My Point Break Adventure Part 2

Defying gravity once again …

For the second part in my “Point Break Adventure”, I went Indoor Skydiving at iFly. It was my baby steps to preparing to actually jump out of an airplane.

I was a bit nervous when I arrived. The instructor called me to remind me to braid my hair first. I guess the small hairs can get pulled in the tunnel. Yikes! I braid my hair and make my way over to iFly. Technically, I’m supposed to be the host for today’s Women on Adventures event. There were a couple of others RSVPd, but I hadn’t met them yet so I wore my WoA tank top to help them identify me. I told my nerves to buck it up, I had to lead the group in this after all.

Our flight instructor brought us into a room to teach us the correct body positioning and the hand signals while in the tunnel. You can’t hear much so the instructors signal you when to straighten or legs, lift your chin or just relax. She then reminded us that it is a high intensity sport. When you see the videos it looks so easy, like everyone is just floating in the their air tunnel.

Nope! During my first flight I was quite surprised at how difficult it actually is. The air pressure pushes down on your body making it difficult to hold yourself still in the right position. And you have to hold it just right, any variance will make you twist around in weird ways. Once you get it you kind of glide around the air tunnel.

The second turn to fly comes quickly. At the beginning of check-in, they asked if we want to do the “high fly.” This is when the instructor takes you higher up the tunnel to really get the feeling of flying. Originally this was explained to me as a fast full 360 spin. I don’t like spinning sensations, so I said no. However, the instructors essentially force you to do it anyway. On one side it’s a bit annoying because it’s an extra cost, but at the other side THAT was an awesome experience. 

At first one of the instructors helped me get into position again back in the tunnel. Then before I knew it I was floating up and around. It was so cool! No stomach drop roller coaster sensation or dizziness. You barely even feel like you are spinning. It was quite a rush. I don’t really know how to describe, but I walked away with a ton of exhilarated energy.

I definitely have to say, NOW I am actually ready for the real deal. If it was that much of an adrenaline rush just flying in the tunnel for a minute I’m excited to experience the real thing.

The month is almost over, but I’m not done yet! My daring self won’t stop after August 31. I intend to keep this up for many more adventures to come.

My Point Break Adventure Part 1

I did it!! I went surfing. That’s one check on the bucket list and the first part of my Point Break adventure.

I’ve mentioned the Point Break movie a few times here. Yes, I’m referring to the older 1991 Point Break with Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. It was one of my favorites as a kid. In short, Reeves plays an FBI agent who searches for bank robbers / surfers. Swayze’s character is known as the Buddha surfer who describes riding the big breaks akin to being close to the gods. Yes, I know it sounds hokey, but it was the 90s. As a kid I watched this movie mesmerized by the exhilarating surf and skydiving scenes. I wanted to go surfing and skydiving, later my fear of heights grew, but surfing remained forever a wondrous dream.

The Johnny Tsunami Disney movies were my favorites growing up too. And when I would travel to San Diego I would just watch the surfers thinking one of these days I will go try it out. It was always “one of these days.” Really I was scared. It seemed like such a crazy obscure thing to do, left only for the truly wild at hard.

Surfing ended up on my Vision Board that I created a couple of months ago. Each time I look that surfing image pulls at me. But I still needed some sort of a push.

So when I heard Women on Adventures was planning a surf trip I jumped! That was all I needed. This opportunity knocked right at my door at the perfect time when I was ready to unlock my adventurous side. I was the first one to sign up. I didn’t care about the rest of the details. I was in, no question.

The weeks leading up to it, I was nervous. I was worried about my neck issues stirring up. I was silly worried about sharks. I scared of drowning. You name it. All sorts of fears came up to try to talk me out of it. But nope my heart wasn’t having it. Instead, I practiced swimming so I wouldn’t drown. I physically conditioned myself a bit more and brought pain medication and ice packs on the trip for my neck. And I googled shark swim patterns to know for sure how slim the chances were of seeing a shark in August on La Jolla Beach.

Then finally came the day to surf with Surf Diva instructors.

It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. The instructors were great taking us through all the steps. The showed us how to pop up on the board and taught us a bit about how to read the ocean. Then we got into the water.

Boy were those boards heavy. The hardest part truly is walking those big 9 foot boards through the waves, and repeating every time you get knocked off.

Otherwise, it’s just a blast!

Once you’re going, paddling with the waves at your back you pop up (or try your best at standing up in my case) and it’s seconds of mindless bliss. And I mean a second because, if you’re me, then you fall.

I never got completely up on the board. I was able to pop up in a low crouch, but not completely up. After the first couple of times I kept overthinking things about where to put my feet “ok next time make sure your front foot is forward more and don’t lean so much to the right.” The more I thought about it the worse I did. Then my body got tired. For my last wave, I just got up to my knees and rode the wave in that way (see photo above). That’s all I had for this time and that’s totally okay. At least now I know what to expect for next time, how it feels, how to prepare or rather how not to prepare and just do.

