Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Facing My Fears like the Damn Chicken I Am.

I'm afraid of a lot of things.  Public speaking, old age, sushi, my high school reunion, karaoke, large social gatherings, those weird Sesame Street clock martians.  You remember?  I don't recall if they ever did anything worthwhile other than hang out next to some clock while trying not to be creepy.  Which they failed at.  Miserably.  

Creepy little non-talking clock lingerers. 
Another big one for me?  Heights.  And those weird hairless cats.  And driving a stick shift.  It's actually a ridiculously long list of things I'm afraid of.  And that bothers me a lot.  I don't like to be afraid.  Especially when I know it's something I might like but am too chicken to give it a shot.

Except for sushi.  I keep trying it and it never fails to suck.

Which is why, for the last couple of years, I've been trying things I'd normally automatically reject.  Like the 5k mud run, co-ed softball, (still can't believe I didn't get my face smashed in with a bat) attending the optional giant work conference thingie, co-ed volleyball, indoor soccer without knowing the damn rules.

Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing every day that scares you”.  And to that I say, HELL to the no.  My stress levels are high enough, thank you.  I’m aiming for once a month.  But WHY?  I’ve actually taken 5 minutes to think about why such little things scare me.  Like Volleyball, for instance.  What is the worst that could happen?  I’ll fall over and look stupid?  Oh yeah, that happened during every game.  And I laughed so hard I nearly peed myself. 

Okay, the work thingie.  I’ll say socially inappropriate things, crack lame jokes that aren’t funny, and again, look stupid.  Yup, did all of those things but everyone was on their 4th or 5th drink so I could have been farting the alphabet and no one would have cared.

Skydiving.  Worst that could happen?  My chute won’t open, I’ll plummet to my death and land in a tangled, broken heap that is the complete opposite of graceful and again, look totally stupid.  Just kidding.  I’d be dead.  So who cares! 

When it comes down to it, I don’t want to embarrass myself and look stupid.  However, I usually do anyway, and it turns out I’m having a blast doing it.  I’ve realized as long as I can get over myself, I’ll enjoy whatever it is I’ve signed on for…as least this has been the case so far.  And yes, even with skydiving.  Gah!  Just thinking about it is making me get all sweaty and heart-beaty.

 E1 recently had his 42nd birthday.  To celebrate, we jumped out of a plane.  E2 has made it very clear that he has no intention of ever doing such a fool-hardy thing and was more than happy to turn me over to E1 for this adventure.

And it was awesome, as evidenced by the photo of me below.

But not really.  Cause I'm not a dude.  Or black.

 We checked in, were instructed to watch a video basically instructing you on how NOT to die but since E1 had been skydiving before, deemed it a waste of time and instead focused his energies on distracting me from learning how to avoid certain death.  By taking fake butt pictures.



And then we waited.

And I got nervous.  Which manifests itself in numerous pee trips as well as mass quantities of sweat.  In fact, let me share with you a conversation E2 and I had on our most recent camping trip while eating M&M's.

E2:  M&M's melt in your mouth, not in your hand.
Me:  That's bullshit.  They always melt in my hands.
E2:  You have freakishly sweaty hands.  It's like the same as being in your mouth.  Look at that!  I can see it glistening on your palms now.  Give me 5 minutes and I could go swimming in all the sweat that collects in your palms. 

On this day of skydiving, you could have gone swimming in my palms. 

On the upside, I shat not my pants.  Nor did E1.  We took precautions.

Via the honey bucket of shame.

Then we waited some more.  While some stray child had an awkward staring contest with E1's tattoo from two inches away.

I think the tattoo won but who can say for sure since everyone knows children aren't to be trusted.
FINALLY it was our turn and we met the instructors who were to be strapped to our backs.  I don't remember a lot, just that they kept cracking jokes about how they'll be allowed to be real certified instructors after this jump...or something equally encouraging.

We pile into the plane and sit single file, straddling a bench.  After a much too short flight, the door opens and I suddenly can't hear anything but the wind gushing in my ears.  The first dude is silhouetted against the opening.  I blink and suddenly he's not there.  I can't help but think "holy effing shit this was the worst idea ever".

My instructor screams into my ear, "Provided the chute opens, we'll talk about the landing on the way down".

Awesome.

I'm shoved into the doorway of the plane.  Instructor counts to three...or something.  I can't hear anything over the beating of my heart and my inner voice of logic telling me not to allow my one and only body to hurl itself out of a plane 13,000 feet off the ground. 

