Starting 2015 off with a… Jump!
Well, the time has come! I have now booked my skydive and at 3pm on the 1st of January 2015 I will be jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft at 15,000ft! Aaahhhhhh! I still can’t believe I’m actually going to do this. It’s safe to say I am good combination of excited and absolutely petrified.
I have to say that the past month has made me realise that I really need to work on the way I cope with stress. Although travelling is not easy if haven’t really felt stressed since I started this adventure.
Last night was the first worry filled night I’ve had for a long time. My head is sore from itching it and I have the churning feeling in my stomach which seems to have also affected my mood and my energy levels. Apart from eczema, night sweating and feeling super emotional all the symptoms are there from my worst times with PTSD.
Although that may sound like I’m not coping very well I feel I am to a certain extent. For every moment I feel scared I remember how grateful I am to still be here and to have the opportunity to do this wonderful thing. I only wish I could control my fear up until the actual moment I do it and not a month in advance.
Yesterday I met with the business development manager of a skydiving company called Nzone. Nzone were the first company in the world to start tandem skydiving. I wrote to them to see if there was any chance they could perhaps give me a discount on my skydive. I received an email back from a guy called Derek who started off saying they get many requests like mine and are not always able to help everyone. He then went on to say that he really identified with my story and would like to meet to discuss.
I first thought this meeting would only be about what publicity the company would want me to do for them in return for a discount. Something I of course have no problem with. However, the meeting was so much more than that and it was only at the end Derek mentioned me writing about my story for the NewZealand.com website.
Derek identified with my story on a very personal level. He had lost his mum to cancer and has also had his fair share of anxiety related issues. After living in numerous cities around the world living a very stressful but financially successful life he gave it all up to live in the beautiful countryside of New Zealand where he could be in amongst nature and find peace. I think we must have chatted about pretty much everything.
It was so great to meet him. Here we were two guys, one from South Africa and one from the UK chatting over a coffee surrounded by the beautiful mountains of New Zealand. Both having shared similar experiences in life and both having gone out there and changed their life so they could feel happy again.
I think what Derek liked most about my story is that I had done something about my situation just like he did. Derek and Nzone then gave me my skydive for free.
I told him about my fear of heights and how scared I was and he replied “good”. It is about overcoming that fear and doing it anyway. That is what skydiving is about. He then gave me his business card with the most wonderful poem by the author Frank Herbert about fear.
I read this and then realised how true it is. Fear is the killer. The reason I chose to go on this trip was to feel happy again as I was so tired of being scared all the time. I saw what the fear of cancer did to my mind and body and how I then affected the people around me.
I know this situation is very different but the fear is exactly the same. I am going to do this and just before I jump I’m going to think back to September 10th 2010 when my worst fear came true and I was diagnosed with cancer again. Back then I would have given anything to believe that I would reach the year 2015 let alone start it with a skydive over my dream country of New Zealand.
I now say goodbye to the year 2014 which has turned out to be my most favourite and successful year ever. My success wasn’t measured by how much money I earned, (which was none) or what possessions I attained (hiking boots and a new camera) but has been measured by the amount of times I have felt happy, grateful and proud. Looking back it appears that I felt all of these things simultaneously on quite a few occasions.
Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year gang and I hope 2015 is your most successful year ever. Thank you so much for sharing this past year with me. You will never know just how much it has meant to me.
I’ll see you all when I land!:)
Oh..and here is the scene from the film Point Break that inspired me to do this. http://youtu.be/MoA17WOEtTU