I sat in the cafe, my hands shook a little as I gripped my tea. Outside the window I saw tiny little aircrafts that looked more suitable for smurfs than humans.
“This was a stupid fecking idea.”
Luckily I had my children around me to distract and calm my nerves.
“Mummy,” said Libby-Sue “if the parachute doesn’t open, will you die straight away.”
Bile rose in my throat, but before I had chance to answer, Owen leapt in with…
“No silly, she’d probably break every bone in her body and die in the ambulance.”
I forced down a sob. Then Molly chimed in….
“Mummy, mummy. Watch this, you are the bacon.”
She scooped a piece of fried bacon out of her sandwich and lifted it high above her head. Slowly she released it, and it hurtled towards her plate at breakneck speed. It smacked into the porcelain, landing in a pile of ketchup which then splattered across the table creating a blood soaked image.
I was waiting to do a skydive.
I was the bacon.
This year for me has been all about pushing myself, following my dreams and finding an inner strength.
It has been a tough old year, settling into a role as a single parent and coping with the day-to-day trials of parenting three small people. There have been many days when I have wanted to crawl into a hole and shelter from the world and lick my wounds. There have been dark moments where I have lost sight of the inner strength I so often pride myself on. In these times, I have pushed on and found something new to do.
I seem to find my happy by doing adrenalin related tasks. Some days I wish I could find my happy in knitting. Then I wouldn’t be sitting in a cafe on an airfield, literally cacking myself, about to leap out of a plane at 15,000 feet.
And this wasn’t even my idea…
My lovely friend Gemma, author of the award-winning blog, www.helloitsgemma.com, nominated me to do this as part of Moneysupermarkets, Balance Transfer Your Life campaign. MoneySuperMarket asked Gemma to surprise someone close to her, and put a smile on their face, by clearing one important item from their to-do list.
She kindly chose me, and thought this would make me feel epic. I must remember to thank her by booking her an unsupervised lion taming experience…..
At this moment in time, 9.15am on Thursday morning, July 23rd, I feel less than epic….
I feel downright bloody terrified.
Oh god, they just called my name….
This is it folks, I am going up. If I don’t get down, the kids have my password to publish this blog. You can write the ending yourself….
I have never been so scared in my life as when I sat on that plane harnessed to another human being. As someone who is known to never stop talking, all words failed me as the plane crept higher and higher towards heaven. The instructors kept trying to engage me and I just sat, staring forward, with an inane grin plastered on my face.
The training ran through my head like a mantra, arms up, chin up, knees up, be like a banana.
God, I was sure I was going to die.
The plane reached 15,000 feet and suddenly my body was being ushered towards an open door, where the earth lay miles below us, and the only company was wind and clouds. The instructor wiggled me towards the gaping hole of death and I tried with all my might to stop the slide towards the door.
My instructor was surprisingly strong.
Suddenly my head was pressed against her shoulder, my feet and arse dangling out of the plane, my speech returned and I started to pray to a Lord I don’t believe in….
Emptiness took me into her arms, the world fell silent and a sudden peace befell my body and mind. I was falling, falling in excess of 120 miles an hour, and I had never felt calmer. Life seemed so far away, finally I had perspective, time had frozen and it was beautiful. Freefalling through cloud is a undescribable, overwhelmingly emotional, incredibly intense experience.
All my fear had evolved and I shook hands with my cameraman as we fell through the sky, my smile was no longer fake. I was happy in way I hadn’t experienced before. Sky diving is simply something everyone should do once!
This video shows it all, my bit kicks in at about 1 minute 32, the first bit details a bit about GoSkyDive – fab company who got me up and down alive!
Floating under canopy, twirling down to the ground, all of it was amazing.
Gemma – you made me very happy, and although I ticked off tandem skydiving off my to do list, I have added a solo skydive onto it!
Thank you x
#BTYL with MoneySuperMarket
If you know someone who deserves a little happiness and peace of mind, then you can help them tick off a meaningful task from their to-do list. Simply tweet @MoneySupermkt using #BTYL and let them know who you think should win and why. They will choose the most deserving person, and draft in the relevant experts to get the job done (in style).