Today is one of those beautiful spring days in the city where you just want to be outside. In fact, I’m spending time working out on the terrace at my office right now. But I still find myself in this stupid funk. Maybe it’s because I’m not jumping when it’s this nice? I dunno. Whatever.
That said, I feel like talking about the little things that annoy me when I’m talking to people about skydiving, specifically whuffos. I remember when I started jumping, that’s all I wanted to talk about to anyone who would listen. Now, going into my 5th season, I spend much time hoping that people won’t ask me about it because I hate the dumb questions – especially from people who don’t get it and will never jump but love to judge me for it.
What gets me even more is people who post really dumb sayings on Facebook (or Twitter, or whatever other online medium you can think of), thinking they are being clever. Let’s name a few, shall we?
- You don’t need a parachute to skydive, you only need one to skydive twice.
- Why would you jump from a perfectly good airplane?
- Do you remember when skydiving was dangerouse and sex was safe?
- You know you’re a skydiver when you can’t put on a backpack without checking for leg straps.
- If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving definitely isn’t for you.
I’m sure there have got to be lots more out there, but I was already getting pissed off just writing these. Can you think of any that I missed?
Well, I’ve been in the city for about two months now and I still haven’t made a jump. But, the weather is looking up so hopefully I can get out to the dropzone soon. I’m starting to twitch over here.
Regardless, I still had a pretty amazing weekend in the city. Looking back on it yesterday as I was walking through Union Square with a Starbucks in hand, it’s quite amusing how the weekend turned out.
Having planned to stay pretty low key, given that I was sick all last week and just wanted a solid weekend to recover, it didn’t quite end up that way. It went a little something like this.
The Plan: Dinner with the girls on Friday after work. Brunch with out-of-town friends on Saturday followed by a trip to WTC since I haven’t seen ground zero, and a tattoo session on Sunday.
The Actual Weekend: Dinner and drinks with the girls lead to me coaxing my friend Charlotte’s accent out of her (she’s English) and going to another bar for follow up drinks (and shots) while mimicking her accent – or trying anyway. A friend from Cleveland was going to show up for a drink and he texted as he was in a cab going through China Town saying it didn’t look good. Bummer. Our Boston friends decided that going to a strip club was in order, so it was off to the East side for me. Thankfully, one of the girls escorted me there so I wasn’t alone in a strip club waiting for my other friends. A few hours, many drinks, and a couple lap dances later it was time to go home and shower.
Saturday brunch turned into massive hangover and mimosas to cure it – and some pretty fucking amazing eggs benedict. We walked with our friends from the Upper West Side down to the World Trade Center and checked out the view of Freedom Tower and the construction from their hotel room while convincing them to hang out in the city longer, rather than catch their train back. As they checked their bags at the front desk we got to watch a guy get trapped in the revolving door and attempt to find his way out. I believe he wasn’t drunk, so it was all the more entertaining. The rest day was spent walking the city, some intense people watching and drinking until they were convinced to stay at my place for the night. A couple bottles of wine later it was bed time.
Sunday included a diner breakfast to cure a couple hangovers (thankfully I was smart enough to quit drinking around midnight – no hangover for me) followed by a quick nap and a trip to The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop before a 2-hour tattoo session. Exhaustion set in as we walked through Union Square sipping coffee so going home and ordering food was the perfect end to a rather crazy weekend.
I guess this is what it’s all about, living in New York, having adventures you never imagined. As much as I miss the sky, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring my city.
How did your weekend unfold?
Last night at my bocce ball league – yes, I know, it’s not nearly as adrenaline pumping as hucking yourself from a plane at 14K, but girls gotta do somethin’ while on this injury time out – I participated in a debate on safety, skydiving vs. bungee jumping.
As it usually does when meeting new people, the topic of skydiving came up. You know, when people ask you where you hang out on the weekends, it’s kinda hard to avoid the truth without sounding totally lame. Anyway, a couple of the guys in the group had been skydiving fairly recently, one did a tandem in New Zealand. He also mentioned that he went bungee jumping there and, as I typically do when the subject comes up, I visibly cringed. And, as usual, most people were taken aback by my reaction.
