Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What's on your "bucket list"?
When one gets a diagnosis of prostate cancer or any cancer for that matter one realizes that our time on the planet has limits. Many of us make plans to do things we have been dreaming about all of lives. For some, the list of things we want to do and see before we exit the planet take on a new priority. I've been fortunate that during the course of my life I've had some great adventures so my Bucket List is pretty short.. I've seen the Northern Lights, Pyramids, Machu Picchu, climbed the highest mountains in Africa, South America and Europe and traveled extensively. So I don't have a lot left on my bucket list. But a Sky Dive was way up there. But I did have momentary doubts about participating.. After all, 73 years old doesn't seem to be the ideal age to make the attempt! But why not give it a shot?
So I had an opportunity to jump out of a plane from 12,000' this last weekend and I took it. What an adrenaline rush! I jumped with 12 other dare devils on the 1st Annual Free Fallin' Sky Dive for Prostate Awareness fundraising event. We jumped from Cloverdale Municipal Airport in rural Sonoma County in Northern California. The airport was a tiny one which made the experience that much more intimate. NorCal Sky Diving, our provider attended to every detail and a great and exciting time was had by all.
The type of jump we did is called a Tandem Jump, which means we jumped with a seasoned professional sky diver harnessed on our backs. All we had to do is show up, no lessons. We watched a short safety video and off we flew to an attitude of 12,000'. Our team consisted of guys like myself with prostate cancer, others representing their fathers, grandfathers or other family members and friends afflicted with this epidemic disease, plus a number of young people living on the edge!
It took about twenty minutes to reach the desired altitude. When the cabin door opened and we felt the wind rushing in at 120 MPH we really experienced the stark reality of what we were about to do. You just have to keep your composure, positive spirit, faith and survival instinct and stay focused! So, off we jumped into space. Traveling weightlessly at 120 MPH with the wind roaring in your ears is an experience like no other.
After about 60 seconds of free falling the feeling of the parachute opening was a welcome one. Then another 5 minutes or so of elation before the great feeling of touching down on the welcome Earth.
What an memorable experience. One comes away with so many different emotions: triumph, relief, exhaustion and pride to name a few.
Is a Sky Dive on your Bucket List? Great, we will be doing the 2nd Annual Free Fallin' Sky Dive for Prostate Awareness next June, 2019.
Video to follow shortly at