Then my back was arched, arms flying behind me and I was pretty sure I was incurring frost bite on my face and ears.  The free-fall lasted for a good 17 hours before he finally pulled the chute.  But after that?  AHHMAZING.

He let me take hold of the...crap I don't even know what they're called.  Controlly things.  I pulled one side and we'd spin left.  Pull the other, we spun right.  I absolutely loved it.

The landing was unremarkable.  E1 was already down there waiting for me.  Feet up, soft landing on the butt.  I asked E1 how he liked it.

His response of, "His penis touched my back." when referring to his instructor, to me, clearly indicates he enjoyed it.  But, the best part of all?


No pee stains on the shoes.  Happy effing birthday E1. 




49 comments:

  1. That's pretty awesome. I'm not sure if I could jump out of an airplane.

    You never noticed the penis in your back thing? Maybe that's a treat reserved for 2nd time jumpers? :)

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    1. I probably wouldn't have noticed a giant purple dildo in my ear, I was THAT scared.

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  2. Of all the things that made me laugh the most, for some reason "controlly things" did it for me.

    Congrats on the skydiving. My significant other offered me a skydiving excursion for one of my birthdays, but after hearing from 2 of my friends about how their chutes didn't open and they had to rely on the backup and the landing was really bad I decided against it. After 2 knee surgeries my fear isn't no chute ending in death, but a partially working chute ending in my knee being destroyed on the landing.

    I should probably just do it anyway. It sounds like you had a blast.

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    1. You absolutely should! Unless you die. Then I had nothing to do with your decision.

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  3. Very proud of you girl. Skydiving is on my bucket list but after some other nice stuff so at least if I die, I would have accomplished great things. lol.

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  4. You shat not your pants? Shatting in no way occurred? People on the groung weren't assailed by shat? Bull shat. That's great. Especially after reading your laundry list of fears (by the way, where did the saying "laundry list" come from? Were people making lists to do laundry back then and what was on the list, whites, then darks? Short list. I digress.).
    I went skydiving once. ONCE. And the part where the parachute opened bruised my inner thigh for a month. No pain there? Also, you could have shat yourself, it was their jumpsuit, right? You wouldn't have had to clean it.

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    1. It wouldn't be you if you didn't digress at least once in your commentary. :)

      I had the option for a jumpsuit or not. When I asked for opinions, the little bastards all said NO JUMPSUIT. Apparently they were all impervious to hypothermia.

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    2. The Green Pickster always digresses when I turn him into a stereotypical construction worker hooting at moi heh heh... HERE

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  5. I wish I could face some of my fears, but I'm just too coward doing so. Some of these days though...

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  6. Good job!! Very supportive of you :)

    If I could be guaranteed of getting a hot instructor, I would totally do it. But some creepy, ugly guy's penis on my back? Nuh uh.

    And I can't stand sushi, either! I've tried and tried and have finally decided it's not worth the expense to keep wasting it. I'm never gonna like that crap.

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    1. :) I wonder if you can request "hot instructor who won't put his penis on my back"?

      Yeah, I think I'm officially done trying. It's just never gonna happen for me.

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    2. 'some creepy, ugly guy's penis on my back..' Okay, that's it. I'm out.

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  7. Thankfully I don't remember the creepy clock lingerers.

    In other news, holy crap! You went skydiving?! I'm a tiny bit jealous. Okay, I'm totally jealous. So fun!

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    1. That's because you're too little. They were probably way before your time.

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  8. OMG...it doesn't matter if you are afraid of other things because that trumps public speaking, old age, sushi, high school reunions, karaoke, large social gatherings, those weird Sesame Street clock martians. BY a MILE!!!!

    How awesome. I would of been back out as soon as the instructor said "provided the chute opens" SERIOUSLY??? Death humor before jumping out into the sky??? I would of super glued my fingers to the side of the plane's hatch. They would have to pry me off that plane.

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    1. If my hands hadn't been so slippery from the gallons of sweat, I probably would have tried that as well. :)

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  9. I'm not trying anything new, I getting to old for that shit. I tried a new horse to buy today and he felt a little "bucky" to me. I made my trainer ride him. I don't bounce the same in my fifties as I did in my twenties.

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    1. I don't know why but the visual of you being pissed as you're bouncing around just made me smirk.

      Nothing feels the same as it did in my twenties.