“Wait, you’ll skydive hundreds of times but you’ll never bungee jump?”
Yes friends, this is correct. My argument is always the same – I have two parachutes on my back, one of which is packed by a skilled, licensed professional. When bungee jumping, your life is in the hands of a rubber band (now before everyone goes jumping down my throat here, I know this isn’t exactly factual, but people get the point), I prefer my odds.
Last night’s debate included a new point of view that I’d never heard before: many more non-professionals bungee jump than skydive. So, in other words, you can be an average joe and jump off a bridge alone, but to skydive you need more skills. Not sure how that alludes to the bungee being a safer sport, but it was an interesting POV. Of course, my retort was that with so many more skydivers out there having official training and licenses, safety is a big focus in the sport.
In the end, the majority who joined the conversation took the side of skydiving ultimately being the safer option (of course, this is all without actual stats, so for any who want to prove me wrong with numbers or whatever, go ahead). And, I think I convinced a few people who were on the fence about trying it to get out there and give it a shot.
How many of you have participated in this debate before? How many skydivers out there are sticking to the never bungee jumping rule like I am?
Right around this time last year I had a self-inflicted (read: no-flare landing) injury that I was going through physical therapy and 3x/week chiropractor appointments.
During that time, I got to see an x-ray of my spine – I have more permanent problems than just the hip injury I was there to fix – and therefore continued with my chiro appointments on a monthly basis as a way to maintain my health.
After moving I was a bit lazy in finding a new chiropractor, but I did my research and found a guy. He’s good. He took x-rays to asses my latest shoulder injury (that I was REALLY hoping could be fixed by chiropractic and rehab rather than the proposed cortisone shots and potential surgery that traditional medicine was tossing my way), and I have to admit that I was absolutely stunned to see what my spine looked like, compared with a year ago.
Aside from the scary sight that was my shoulder, my spine looked almost normal. Last year at this time, it looked like someone’s fist had impacted my spine, the scoliosis was so severe in my lower/mid back. This year, it looks like a minor ripple in my spine. I’ll take a minor ripple here people!
Chiropractic is amazing stuff. For people who think it’s a bunch of quacky shit, well, sometimes it is. You have to do your research, find the right guy. Growing up I went to a family friend who was an MD first, then pursued his chiropractic certification. He was very good. My chiro in Chicago was amazing. He was in an office where they did massage therapy (not the frilly kind, but the kind where you’d be in complete pain the whole time but would walk out feeling like a million bucks) and his wife was the physical therapist on staff. Very much rehab focused.
Same with my new doc. No quack talk, just down to business. I do wish he had massage therapists on staff, but I get electro stim on my shoulder and lower back along with a weekly adjustment. I’ve only been twice, but so far so good. I can already tell a difference.
So this blog post about injuries turned out to be more of a promotion for chiropractic, which totally wasn’t my point.
What the hell was my point? It’s this…
Being injured and grounded totally sucks. The blue skies and warm southern weather have been calling my name, and I’ve yet to have the chance since moving over a month ago to get out and make even a single jump, but keeping my fingers crossed that the opportunity will come soon. In the meantime, I’m trying to remind myself that being on the ground is for the best, and finding other activities I love like yoga, hiking and my bocce ball league are keeping me busy and sane. But that doesn’t make my cravings for freefall any weaker, I must admit.
With time off comes improvement in health. I’m a firm believer in the RICE treatment, I’ve got the rest, ice and compression down, now it’s just time to get a little elevation to make my experience that much better.
Blue skies my friends!
It’s been a while, mostly due to the fact that I’m still in transition due to the move to Atlanta, and things seem to be in shambles a bit.
I have a love/hate relationship with moving. Packing up all your stuff sucks. Like, sucks huge. But unpacking into a new spot and starting off on a new adventure, I look forward to.
I’m a girl who thrives on change. That’s good, because in life, change is inevitable. I like the idea of starting a new chapter of my life, wiping the slate clean (so to speak) and moving helps set the tone for this new chapter.
Getting everything set up in my new house is actually enjoyable. I have no timeline, so I can move in at my leisure, put everything in it’s place and make a home for myself.
