8,000 Feet in Under a Minute

I am an adrenaline junky.  And there is no better way to spike those levels of sweet, heart-pounding sauce coursing through my veins than facing some of my biggest fears.  Last weekend, I did just that when I leaped from the open hatch of a small plane over Primm, Nevada.

Sheryl and I, with our instructors, tucked into the plane and sat on the padded floor (there was no room for seats, other than the pilot’s).  As we made the ascent from the runway, hatch wide open next to me, I watched as the desert bushes and Joshua trees shrank to tiny dots that freckled the landscape.  I remember wondering, When are they going to close the hatch?

They didn’t.

We approached the drop point, and my instructor told me to swing my legs over the edge of the plane.  The last thing I heard was, “You ready?”

Then we were falling.  I didn’t even have time to think about what was about to happen.  Probably a good thing, too.  Thinking can get you in trouble, and I imagine that if I had, I would’ve been holding the edge of the door, yelling at the instructor that if we were going to leave that plane, he would have to rip my fingers from their sockets.

Instead, I fell.  Fast.

Contrary to the look of sheer terror on my face, the experience was exhilarating.   As we fell at speeds around 120 mph, the wind rushed around me, blowing through my hair, and nearly separating my cheeks from my face.  But, when the parachute opened, and the fear and adrenaline subsided, an unexpected feeling flourished: peace.  we were floating through a space that lacked the usual sounds of the city.  There was only the gentle breeze and the sight of mountains stretching out into the distance.

Before my feet hit the gravel, I knew one thing for sure: even though it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life, I have to go again.  And again, and again.

Thanks again to Jace at Sin City Skydiving!

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Cheers to Fears,


M. R. C.


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