Some people think I’m a wild girl and a major risk taker. I always giggle when I hear that because I don’t feel like I’m a risk taker. I only take action if I feel comfortable with it. Other people may perceive that what I’m doing is a risk, but I’ve spent time preparing myself for many of the actions. Some actions I leap into because they’re compelling and sound fun.
Let’s take skydiving as an example. Eva Gregory, my BFF, had done a tandem skydive (you’re strapped to an instructor, who does all the flying, and a large parachute) and showed me her video of the event. It looked fun, but I was so scared. I told her I’d never do it. I said if I ever did, I’d have to watch her video a hundred times in a row to get me pumped up and boost my courage.
Skydiving wasn’t compelling to me. Flying like a bird was compelling. I talked a lot about flying. I had always wanted an airplane, but I wanted to float through clouds like I’d always imagined angels did.
Very soon after the skydiving conversation with Eva, my former mate surprised me with a tandem skydive reservation. I literally cried with fear and said I wasn’t going. He said he couldn’t get a refund. (He lied.)
I wound up going but changed my perspective from fear of breaking all my limbs upon hitting the ground at high speeds, to one of floating like an angel.
I ended up loving the experience and did about 300 solo skydives after that. Is it a risk? Sure, I could sustain injuries, hurt someone else, or die. But I do not feel I’m taking an extreme risk or I wouldn’t do it!
I will not jump unless I know my parachute and reserve (backup parachute) are both packed safely. I know the direction and speed of the wind to assist me in choosing my landing pattern. I also make myself familiar with the plane I’m jumping out of and the landing zone. Most importantly, I only jump when I’m inspired and have a clear mind.
I think riding on the back of a motorcycle, as a passenger, is a big risk. Every bone in my body tenses up when I do it. I feel vulnerable on the back. Let me ride my own dirt bike or quad and I’ll go at full speed. It’s all about how I perceive the activity.
I’ve always been fascinated by people who climb mountains. My friend Rich Fettke, author of Extreme Success, is a climber and fellow skydiver. He has climbed El Capitan at Yosemite National Park twice. He’s slept on the side of a mountain hanging from ropes.
I see this as absolutely terrifying! Does Rich get a rush out of climbing? Yes! But he has done his homework and loves the sport. He has two children and a wife that he adores, so he is very conscious of …