Atlanta has treated me well so far. I’ve got a great network of peeps both at the office and in the outside world who have reached out and helped the settling in process. The weather is much warmer than in Chicago – which is great for now, though come July I might feel differently – and the pace of life isn’t so hectic.
So far, the change has been good – and much needed. I can’t wait to see what else the South has to offer. It’s great to be back.
In an effort to keep my posts quick and easy to read, I broke up this posts into two part. Part 1 was posted yesterday, and I discussed 2011, took a look at the goals I set at the beginning of the year and where I netted out.
This year, my goals are a little more concrete – either they’ll be successes or failures. But, like this year, I have no doubt that regardless of the outcome, I’ll walk away with plenty of knowledge to reflect upon.
Let’s get onto these resolutions!
Pay off all credit card debt. This is number one on my list for a reason. I finally feel like I’m at a comfortable place to do this, and start building a savings, both for emergencies and to have enough for a down payment on a house. Hello adulthood!
Earn SCUBA certification. This is something that hubs and I have been wanting to do for quite some time. I’m pretty sure this came up within the first few weeks of us dating, as something we both want to accomplish in the near future.
Add to and continue selling prints on my Etsy shop. I’m proud to say that I launched my Etsy shop during the holidays and you can now purchase prints, matted and framed or on canvas right here. This year I intend to make great progress with my photography and editing skills so I can keep my shop fresh.
Recommit to yoga and meditation. Health and fitness has always been important to me, but in the recent past I’ve been slipping. I’ve begun a running routine that I plan to stick with, but on my off days, I’m planning to get back into yoga. It just makes me happier. It also helps that my amazing husband bought me yoga paws as a stocking stuffer this year, so I have no excuse, even when I’m on the road.
Teach my dog how to run with me. This is the main reason that I started running again. I’d like to be able to take the dog out a few times a week after work and run her. I tried when we first got her, but now that she’s more obedient I definitely want to get this routine started – it’ll be good for her and me.
Get some tunnel time. This one speaks for itself. I normally don’t like to put goals around my skydiving, as it’s my leisure activity, but a I consider “tunnel time” to be a bit vague. It’s about time I sync up with a coach and get on my head.
Volunteer. Yes, I already coordinate Jump for Diabetes at Skydive Chicago each year (p.s., if you haven’t heard it’s on 4th of July weekend this year), but I want to do more. I’ve always had the desire to help out at a food bank or serve dinner at a soup kitchen during the holidays. Ideally, I’d like to commit to 1 act of volunteerism a month. I think I’m up to that challenge!
So those are my 7 resolutions for the year. Next year at this time, hopefully I can paste this list into a new blog post with success written after each.
What are your goals, commitments and resolutions for 2012?
Do you ever feel like you’re watching your life unfold as if it’s a television show?
That’s how my life feels right now.
And I don’t like it. Not. One. Bit.
Not so much because of what’s happening, though I could do without a few of these situations, honestly, but more that I feel so out of control. Let’s be honest, I’m about as type A as they come. I’m not one to sit around and let my life fall into whatever place it’s going to fall. I prefer to be at the drivers seat – to know I at least have some sense of control over my destiny.
Right now, control seems to have slipped from my grasp. And it’s terrifying. I wish I were skydiving…that’s much less terrifying of a ride.
I want nothing more than to gain even the tiniest bit of control back – give me a wheel to turn, a button to push to make it all go away, or at least a break so I can slow this train down for a minute.
Yes, I’m fully aware that this is sometimes how life unfolds, there’s just enough surprise to keep you on your toes and let you know that you’re not always in control, but this feeling of being outside my own life, looking in, isn’t flying with me.
The surprising thing is, even though this blog post, after re-reading it sounds a bit alarming, I’m actually handling it pretty well. Normally, I’d be a basket case, with constant worry over what’s happening, what’s not, what’s going to happen next, how to deal with it, etc. But the truth is, I’m not really worried.
