What was sky diving like for me? Well, to say the least, I think its life changing. How is it life changing? Mainly because it has really engrained inside of me a new perspective on things that in the past, I've heard of, but now I really resonate with.
I am reminded of a speech given by Steve Jobs to the graduating class of Standford University. He said, "If you live each day as if it were your last, some day you'll almost certainly be right." He also brought an interesting question to my mind. Every morning he asked himself, "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I'm about to do today?"
The transformative part of the sky dive wasn't the actual experience of the jump itself per say. The transformative part for me were the days leading up to it and the thoughts of a possibility of death. Not knowing how the sky dive would go naturally led me to thinking of worst case scenarios where maybe the parachute wouldn't open or maybe a sudden gust of wind would collapse my chute and I'd end up like a bug on a wind shield. Splat.
All those thoughts actually had a physical and mental effect on me where my heart rate would elevate and I would tense up. I'd also have a sudden surge of adrenaline without doing anything but merely thinking of jumping from 13,000 feet in the sky. The mental effect however was a blessing. The slight chance of death got me asking myself the similar questions to Steve Jobs. If it were my last time seeing this person, what would I want to say? If this were my last day, what would I want to do?
I found myself telling my friends and family that I loved them. I'm not generally a man to share my feelings but the past few days made me one. I feel like it doesn't have to be said that I love my friends and family because I assume they know but that truly is an error in judgment and I wanted them to hear it. Its so simple and easy to say to someone how you feel but the fear or rejection or sounding foolish prevents most. I know it definitely did for me, but that looming possibility of not ever being able to say it again switched my mindset from fear to one of just doing it.
In reality though, everyday is possibly my last. Going sky diving isn't any different of a risk as getting into your car. How is that possible? Well, if you really want to know, read this article which breaks down the statistics.
In any case, aside from the statistics, I'm going to live life forward with the point of view that it could be very well be my last day and that I won't take any moment with loved ones for granted.