Diary of a Happy Therapist, Jumping for Joy, Part III

Happy Therapist Frank Clayton prepares to Jump for Joy – right out of an airplane.

Frank Clayton before boarding for the skydive.
Frank Clayton before boarding for the skydive.
Have you ever just had a very strong feeling that a shift is coming? A change of the tide of your life?
That is how I felt the morning of July 24th.
I had spent several hours journalling, forgiving and releasing old baggage that no longer served me. I was ready to fly – and fly I did.
I was scheduled to arrive at Skydive Utah (in Erda) at 2pm. I showed up a little early. My wife was out of state. Yes, she knew about my decision to jump. Though she never said she was worried about her husband jumping from 13,000 feet, she did cheerfully insist that I call her right after the jump.
I sat through a 20 minute video, giving all the expected legal disclaimers and exactly how to “jump”. You see, in a tandem jump (where an experienced diver is strapped to your back) you don’t actually jump. You get yourself in position (toes over the thresh hold, grab hold of the shoulder straps (the “chicken wing”) then you let the INSTRUCTOR do the actual jumping. I don’t know why, but I took great comfort in this.
While I waited, I watched others jump. It was an amazing thing to watch. I later learned that some of those gracefully floating back to earth had only earned their certification to do so (solo) that very morning.
I felt a nervous anticipation. Most of my concerns were dispelled when I met “Fish”, my instructor. He was really nice, took very good care of me making very sure that I was comfortable. Fish was from South Africa and had recently married a fellow jumper. He had 3,400 jumps under his belt. I knew I was going to be okay.
As I said in the video, I honestly expected to become paralized with fear at any moment or lose my lunch as the time to jump grew near. Instead, I felt very happy, enjoying the moment. I savored the details. The other people that were preparing to jump. The beautiful scenary. I enjoyed the anticipation I felt before the jump. I would never have another first jump again. So, I enjoyed all of it.
At 13,000 feet, they opened the plexiglass door. The cold air hit me. I watched the others who, without hesitation moved to the door and wasted little time jumping. As each body left the plane, I knew my turn was coming fast.
To be continued.

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