I Just Want(ed) to Fly

3 Oct

October 3, 2005 is a pretty important day in my life.

For starters, it’s the beginning of Rosh Hashannah (it starts tonight at sundown).

It’s also the one-year anniversary of the day I threw myself out of a plane from 10,000 feet above the ground.

For as long as I live, going skydiving will be one of the best and coolest things I’ve done. It’s right up there with hiking Mount Washington (and, more specifically, hiking down) on the list of things I’m proudest of.

My friends and family still ask why I did it, and I still ask myself how I did it.

Basically, I did it partly as a (belated) 30th birthday present to myself, partly to jump-start (no pun intended) what was then a pretty static period of my life, partly just to prove to myself that I wasn’t as big of a wimp as I thought I was, and partly so that I could eliminate fear from my life in the future. (After all, if I’ve jumped from a plane, stared death in the face, and survived … how could I ever be scared to do anything else I had previously considered “risky.”)

In the weeks leading up to October 3, I just didn’t allow myself to be scared. And I didn’t tell my parents or any family members, so they couldn’t get in my head and talk me out of it. In fact, as the day drew closer, I only got more excited and yet more calm.

So really, I had no fear for perhaps the first time in my life.

Imagine that.

I won’t bore you all with an interminably long entry about just how much my skydiving experience meant to me, but suffice it to say, a year later, I know I’m a better person for having done it.

I use that 10,000 feet thing as a comparison for almost everything height-related (i.e.: I went to the top of the Sears Tower and wasn’t impressed. It’s 1,453 feet high. Pshaw! That’s not high).

I’ve even used the “Well, if I’ve gone skydiving…” line a few times.

And this year, in June, the weekend before my birthday, I went surfing in California. I considered that the continuation of what I hope will be an annual tradition of me testing my limits.

And that’s just for starters. The experience really affected me more than I can explain in words.

Before I end this entry, let me take a quick second to say thanks again to Amy, Barry, Farrah, John, and Pyles for coming with me that day and cheering me on. It really meant a lot to have them there.

And thanks to Rebecca for all her encouragement.

Sure, I said I’d jump from a plane again this year, and, well, it seems time has gotten away from me.

But anyone who has ever gone skydiving will agree: It’s an unparalleled rush, and it’s addicting. If I could have a year ago, I would have gotten right back up in the plane and done it again.

So stay tuned and watch the skies. Maybe I’ll be up there again really soon.

11 Responses to “I Just Want(ed) to Fly”


  1. Curiosity Killed My Appetite « Martin's Musings - March 18, 2012

    […] For example, I’ve seen the Grateful Dead live in concert, I’ve taken a trapeze lesson, I’ve hiked Tuckerman Ravine, and I’ve gone skydiving. […]

  2. Walk On By « Martin's Musings - March 29, 2012

    […]  I wore my track pants for the first time since I went skydiving. […]

  3. Happy Birthday? « Martin's Musings - March 29, 2012

    […] kind of like when I turned 30 and decided to throw myself out of a plane. I need to make change happen, and I need to start with […]

  4. High Wire « Martin's Musings - June 15, 2012

    […] fancy myself a bit of a daredevil, having gone skydiving and taken trapeze lessons, and even though I completely respect Petit for his accomplishment, […]

  5. Wet Weekend « Martin's Musings - August 31, 2012

    […] In the past couple of weeks, the site has linked to both my stupid people at Park Street posting and my entry about the one-year anniversary of my skydiving adventure. […]

  6. I’m a Swinger « Martin's Musings - October 30, 2012

    […] At 30, that was skydiving. […]

  7. 40 Things I Learned Before I Turned 40: Part Two | Martin's Musings - June 6, 2014

    […] tests your limits, and reminds you to put things in perspective. For example, when I turned 30, I jumped out of a plane from 10,000 feet above the ground. How could I ever be scared to do something after […]

  8. Summer’s Here, and So Are the Movies | Martin's Musings - June 1, 2015

    […] about BASE jumping (made with pre-GoPro footage) that excites and inspires — reminding me of why I went skydiving 11 years ago, the thrill it provided, and the fearlessness it provoked, and encouraging everyone to live more in […]

  9. Do It Again? | Martin's Musings - October 3, 2015

    […] Almost six years ago, in celebration of my 30th birthday, I went skydiving. […]

  10. Sky High | Martin's Musings - October 3, 2015

    […] year I wrote all about it so there’s no sense repeating the same words, but suffice it to say, it was truly one of the […]

  11. A Letter to Myself on My 40th Birthday | Martin's Musings - June 5, 2016

    […] did the time go? It seems like just yesterday you were skydiving to celebrate your 30th birthday. Now it’s 10 years later and you’re 40 years […]

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