Dive Another Day

As I sat down to write this I was a mere two days away from leaping out of an aeroplane at 14,000 feet.

That’s right people, on Saturday the 28th of March 2015 I was finally going to do my skydive. Me, the wobbly one. The one who isn’t supposed to do things like this, lest she be hurt.

When I first booked my skydive it was meant to be on Saturday 13th December 2014, three days before my 30th birthday. But alas, it was not to be. I was struck down with yet another ear infection and with the cotton wool wrapped tightly around me, I was forbidden to jump.

I won’t lie. Secretly I was relieved.

The jump was not originally my idea and although I was in no way coerced, and the decision to book it was ultimately mine, I was not all that keen.

I looked everywhere for the perfect excuse not to do it. I asked the GP, the ENT Specialist, the Neurosurgeon and, if I had thought of it at the time, I would have also asked my hairdresser and my nail technician. But for once, no one had any reason, no matter how small, to get me out of it. It shouldn’t have been that hard to find one either. I mean, I’m legally blind, hearing impaired, I have two tumours on my spine (calm down they’re not cancerous), I have no balance and at times I walk with a walking frame. Take your pick.

All I was looking for was that perfect medically-sanctioned diagnosis to allow me to sorrowfully shake my head and lament to anyone who asked, “I would have loved to do it but I just wasn’t allowed”. This would give me the reprieve I was seeking without making me look like a chicken. Perfect!

I know what you’re thinking. “Skydiving is scary, it’s ok to be nervous” and/or “If you don’t want to do it, then don’t”. But for some reason as a person with a disability who chooses to live, thereby going on with my day like a “normal” person does, rather than do nothing, I automatically get the label of “brave” thrust upon me. This comes with a certain amount of pressure. Although I have no doubt it is intended as a complement, it really isn’t one. A person who is brave saves people from burning buildings, he doesn’t just make his own breakfast. .

I rang the skydiving company and although my dive had to be moved to the town of York (east of Perth) instead of Langley Park (in the centre of the city), due to the extra room I might need in the plane to actually get me out for the jump {i.e. I may need two instructors), all systems were go. And then, three days before I was due to jump it was called off. Phew!

Eventually I got up the courage to rebook. Was I scared? Pfft, of course not. I was absolutely terrified! This time however I was actually looking forward to the jump. I was psyched. If I could do this, I could do anything. And then I got a cold with only days to go.

After months of talking myself into it, now I was scared that I WOULDN’T be able to jump, and that is exactly what has happened. My jump has been postponed again.

Oh well, I guess I will have to live to dive another day!



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