very rough rapids. My life jacket didn't help at all. I contend their only purpose is to help with body retrieval. I spent a good time under the water and truly thought I was going to die. I was eventually rescued, but vowed never to do that again. Skydiving...I don't think so. I'm not an adrenaline junkie and can live without those kind of thrills, thank you.

--Linda, Wichita

Krëg said...

Well, aside from drugs, the craziest thing I ever did was almost break my neck while streaking one New Year's Eve. I was running flat-out, and tripped over a tree root. Instead of protecting my head, or trying to catch myself as I fell, I instinctively covered up my junk with both hands. My shoulder and neck took the brunt of the fall, forcing my head backwards until I could almost see my own bare ass.

Can you imagine finding a naked corpse on your lawn? Some lucky homeowner almost got that privilege on the first day of 1997.

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

That makes a lot of sense.

Going to a remote island with less than $100 in your pocket sounds pretty crazy and exciting.

Rappelling face first from anything sounds nuts. I'm going to have to agree with you. Not going to happen.

When we went river rafting last month we had a couple of close calls. Lois nearly fell out and I think the whole raft would have turned over if I had not grabbed her. It had my heart thumping. Later we hugged a sheer rock face that we had to use our paddles to steer away from. It was very scary. I was worried that one of us were going to get knocked out. I was yelling at everyone to stay down. I can certainly understand that fear.

I can see how that might happen to someone. But isn't streaking generally done in a public forum in front of a million spectators, and not on some homeowners lawn in the middle of the night?
I almost broke my neck once, so I guess it doesn't really matter how it gets done. It's still very scary.

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