Feeling free as a bird!
In 2012 I went on a trip to Spa, Belgium with my best friend. He received a ticket for a skydive for his birthday. Of course, we didn’t want to miss the occasion to snap some pictures while he jumped out of an airplane. It was an early day because we needed to drive for about 2 hours to get there on time. It was a cloudy day, with a possibility of showers. The weather always decides if the plane goes up or stays on the ground.
When we arrived, I felt hungry so I took a sandwich to calm my stomach. After 2 nibbles my lovely wife wanted to steal my food. Very dangerous to touch my food as I have a Joey-syndrome (link to Friends). After asking why she did that she gave me a very good reason. She told me that it’s best not to jump with a full stomach. I said that I wasn’t the one who was there to jump but my friend was. A few minutes later I was changing clothes for a Skydive as this was also to be a birthday present for me. Didn’t see that one coming!
After changing clothes we listened to the briefing, weather report and tried to stay calm. We had about 30 minutes before our flight. More than enough time to double check our gear and go to the toilet (just in case). The weather was good, not too much wind so it was an easy flight up to about 4000 meters. We all wore a harness with which we, as a passenger, are attached to an instructor in a solid way. After getting some last instructions they opened the door of the airplane, no way back! At that time a million thoughts went through your mind but jumping ain't one of them. Either way, as everyone is shuffling closer to the door, you are going down, one way or another. 3…2…1…GO!!
Freefall at about 200km/h!! If you don’t know how that feels, try going on the highway and stick out your head while you’re driver is going 200km/h! What a rush! I have never felt that feeling of freedom before. Being free as a bird high up in the air. The feeling of the wind in your hair, seeing the cloud and nature around you from this height is so amazing. After about 45 seconds the instructor pulled the cord to open the parachute. The first thing you’ll notice is the silence surrounding you. When you go the same speed as the wind you don’t hear the wind, it’s so quiet, peaceful.
A few minutes later we had a very soft landing without any issues. After disconnecting from the instructor I ran over to my best friend and shouted to him what an amazing experience it was! I never thought that I would ever do that, jumping out of an aircraft. That’s what they call “out of your comfort zone”!! From that moment I knew I needed to do more things that wouldn’t fit in my comfort zone.
Too often we stay in our safe corner and accomplish nothing. What if Marie Curie didn’t do research about radioactivity? We may never have had the X-ray machine. I don’t mean we must go that extreme but if we always stay in that corner we don’t make any progress. If we want to achieve anything, we need to do things that we wouldn’t do in our normal life. Meaning to step out of our comfort zone.
What would you do if you knew that taking a step in a certain direction would bring you financial freedom, but what you would have to do is nothing like the standard 9 to 5 jobs? Would you stay in your comfort zone to keep your life the way it is, or would you be curious and take that step in a different direction to explore the possibilities?