Carl Green skydiving at Skydive Burnaby, Wainfleet, Ontario.

Seize The Day

“I’ll do it tomorrow”. No. You won’t. You know you won’t. If you’re going to do it, do it now. Or miss the chance forever. Seize the day.

My wonderful wife Nikki wanted to celebrate a milestone birthday with a skydive. That would not have been my first choice of activity. But, fair point, it was not my birthday. My job as her loving spouse was to make sure she got her birthday wish. So I made it happen.

Her birthday is in February, and skydiving around here is not an option at that time of year. So I booked for the first available date in the skydive season, and we waited.

On the day, I woke early and looked out the window at a miserable day with an actual thunderstorm in progress. I must admit to momentary glee. What seemed a good idea at the time had a different complexion when the time came. I was not looking forward to it, to be honest. A call to the airport confirmed that if the weather didn’t change we would have to reschedule. No planes would go up in a storm. But. (I hate that word). But, they said, the forecast is for clear skies later. So come on down, they said. And if it clears, they said, we will jump. Gulp. So we did.

I made a video of our day. Us getting dressed and heading out, chatting all the way there and back. I made it fun, and I made it work. But this… this is the video taken on the day, during the jump. I stumped up for the media pack, where another jumper follows each of us, recording the whole thing and taking photos of our screaming descent. And I am so glad I did.

This memory is definitely a keeper. We (mainly me, Nikki was ecstatic) overcame our perfectly natural hesitation to leap from a perfectly good plane at 13,000 feet. And… we jumped.

We seized the day. We went more than a little out of our comfort zone. And experienced something few ever will. Calculated risks, again. Balanced against the FOMO. Again, I am so glad we did this. It was an experience like no other. I recall that the scariest part was the take-off. The anticipation. By the time we were up there and I was standing by the open door I was utterly calm. No nerves. Peace. All was serene. That first step was a doozy. And when the ripcord opened the chute above us, that was also a memorable moment. I still adjust myself when I remember.

The jump had three parts, to my mind. The anticipation of the plane ascent. Then the adrenaline of the jump and that first step. And then the comparativley slow float down on a string.

That last part is odd. Even with a chute you are still falling fast. Gravity will win. But you have time to enjoy the view. I even got to play with our descent, my tandem guy showed me how to steer. Feather. Control direction. It was fun and strangely beautiful. Marred slightly on landing, as my stroke-damaged leg refused to cooperate and buckled a little. But my tandem guy took care of it. No sweat. We landed as gently as stepping off a bus.

Our first skydive (Nikki wants to go again, and if we had the cash we would) was a success. We are accredited members of the skydive fraternity with log books to prove it. And you know what that means. We seized the day.

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