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  10. That's not a fake butt picture. That's a real butt picture. Buttt high school reunions freak me out too. I never want to see those women again. What if they're allowed to bring their husbands and boyfriends? I'd be in deep shit. Pardon my Swedish. Butt why do you call those Sesame Street clock martians weird? As a kid, I would always feel this connection with them, you know? You probably find this 'weird' but I did. What was it they always said... 'Yip yip?' Isn't that so much more informative than what your boss tells you? I mean, seriously? 'Yip yip!' One thing every day that scares me? Oh that's easy. I'm afraid of peeing. I'm afraid one day the thing will explode. You know.... just like that. You probably find that... 'weird.' Yip Yip. That's Martian for frost bite on my tits and penis. I'm so sure it would explode if I went and jumped out of that plane. Yip Yip.

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    1. YES! That's exactly what they would say. And nothing else. Which is terrifying.

      There really were some horrible girls in high school.

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  11. Wow. I have never sky dived and because of my Meniere's Syndrome, never will. But, I wish I had done this before I was diagnosed in my mid thirties!

    I have a long list of scares too. One of the main ones: traveling alone. I have always had a premonition that something horrible will happen to me if I fly anywhere alone. So, far...it never has. But, I am meeting my partner at the end of July in Asheville, NC and I will be traveling there alone and even changing planes in Atlanta (with a 45 min layover...in the country's busiest airport...thank you, BING!) I am shaking in my boots over something so silly.

    But,you! YOU skydived!

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    1. Oh my gosh can you imagine? That would wreak havoc on you!

      I've traveled alone a few times and it's never too bad. A little lonely but not bad. Worst that happened was I missed a connecting flight in Toronto and had to spend the night in some random hotel. Big deal. You'll be just fine and think of the awesome reward at the end of the flight. BING!!! So naturally, it will be worth it.

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  12. I don't think I'll be sky diving any time soon. I think I could get over my fear of heights, but I'll never get over the fear of pensis in my back.

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  13. I'd jump out of a plane if I thought I'd look as good as you doing it. Unfortunately, I'd still just look like me, except with the wind blowing my face into a funny/scary contorted silly putty sort of look. Still, I should give it a try.

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    1. You'd still look like you? We have to talk.

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    2. Well then, maybe I need to try this and get a self-portrait of my face all contorted and blowing around for my blog

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  14. Wow, that's an amazing leap into the overcoming your fears category, I applaud you, and no... not ever will I attempt it, but Papa Bear is fearless and most certainly would! You bring up a very valid point here, our biggest common fear as humans is doing something that makes us appear stupid to others... and well, just as you noted, we usually manage to do that quite well, so quit worrying about it! Who ever said we have to do everything perfect anyway? The fun is in the attempt! Great post, totally enjoyed it!

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  15. Exactly! We're so worried about looking dumb when half the time no one even notices we were there to begin with.

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  16. OK First off, you just brought back some TERRIFYING repressed memories by bringing up those Sesame Street clock martians... so thanks for that. Secondly, WOW - well done you this is super-impressive! xxx

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    1. I can't even recall what made me think of them recently but yeah, let's get those little mofos back into repression where they belong.

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  17. This is epically awesome but I could never do it LOL. I am afraid of heights too much :-)

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    1. I've found that you can do most things you don't think you can...with just the right amount of peer pressure mixed with shame.

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  18. Well, gee, look whose comment I'm following. That's pretty cool, because I just wandered over here from his blog.

    I LOVED this post, from start to finish. (You didn't even shart a little? That's a, um,,, "wet" fart) Good for you for jumping out of a plane. I'm not sure I could ever bring myself to do that unless the plane were on fire and in danger of crashing, but it's cool that you did it. And lived to tell about it.

    Fun post. As Schwartzeneggar said, "I'll be Bach." Count me in as your newest groupie.

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    1. Sadly, the shart and I are well acquainted. But no, I won that round thank you very much.

      I'm so glad you found your way over here and hope you do meander your way back. Er, bach. :)

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  19. Wow. Eleanor would be proud! Rock on, Grrrl.
    ~Just Jill

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    1. By "proud" do you mean hanging her head in remorse that her name somehow made it into this sham of a blog?

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  20. Wow!! We have the same fears! You are my hero for skydiving. I will not do it. Ever.

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    1. I will not do a triathlon. Ever. So I suppose that makes us even. Well, not really. Skydiving is WAYY easier.

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  21. Congrats! That is awesome! I am so jealous!

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