I feel very fortunate to get chances to experience fun and adventurous activities that just aren’t part of everyday life. Tonight I’m going to the Pennington Balloon Championship in Baton Rouge, LA. One of the highlights of the show (besides my first ascension) is a performance by The Black Daggers, a special operations unit with the US Army. From my meager experience of what they do, I just have to say that they are pretty awesome, just for jumping out of a plane.
My friend and colleague, Ernest Robl, provided these pictures. I did some “training” with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg. This was made possible on a day trip during Travel Media Showcase 2006, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I don’t know how these guys and gals find the courage jump out of airplanes, but they do. I love roller coasters and I love speed, but I was very scared when I stood on the edge of the building and I even had a few false starts before I was able to get myself to jump.
But, I finally jumped. There’s something unnatural about stepping off a building into air. I’ve done all my firefighter training and like to do adventurous things, but jumping without any tension in a line is just downright scary. I was so glad after those first four seconds and I felt the pull of the line grab.
It’s a good thing I went to the bathroom before I jumped, because I would have peed in my pants otherwise.
So, to our men and women who jump out of airplanes and such for our freedom…..I salute you. You are some very brave people. And now, I have satisfied my curiousity and know that I can take bungee jumping off my bucket list, because it ain’t gonna happen!