Pawel and I visited iFly near Toronto over the weekend. My sister-in-law kindly gifted the experience of indoor skydiving to us for Pawel’s birthday. We have always wanted to try the activity and now, there was no turning back. Here we are, looking both excited and nervous.
It lurks quietly beneath the surface and springs up on me at the worst possible time. Of course, it serves to protect me from real danger, but handstand in the middle of the room, practised under safe instruction, is not really dangerous. Neither is flying through a wind tunnel with carefully controlled air speed, with a certified instructor right beside me. Still, Fear continues to speak to me loudly and I have been trying to silence it. Perhaps that’s not the best approach.
Spinning up, up, up.
Next time, I will whisper to it, shushing it gently to rest and relax.
Next time, when the instructor trusts me to use the technique I have learned to float up and spin through the tunnel, I will trust myself.
Next time, I will not panic. I will work to release the involuntary physical tension that kept weighing me down.
“What happened there that second time?” Pawel asked me later, after I had removed the helmet and ear plugs and was relieved to loosen the eye mask that left groove lines beneath my cheekbones for the remainder of the day. “You did so well that first time! You looked like you really knew what you were doing.”
“Fear,” I replied, gazing down at my feet. “I suddenly felt scared to have lost control and started floating up.”
In reply, he smiled at me in sympathy and planted a kiss on my lips.
“Next time.” We both agreed.
Pawel embraced the thrills and ended up floating all the way up to the ceiling in tandem with the instructor. It was incredible to watch.
Next time, I will show Fear who’s boss — in a kind, gentle, friendly way. For now, I’ll continue to sit with the humbling lesson that continues to return to me, reminding me of the work I must continue to do, both on my yoga mat and in terrifying real-life situations, including those brought on by optional thrills.
Post-flight yoga on the rocks by the beach. It feels good to be on solid ground — ahem, I mean rocks.
For now, I’ll give myself a pat on the back for challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone, for looking Fear straight in the eye for a moment before allowing it to intimidate me. Fear was a strong opponent this time, but not strong enough to deter me from planning my next move. Next time, I’ll come out on top.
We continued our post-flight adventure into the remainder of a day sprinkled with interesting serendipity. I will continue the story next time.
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