Something strange has been happening.
Pablo and I went skydiving on Sunday.
The goal for me was to face one of my biggest fears. I didn’t do it for the fun, like most thrill seekers. I didn’t even know it was supposed to Be fun.
My main motivation, and the reason why I thought most people jumped, was to Feel the Fear and Jump Anyway. And, that way expand my comfort zone.
And Pablo who is a sweetheart followed me in this adventure, even though it had never been on his bucket list ever.
As it turns out, skydiving is incredibly fun.
And it’s true, past the moment of jumping, even during the free fall, the fear goes away.
I won’t say it was pure fun but rather an incredible experience with new unexplored sensations.
As we were falling my mind was incredibly focused, conscious; thinking “uh this is not too bad” and “I could even enjoy this” and “this is lasting much longer than I thought…”
And then your instructor opens the parachute and the contrast is wonderful. After the intensity and pressure of the free fall (200 km per hour), suddenly you’re floating in the air.
It’s beautiful, soft, easy, gentle…
Then you land, and you realise how elated you are.
The high is incredible
On the way back we couldn’t stop chatting, and comparing, and exclaiming at how much of a rollercoaster- (no, 100 rollercoasters-) experience it had been.
Us, who speak about tango all the time, suddenly couldn’t shut up about freefalling, and jumping, and the position, and how scary, and how intense, and how unique etc…
It lasts for about 10 minutes but there’s the adrenaline rush and the pressure on the body.
So by the time we got home on Sunday night, we were absolutely knackered.
Like marathon-knackered (I’ve never run a marathon but I’ve run a 10k race once, so I’m guessing…:)).
I expected to sleep like a baby that night.
And that’s when the strange thing happened.
Instead of the night of deep sleep; my mind kept waking me up.
In fact, it was replaying the moment when we jumped off the plane.
You are lying on your instructor. Your body is hanging out in the air, while the instructor is getting into position, still holding himself or herself to the door of the plane… When he or she jumps your bodies rotate to get to the horizontal freefall position.
Once you’re in freefall the feelings are amazing.
But That Moment. Those 2 seconds of your body leaving the plane and rotating towards the earth…
That Moment feels Very wrong.
Like Death Wrong.
Like “This Is Not Okay-I Never Okayed This-I Have To Be Not Here-Where’s Ctrl-V”-Wrong.
It’s not the same as stepping on stage the first time, opening a new show, moving to the other side of the world, or speaking in front of a group, etc…
In these situations, even if you’re petrified and the world has stopped around you, unconsciously you know that however awful it goes you’re going step off that stage alive. Maybe not emotionally but at least physically.
I’ve gone through many of those moments in the past years because my focus had been on expanding my comfort zone.
And I am learning now that there was a kind of tacit agreement between the monkey in my mind and I.
That no matter how hell she made my life at those times (“nooo I’m scared”, “I’m not good enough”, “who do you think you are”, “you don’t deserve this”…) we’d always celebrate together afterward: Yaaaay, we made it! It wasn’t so scary in the end! Who’s the boss!?! etc…
But this is not that kind of situation.
This was the first time Apo (yes the monkey had a name) was actually faced with something that was truly threatening her.
Because as Pablo put it, in that jump is a bit like Dying to be Reborn again.
And Apo didn’t like the joke.
She’s angry, very angry.
Since then, she has been replaying that moment in my (our) mind.
Those incredible 2 seconds that were a true Life or Death situation.
She’s been profoundly shattered.
I’ve played a dirty trick on her and she’s not forgiving me for that.
So there you go.
Now I have a sulking monkey in my mind refusing to engage in anything else than images of my body rotating in the air.
Finally understanding what it means to take real risks and truly put everything at stakes.
Because you know, Apo, I’ve been doing that all the time in the past 4 years and you and your negative chatter haven’t helped.
So get a grip, will you?