Defying Gravity

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I very recently jumped out of an airplane.

I chose the local company based mostly on the fact their website posted this Steven Wright quote on its front page: “If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving definitely isn’t for you.”

Following about an hour of training and preparation, I can honestly say the 13,000 feet I ascended in that plane were the most exciting, anticipatory of my life.   Until the start of that 80 second free fall. 

 

Holy shit.

 

100 miles per hour.

Then 120 miles per hour.

After the chute opened, it was sort of like the greatest Sunday ride EVER.  At a descent rate of 1000 feet per minute or so, my perspective had the opportunity to extract itself from my sphincter and appreciate the view.

The guy jumping with me commented on my general lack of screaming.  Apparently this is a standardized measurement.  Not only did I not scream much and survive, but I landed on my feet.

So, yeah… one small life goal accomplished.  Rock on.

 

Over the holiday weekend, (does anyone else feel weird wishing people a “happy” Memorial Day?  It just seems wrong -) I flew home for my first visit since moving to the great state of Texas.  My flight was scheduled for 2pm Friday, to which I traveled through shockingly light traffic and a mere 2 minutes of security.  Too good to be true?

You bet your ass.

After almost 3 hours of delays, 2 connection changes and the realization I wouldn’t get home before 1am Saturday, I bailed, to return 3 hours early Saturday.  (Hey, holiday weekends can be a beast, am I right?) 

Saturday morning security undammed the real maroons people tend to be.  High maintenance travelers who obviously had pockets full of dynamite and trace amounts of anthrax on their luggage somehow managed to pile ahead of me in the chutes spelling out my travel fate.  Damn them all.

But then, travel should be about more than just getting somewhere, shouldn’t it?

The truth is, airports have never really bothered me. After the usual annoyances, the rush, the slaving away under the hot, fast gaze of time, which speeds or slows itself just to spite us, each terminal is just a microcosmic equalizer. Everyone there trying to get somewhere else.  Life represented in external motion.

Besides, I did eventually get home. And I did see the majority of the most important people, however briefly. And it was beautiful there, and wonderful to be a part of it.

On the hassle-free return flights, I was, as I always am, struck by the temporary illusion flying allows us. The notion of defying gravity dissipates as we relinquish our small power in descent through the clouds.  As watercolor becomes diorama, then so many abandoned toys, then swiftly rushes you back into the importance of the earth beneath your feet.  Wherever you land.

Where do you want to land next?

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{photos: sodahead.com and me, post-jump}

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2 thoughts on “Defying Gravity

  1. tdavis77 says:

    Haha! Parachutes are an important aspect… I highly suggest it to anyone thinking about it! It was everything I imagined it to be and more.

  2. anibogh says:

    awesome, one of my dreams as well, jumping off an airplane (with a parachute of course), ahhh so great, loved this

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