Monday, May 30, 2011

Get Busy Livin' or Get Busy Dyin'....

....and that's what I'm doing.

I find it interesting that over the course of the past four years....not so coincidentally as long as my son has been around.... I have been on a roller coaster of emotions so extreme that something like skydiving could not compare.  If you follow my son's blog, eliahjames.blogspot.com, you know that he has come close to death several times over the past four years of his life.  I can now say, with complete certainty, skydiving is easier than being a parent to Eliah; and not just a little easier, a LOT easier. 

I have always wanted to go skydiving.  In fact, I wanted to be an aerial artist and do the formations for shows.  When I was 18, I decided to do it.  My parents told me I could not go, but I was determined to do it anyway.   My friend, Emily and I, went to the skydive center, she as my photographer.  I paid the $180 and did all my training for a tandem jump at 10,000ft.  But the wind was against me that day, and just as we were about to head up in the plane, they canceled and sent me home.  I never had a chance to go back after that, but I always dreamed of one day flying through the clouds with a parachute on my back.

Since Christmas, I have hiked the mountains in North Carolina (in small amounts, since I'm completely out of shape. hehehe), zip-lined in the tree tops of Seneca National Forest, and this past weekend, I finally got my chance to skydive.  

I fully expected to be afraid, nervous, sick to my stomach, and possibly even back out.  When we saw the first jumpers gliding to the ground with their parachutes, I felt excitement .   When I watched the video explaining that I may die while jumping, I only felt anticipation.  When I was in the plane, looking at the ground getting further and further away, I only felt happiness.  And when I was leaning out of the open door of the plane, 14,000ft above the Earth, I only felt peace.   

Some people say that skydiving is a life-changing experience, and I can understand that completely.  It was completely AMAZING to glide to Earth with a parachute, to see the world with an airplane view and be able to reach out and touch the clouds.  But where was the RUSH these adrenaline junkies crave?  I expected to be a changed person.

I expected.....more.

I thought my Thrill-o-meter was busted.  Was it??

I thought and thought, then it hit me, I've had the big adrenaline rush a hundred times...with Eliah.  Nothing will get your heart racing faster than your child turning blue.  Nothing will make you as sick to your stomach as seeing your child lying in a hospital with someone pumping air into their lungs.  I've held my breath, my legs have shaken, and I've been physically weak from nerves over Eliah.  

He has trained me to handle stress. I could skydive with ease because he conditioned me.  I could sit back and enjoy the moment without fear because I have dealt with SO much more.  There is something so freeing with that feeling.  I know I can stand in front of a crowd and sing at the top of my lungs.  I know I can bungee jump from a helicopter.  I know I can do ANYTHING.  The world is a new place.....I guess it WAS a life-changing experience.  


Here's me zip-lining-

video  

And here are some pics from the past couple months: 




















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