My obsession with flying started in December 1960 when the TV version of “Peter Pan” was released, I wanted to FLY so bad I could taste it, that burning desire to fly still churns in my mind & heart 58 years later!
July 15th, 1978 I made my first jump from 2800’ above the Waverly, Ia. airport. I thought it would make me look brave to my friends, but it didn’t, when the door opened I was nothing but scared. Then something happened in my mind, concentrating on the moment while standing on the wheel of the airplane, everything slowed down & became clearly beautiful. As I stepped off the wheel, the static line opened the round military surplus parachute and I floated slowly above the earth while savoring view, that was it, I was hooked for life!
Things have changed in skydiving drastically, no more old army surplus round parachutes, tandems, accelerated freefall training & more have made the sport amazingly safe & accessible to everyone. We get in turbine airplanes climbing to 15,000’ in ten minutes with up to twenty of our sky friends…but the thrill, the passion, the excitement is still the same.
Thousands of jumps & 40 years later, my passion to fly is no less than it was 58 years ago watching Peter Pan fly across the black & white TV screen. When the door of an airplane opens three miles above the earth, I again learn to live & enjoy the moment, the mundane activities of life, paying bills, driving to work, working in the yard and such mean nothing, and I’m truly alive with no past or future, just the now!
July 15th 2018, I’ll be one of the lucky ones, at 63 years young, still able to jump from planes with my sky friends both new & old. Debbi Brawley will be joining me in Clinton, MO. at Glidersports Skydiving while we & up to ten others jump from three miles above earth celebrating our freedom, our passion, our joy at the ability we’ve been gifted with…to FLY!
Learn from the past then let it go, plan the future then cherish the detours…live in the NOW, it’s truly all we have.