Last week, I had every reason to be stoked: the skies were promising to be warm and blue, I'd just had a slider pocket installed to soften my rig's crackin' openings and I knew I had several jumps left on my account at Elsi.
These things, of course, meant that I spent much of the past seven days in a state of white-faced, sweaty-palmed terror.
Two words: recurrency jump.
We've been either overseas in an unjumpable country or otherwise inconvenient to a drop zone for nine whole months--which pressed the big ol' "reset" button on my ability to blithely eject myself from the door at 13k. There was so much apprehension, I felt like I was an AFF 1 again, sitting with my hands folded in my lap in Lodi, watching an ancient VHS tape creak out images of malfunction after malfunction and asking myself what the hell I was doing.
There's something remarkably resilient about two aspects of human capacity: to protect itself, and to override that protection. In airsports, we learn to love the fire of ultra-stimulation that flashes through our veins. After all, the path it clears through the mind is blessedly empty of the overgrowth we build up in our daily lives.
We love our bodies for working so hard to protect us--and sometimes, the body wins the fight. But not today.
Today, I realized my two choices: face it, or walk away forever.
I wasn't gonna do that.
Spinning through the crisp morning air, I sang to myself all the way to the ground.