As I write out my thoughts for the day I’m sitting on the beach watching surfers. Some of them get up every time, some get up on one wave then fall the next. Other are falling every time. And there are others just floating on their boards and hanging out. I was never trying to be Patrick Swayze’s stunt double anyway. And by the way, that movie – NO WAY Keanu Reeves learns how to surf those big waves that quickly. Yes, I knew it was only a movie, but still.

I definitely intend to try it again. I’m already looking up surf camps in California, Costa Rica or wherever.

It’s funny. I was so worked up about this, but really it’s like testing out my sister’s skate board or learning how to ice skate. You won’t be amazing the very first time. But once you’ve tried it, it’s no longer this foreign scary obscure concept. It’s just a cool activity I can do from now on if I want.

Moving past the fear just opened me up to more of life. Surfing is now another thing I can say I do. 

And my neck – it was a bit sore that day. I was proactive though with medication, stretching and ice wraps. I’ve already seen my doctor and he says I wasn’t really banged up at all. He was expecting a lot worse. So I can keep going and surf more?! He said “Absolutely!” Well doctor’s order! 🙂

Now on to my next adventure! I won’t exactly be jumping out of a plane quite yet, I still have this whole terrifying fear of heights, but I am going to try Indoor Skydiving at iFly for the 2nd part in my Point Break adventure.

Daring to Be Confident

It’s day 10 of my birthday month! Even though I haven’t blogged everyday, I’ve still been celebrating.

This week had a theme for me: confidence!

I’ve taken the time to remember all of my accomplishments. See, I love mementos. I savor ticket stubs, thank you notes and other things to remind me of some of my favorite experiences in a keepsake box. The other day I opened this box and pulled everything out.

I’ll be honest, the emotions ran rampant as I spread everything out in my front room. I relived lessons from South Africa with Ubuntu (I am because we are) paintings. I re-felt the feelings of triumph as I stared at my medals from half marathons and 5ks. I remembered the confidence I had as I traveled alone through Washington DC and joined a group of then “strangers” exploring Italy. And, I cherished all the love and support I have in my life as I looked at a family photo collage I created a few years back.

I stood over my keepsakes in my living room looking down. This is me! All of this, this is who I am and the person I have become. I love it!

This confidence has carried on. I’ve dared to be bold and sure of myself through a few vulnerable conversations.

Today, I’m grasping on to this confidence with two full fists as I prepare to cross off a huge life goal: SURFING! It’s exciting and a bit frightening, but I’m jumping in ready to conquer with style.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Day 3: Relaxing Bliss

It’s day 3 of my birthday month!! It’s funny, while this is again something I can do any old day, the idea of a birthday month just makes me smile. Yes, I’ve had a few people roll their eyes at me. “You don’t get a month you get a day” I don’t care. I say month so month it is.

The first day I enjoyed a face mask. I won’t post a photo here because it was charcoal black and a tad scary without the context. I also did a hair mask. This is moisturizing ointment to keep your hair soft. I had received this bottle from a Singles Swag box a while back, but never used it. Unfortunately it only covered the ends of my hair, but it smelled pretty.

Yesterday I didn’t plan anything. I actually sat up at 8ish at night thinking I need to do something what do I do. Then I sort of got anxiety to plan something. I was anxious to plan something to celebrate myself. That didn’t make sense. So instead I gave myself permission to do nothing. Then again I did officially book my indoor skydiving adventure for later this month – so we can say actually making that commitment could be it too! 

Today, for day 3 I had to celebrate with some TimTams – chocolate biscuits from Australia. I’ve tried them before, but have recently been saying I was going to grab some from World Market. Today I finally did.

 

 

A birthday month: It’s relaxing bliss. The little frustrations don’t make as much of an impact for me. Let’s hope I can keep this up.

 

Daring to Celebrate ME!

Today is the first day of my birthday month! Yes, month! I know, I know it’s silly. However, yesterday I was looking for something to help me keep a positive attitude. Too often I let the little frustrations in life get to me. So instead, I’m taking all 31 days of my birthday month to do something for myself and celebrate ME!

Even the thought of doing this has plastered a smile on my face. I feel childish and giddy and I like it. It’s the perfect way to continue my journey of daring myself to take adventures leaps. My birthday month is my own dare.

I will celebrate all the different ways that make me me while daring myself to do crazy things just because. Yes, I can do this any old day, but a birthday month makes it extra special and fun. So I say why not?!

My friends on Facebook have given me a few ideas, but you are more than welcome to comment with your own ideas. And if you share August as your birthday month too, I won’t be upset at all if you steal this idea. Let’s all do it!

Day 1: I think I’m going to enjoy a nice face mask and hair wrap when I get home.