Spreading your wings to ‘fly’

Jordyn Toscano, @Jordyn.toscano

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been determined to skydive. I know that sounds crazy, but I’ve wanted to freefall out of a plane at 13,000 feet in the air since I was 12 years old. Don’t worry, I’m not insane. I’m just extremely adventurous.

Skydiving used to be considered a dangerous feat that only the bravest (or craziest) would attempt, yet in the past few years, it has become its very own sport. 

In 2010, when skydiving was considerably more dangerous than it is today, there were approximately three million jumps throughout the United States and only 21 of those individuals died. That’s a 0.0007 percent chance of death due to skydiving in 2010, whereas the chances of  dying in a car crash were at 0.0167 percent.

Due to the small chance of death and my ridiculously adventurous spirit, I decided to go skydiving last Wednesday, Oct. 16.

At 10:15 a.m., I jumped out of an airplane at 13,000 feet with an instructor strapped to my back and my co-worker at my side.

I spent weeks before my reservation searching for someone that would come. Out of everyone that I asked, only my co-worker Christian said yes.

My life motto for the past year has been “seek discomfort.” It’s a message that has drastically changed my life in only positive ways. I suggest that everyone try living by the same motto too, even for a day. I had worked so hard to live my life seeking discomfort and trying new things, so who was I if I couldn’t do this one thing?

So, when I got on the airplane on Wednesday, strapped into my harness and ready to jump, I thought of all the wonderful things that would come out of this experience. The rush of adrenaline, the beautiful view, the once in a lifetime experience of jumping out of an airplane.

When we reached 13,000 feet and the door on the side of the airplane opened, I thought I would be scared. When I moved over to the opening, attached to an instructor that had been doing this for four years, I thought I was crazy. Yet as soon as I leaned out of the side of that airplane and began to fall back towards Earth at 120 mph, I felt nothing but pure bliss.

I wasn’t afraid. Throughout all of the weeks and hours and minutes leading up to that jump, I was never once afraid of what might go wrong or what I was doing. I honestly thought something was wrong with me. Who in their right mind wouldn’t be the least bit nervous before they jumped out of an airplane with nothing but a parachute?

Then, I realized my courage came from my mindset. I knew I would regret it if I hadn’t jump out of that plane, so I had to. Why the hell wouldn’t I take this amazing opportunity and roll with it? So, I jumped out of the plane.

I believe that anything is possible if you fight for it, but I also believe that you’re never going to get anything accomplished if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone. 

Perhaps skydiving isn’t for everyone, but trying new things definitely should be. Studies show that humans fear an unknown outcome more than they do a bad one. Yet jumping into the unknown is what forces us to grow. 

When you try something new, you have the opportunity to overcome your fears. You have the chance to get to know yourself better and stimulate your creativity. Not to mention, it feels damn good when you accomplish something that you thought you couldn’t do.

Think about it this way: you can ruminate on your fears and your regrets all day long. But, only actions will help you become truly free of those fears. Only action will truly fulfill your life. So, take my advice and take action.