Take the Leap

The right choice, sometimes it is so easy to make, other times it feels like pulling teeth. So we either take the step and do it or when sit in fear and anxiety trying to talk ourselves into it. Most of the time it comes down to not having all the information and so the fear of the unknown stops us in our tracks.

Wisdom and knowledge go a long way. They can keep us from harming ourselves but also help us to see there are so many wonderful ways to live. Three years ago my wonderful hubby turned 40, he had mentioned that one day he would like to go skydiving, so I figured I could make that happen and do it as a surprise to him. The only knowledge I had on the subject was that people jumped out of perfectly good planes for no apparent reason other than for the thrill. I wasn’t sure I was up for doing this adrenaline rush with him until I did a little more research on it and I eased my way into it by doing a zipline course with my sister. I figured if I could survive flying through trees strapped to a mere wire, jumping out of a plane would be the next logical thrill ride.

The zipline experience was an eye opener literally. We had started the course with all of the safety measures put into place (always tethered to something so we don’t fall to our deaths). There was about 10 of us plus two zipline pros (who happened to look only slightly older than 16) so there were times of waiting for our turns. On one of the platforms the guide was talking to us about what we would be doing next. All of a sudden he steps back and is GONE! You could hear the collective gasps as we move closer to the edge to see where he went. Thankfully the safety features worked and he climbed back onto the platform and went on his way guiding us to our next zipline course. At that point I figured if the lines held him I am set and enjoyed the rest of the excursion. The guides had the knowledge that with all the safety features they could get us all through the course just fine. The lack of wisdom from the guy that “fell” off taught us that in fact we could trust the harnesses we were strapped in to.

Going from that experience to jumping out of the plane with my husband was still a fear I wasn’t sure I was ready to face, I mean really, there wasn’t going to be a big sturdy tree to tie a rope to when I jumped out of the plane. I was going to have to rely on the knowledge and experience of the skydiver guy that I would be strapped to. When I started to plan the trip I was given so many options of where I wanted to skydive over, how high I wanted the plane before I jumped and even if I wanted a nice lunch once I reached the ground. I was in over my head, I mean who would want to eat after slamming into the ground? Mind you I was also planning this knowing that my hubby had no clue he would be doing this with me. Can you imagine? “Hi honey, I have a surprise weekend planned for you for your birthday. Just bring comfortable clothes, oh and I also got our wills updated and they need to be signed” Talk about having trust in your spouse. I kept the secret from him till the night before the flight when he started to wonder why I kept watching YouTube videos of people skydiving. I was just a bit scared and he didn’t even look phased by the knowledge we would be throwing ourselves out of a plane the following day. Morning came, we drove to the hanger that the skydivers worked from and “suited up”, we did a quick safety talk, got strapped into a harness and met the brave men that would be making sure we got to the ground in one piece. I had the oldest and shortest guy in the group tag me as his partner while my husband got the younger guy with the tuxedo shirt as his guy. I know we walked to the plane because we arrived at it, I know we got into the plane because we ended up in the air and then it was time to exit the plane. My husband to this day says I kicked him out first but really I think he just wanted to go first cause he was tired of looking at the fear in my eyes. My turn came and then just like that it was like we were swimming through air. It was so cool! It was beautiful, and really peaceful. The parachute opened and the kindly old man strapped to my back said “make sure to lift up your legs like you are going to sit on your butt, when I tell you to” I said ok and then preceded to land and tumble this poor gentleman, but we made it and in one piece. I was then able to watch as my husband landed a few minutes later than me (I landed first because we free fell longer than my husband did).


Had I listened to all of the stories and fears of the people I had told I wouldn’t have been brave enough to have this experience with my husband. I had no experience or knowledge of how the skydiving would go but I trusted those who did have the experience and lived to tell others about how extremely awesome it was. How many times in our regular ordinary lives do we allow fear and uncertainty to rule our decision making? In Proverbs 2: 6-11 says: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright….Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you. God gives wisdom and understanding to those who hear his word. From these folks others can learn and gain the same wisdom and understanding. I think this is why we as humans go through all the things we go through so that when the time is right and the knowledge can be shared, our experiences can help others to learn. This includes both good and bad, I learned from the ziplining experience that you need to look before you step and you need to make sure to use your knowledge to keep yourself safe from injury. I also learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought and that trying new experiences can be oh so fun. When it came to jumping out of that plane, I had to learn that trust is huge! I trusted a complete stranger with my life just based on the years of experience he had. How much more then do I trust my God who is always with me to take care of me and my loved ones. Until next time:

If we all lived as if we had one month left on this earth, we would each spend our day differently, in ways unique to us, and yet I believe we would all experience more fulfilling lives that could leave a legacy for eternity

Kerry Shook

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