Maybe it’s because I’ve spent countless hours worrying and it doesn’t do any good. Maybe I finally learned that lesson? Doubtful. I think a lot of it has to do with my marriage, dumb as it sounds. I have never been this happy in my entire life, and having someone to share your life with, also means having someone with whom to share the burdens of life. He’s keeping me sane, keeping me grounded, supporting every decision I need to make along the way. As a single person I used to scoff at my married friends who would say “I just don’t know what I would do without him,” but now that I’m here, I truly don’t know what I would do without him.
Looking at our wedding photos is something I’m really enjoying lately. Not sure if it has anything to do with the craziness going on around me, but it’s comforting and, I gotta say, we look damn good in them. Check ‘em out for yourself here.
Aside from that, I’m doing everything in my power to keep my hands firmly grasped on my career. Lack of control will not be an issue here, if I have anything to say about it.
So tell me, am I alone here? Has anyone else ever felt like they were watching their life on TV?
For the last month or so I’ve been using Pintrest to tag everything from home decor to tattoo ideas that I love. It’s a great social networking tool to give you ideas for just about anything you can think up. See a shirt you like online, pin it and put it on your “fashion” board to remind you to pick something similar up the next time you go shopping.
It’s addicting, to say the least.
It is also what inspired me to write this post today. As I mentioned before, time is limited right now between moving and business travel, so anything that does transpire here on the blog is pretty much a direct brain dump – not that I have much of a filter anyhow.
So Pintrest got me thinking about things that I love. It also made me realize that simpler is better. I’ve never been one to love clutter, though I sometimes find myself surrounded by it. I guess I could say it’s helping me figure out how to simplify a bit, too.
Below is a list, because that’s easiest, of a few things I’ve learned that I really appreciate in life:
1. Big, bold pieces of art
2. Uncomplicated relationships
3. Basic colors with a splash of brightness (read: black, white, grey and teal)
4. Classic clothing with a hint of delicate detail
5. Yogi tea with a hint of natural honey
6. Trader Joe’s sweet red win ($4.99 bitches)
8. Writing with a dog at your feet.
9. Reading quietly
10. Sunshine and skydiving
I think number 10 goes without saying here, but I wanted to have a round 10 – is that a little OCD of me?
Anyhow, there’s not much purpose here other than finding joy in the simple things in life. I’m not sure I’d classify skydiving as “simple” but I would say it’s pure, raw emotion that’s generated through natural body responses – and for most of us, it’s an incredibly freeing experience.
What are some of your favorite things?
Love and blue skies!
A long weekend spent away from the dropzone was not what was intended for the Labor Day holiday, but sometimes life has a way of taking over.
The past two years, this weekend has been spent at the Work Stinks! Boogie in Ohio. Between our move to Chicago and upcoming wedding festivities, there just weren’t enough resources to make the trip this year. But I can’t say it didn’t turn out to be a fabulous weekend.
Each day I woke up with the intention of “we’ll head to the dropzone today,” but it never seemed to pan out that way. After spinning class on Saturday I had just enough time to come home and shower before some serious rain moved in. Definitely no jumping for us that day. Sunday included an impromptu trip to Wisconsin to visit a buddy of Rick’s and cook out. The weather turned cold and rainy in the afternoon, with gusty wind all day. So, we didn’t feel so bad about another day spent on the ground with good company.
Monday morning blew in with more gusts, so we spent the day running errands, making pizza and just thoroughly enjoying our last day of the long weekend. In hindsight, I couldn’t be happier with the weekend we had. Sure, it’d have been nice to get in a skydive or two, but sometimes it’s nice when life shows you a different path for a change.
What did you do with your Labor Day weekend?
Posts have been spotty lately, at best. I do realize that I haven’t been the best blogger lately, and I apologize for that. Hopefully most of you just assumed it had to do with my being out due to injury and not jumping, but that’s actually not the case.
I have a damn good reason for the lack of posts lately – it’s because there’s a lot of change happening right now.
Normally when I mention change in my life it has zero impact on you, my readers. This time, however, the changes will have some affect on your SkydiveChick blog reading pleasure.
That’s all I’m going to say for now. There’s still a bit of work ahead, so I’ll do my best to stay on top of updates, but until all my ducks are in a row this is going to be a bit of a hush hush situation.
“Secrets secrets are no fun…” but I promise you, this one is.
Love and blue ones, y’all!