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

Jumping for Joy LITERALLY – Skydiving for Happiness

Click here to see video
Click here to see video
The cold air from the open Plexiglas door gave a quick adrenaline-charged dose of reality. I was about to jump out of an airplane. The plane was 13,000 feet above the ground had only moments before been filled with people. Now there were four: the pilot, the cameraman, my instructor and me. I scooted forward, once, twice was at the door. The cold air on the hot day swirled about me in the doorway. Fish tilted my head back to his shoulder. This is standard so the jumper does not break the nose of the instructor on the way out the door – or worse knock them out (then who would pull the chute?). I tucked my hands into the shoulder straps. From the time I started scooting forward to the time I jumped was seven seconds. They don’t give you any time to have second thoughts. I don’t remember jumping because the instructor does it for you. I just remember it was suddenly very cold. We had jumped into a cloud so initially it was just white. I got a very distinct message from my stomach: “I don’t like this!” It wasn’t a threat to see revisit breakfast – just a quick FYI. I, of course, forgot everything they taught me on the ground EXCEPT how to breathe. On the ground they said that trying to breathe with your mouth open while skydiving is like trying to drink water from a fire hose – there’s just too much! So I gritted my teeth, opened my lips and kept breathing. Remarkably this looks very much like a smile – which is perfect because the camera man was right in my face urging me to wave and smile. It all went so fast – 130 miles an hour, to be exact. One last wave and, without warning my lungs stomach was in my shoes. The chute was deployed successfully. I was going to live. Fish immediately began making me more comfortable by loosening the harness. I was able to enjoy the amazing view. Fish asked me to look up at his hands. They were inside to long loops. He told me to put my hands over his. I did (at this point I did everything Fish said without argument). Then he slipped his hands from beneath mine and announced that *I* was steering!! I tentatively guided us to and fro. I was exhilarating. It was amazing. It was freedom itself. This was the moment. All the journaling. All the work on Happiness had gelled in that moment. The full cognitive and emotional understanding: I am free. I am always free to choose.
(to be continued)

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